The secret to getting fit may simply involve a bit of teamwork. According to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2009; 36 , 133–41), workplace goal setting helped motivate employees to improve their health and fitness standards.
Evaluating Move and Improve, a “community-based program designed to encourage and empower individuals to engage in a healthier lifestyle through physical activity,” the study focused on the activity levels of 1,442 Home Depot employees. During the 3-month intervention, employees set weekly individual and team goals and received rewards upon success. The program solicited significant benefits, as 51% of subjects had accomplished five or more 30-minute moderate exercise sessions or two to three 20-minute vigorous exercise sessions per week during the first 6 weeks, while only 25% of the education-only control group had managed to engage in weekly physical activity.
“Personal and team goals work best when they are self-set, specific about how much activity and when, realistic but attainable and easily assessed, such as by weekly logs or pedometer steps,” stated lead author Rod Dishman, PhD.
To learn more about Move and Improve, visit www.moveandimprove.org.