Walking Works Wonders: A Workplace Health Intervention Evaluated Over 24 Months

  • Cheryl HaslamEmail author
  • Aadil Kazi
  • Myanna Duncan
  • Ricardo Twumasi
  • Stacy Clemes
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


Walking Works Wonders (WWW) is a workplace intervention designed to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour. WWW involves tailoring health information according to employees’ readiness for change. The approach recognises that when attempting to motivate behaviour change, success is greater when interventions align with recipients’ attitudes and beliefs. The impact of the tailored approach was investigated by comparing tailored interventions with standard conditions and control groups in a 24-month longitudinal study in 10 worksites across the UK. Employees who received either a standard or tailored intervention demonstrated significantly higher self-reported work ability and improved organizational commitment, job motivation, job satisfaction, and a reduction in intention to quit the organization. The tailored interventions significantly reduced BMI and waist circumference compared to standard and control conditions. Workplace health interventions designed to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour are likely to be more effective where the information is tailored to employees’ readiness to change.


Workplace health Older workers Physical activity Sedentary behaviour 


  1. 1.
    Conn VS, Hafdahl AR, Cooper PS, Brown LM, Lusk SL (2009) Meta-analysis of workplace physical activity interventions. Am J Prev Med 37:330–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Allender S, Foster C, Scarborough P, Rayner M (2007) The burden of physical activity-related ill health in the UK. J Epidemiol Commun Health 61:344–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kazi A, Duncan M, Clemes S, Haslam C (2014) A survey of sitting time among UK employees. Occup Med 64:497–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Abraham C, Graham-Rowe E (2009) Are worksite interventions effective in increasing physical activity? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Health Psychol Rev 3:108–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Prochaska JO, DiClemente CC (1982) Transtheoretical therapy: toward a more integrative model of change. Psychother Theor Res Pract 19:276–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Prochaska JO, DiClemente CC (1983) Stages and processes of self-change of smoking: toward an integrative model of change. J Consult Clin Psychol 51:390–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Haslam C, Haslam R (2001) A stage specific approach to improving occupational health and safety. In: Hanson MA (ed) Contemporary ergonomics 2001. Taylor & Francis, London, pp 171–176Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Haslam RA (2002) Targeting ergonomics interventions – learning from health promotion. Appl Ergon 33:241–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Whysall ZJ, Haslam C, Haslam R (2006) A staged approach to reducing occupational ill health. Prev Med 43:422–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kazi A (2013) Promoting physical activity in the workplace: a stage of change approach. Ph.D. thesis, Loughborough UniversityGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK
  2. 2.Imperial CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Kings CollegeLondonUK
  4. 4.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations