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UGA researchers receive $1.3 million CDC grant to study workplace physical activity intervention

, say health experts.

"Observational studies have demonstrated that the risk of all-cause and CHD mortality is about 50 percent lower in physically active men and women than in their sedentary peers," said Dishman. "Regular exercise is also associated with elevated HDL-cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) and enhanced insulin sensitivity, which together lower the odds of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Overweight adults who are physically active have lower morbidity and mortality than normal weight adults who are sedentary.

"Moreover moderate-to-vigorous physical activity increases cardiorespiratory fitness, which is independently associated with reduced risk of CHD morbidity and mortality."

Workplaces offer unique opportunities to encourage adults and their families to increase their physical activity. Most adults spend half of their waking hours at the workplace, providing opportunities for individualized and mass reach interventions to be implemented, UGA researchers say.

"Evidence suggests that workplace fitness programs can be cost-effective, possibly reducing employer costs for insurance premiums, disability benefits and medical expenses," said Dishman. "Other possible benefits include improved workplace morale in areas such as job satisfaction, perceived organizational commitment, turnover intentions and absenteeism, and feelings of increased energy and less fatigue."

The UGA researchers say the focus of the study will be to determine the effects of a multilevel intervention aimed at personal goal-setting by employees and ecologically based organizational action designed to promote physical activity and a healthy workplace.

"It's all about getting employees to set personal and group goals in their personal leisure activity and about helping employee-management teams create a better environment to promote activity," said Dishman.


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Contact: Kim Carlyle
kcarlyle@uga.edu
706-583-0913
University of Georgia
25-Oct-2004


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