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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 1, pp e87–e91 | Cite as

Is Access to Workplace Amenities Associated With Leisure-time Physical Activity Among Canadian Adults?

  • Allison W. WattsEmail author
  • Louise C. Mâsse
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The workplace represents an important setting for increasing physical activity levels. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the workplace environment and leisure-time physical activity, using a nationally representative sample of the Canadian population.

METHODS: This study used cross-sectional, self-reported data from 48,916 participants who completed relevant questions on the 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey. Associations between supportive workplace environments for physical activity (e.g., perceived range of amenities available such as a pleasant place to walk, fitness facility, showers, and health program) and leisure-time physical activity level (active, moderately active, inactive) were examined using multinomial logistic regression.

RESULTS: Approximately three quarters (n=36,216) of participants had access to at least one amenity that supported physical activity while at work. Females in the lowest age category (18–35 years) who perceived a more supportive workplace environment for physical activity had higher odds of being moderately active (AOR 1.06, 95% CI 1.04–1.08) and active (AOR 1.15, 95% CI 1.13–1.17) as compared to inactive in their leisure time. The strength of this association was slightly higher with age and for males.

CONCLUSIONS: Since the majority of Canadian adults do not meet recommended levels of physical activity, the workplace offers a promising and modifiable target for increasing opportunities to be physically active. Employers who can provide a more supportive workplace environment for physical activity would benefit, as it can increase employees’ physical activity levels and ultimately improve their productivity and overall health. These benefits may be increased for males and with employees’ age.

Key words

Exercise workplace environment public health 

Résumé

OBJECTIF: Le lieu de travail est l’un des principaux endroits où accroître les niveaux d’activité physique. Nous avons voulu étudier le lien entre l’environnement de travail et l’activité physique pendant les loisirs à l’aide d’un échantillon national représentatif de la population canadienne.

MÉTHODE: Notre étude fait appel aux données transversales autodéclarées de 48 916 personnes ayant répondu aux questions pertinentes de l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes de 2008. Nous avons examiné par régression logistique multinomiale les associations entre les environnements de travail propices à l’activité physique (le choix perçu de commodités disponibles, comme un endroit agréable où marcher, des installations de conditionnement physique, des douches et un programme de santé) et les niveaux d’activité physique pendant les loisirs (activité, activité modérée, inactivité).

RÉSULTATS: Environ les trois quarts (n=36 216) des répondants avaient accès à au moins une commodité favorisant l’activité physique au travail. Les femmes de la catégorie d’âge inférieure (18–35 ans) qui jugeaient avoir un environnement de travail plus propice à l’activité physique présentaient une plus forte probabilité d’être modérément actives (RCa 1,06, IC de 95 % 1,04–1,08) ou actives (RCa 1,15, IC de 95 % 1,13–1,17) plutôt qu’inactives dans leurs temps libres. La force de cette association augmentait légèrement avec l’âge, et elle était légèrement plus élevée chez les hommes.

CONCLUSION: Étant donné que la majorité des adultes canadiens sont en-deçà des niveaux d’activité physique recommandés, le lieu de travail offre une cible prometteuse et modifiable pour accroître les occasions d’être actif. Les employeurs qui peuvent fournir un environnement de travail plus propice à l’activité physique en profiteraient, car cela ferait augmenter les niveaux d’activité physique des employés et, en bout de ligne, améliorerait leur productivité et leur santé globale. Ces avantages pourraient être accrus pour les hommes et augmenter avec l’âge des employés.

Mots clés

exercice physique lieu de travail environnement santé publique 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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