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Degree Show 2018

Emily Humfress

Experience
  • 17 Jaguar Land Rover - Placement Student
  • 15 Progressive Sports Technologies
Dissertation
  • Does reward encourage activity in the workplace?

Final Year Project

Exploring physical activity in the workplace

It is widely recognised that there is a huge issue with sedentary workers in the United Kingdom. The broad aims of this project were to explore physical activity monitor usage within the workplace and to determine if non-financial rewards can encourage workplace activity. This was done through conducting a survey and also carrying out a trial of an intervention to determine the impact of a non-financial reward in increasing workplace physical activity.

Living a sedentary lifestyle is known to be hazardous to health but how can we help change people’s physical activity levels?

A huge percentage of the UK population spend most of their week at work, usually in an office setting, this is where the biggest area of concern is. It is vital that there is a movement from having workers sitting at a desk all day to becoming more physically active in the workplace.

This project looked to explore physical activity monitor usage within the workplace and to determine if non-financial rewards can encourage workplace activity. A survey was constructed to gather data on how employees engage with physical activity monitoring at work and factors that predict that engagement. The user trial consisted of a comparison between two groups, one who were competing for a reward for getting the most steps during the working week and one who were not. The non-financial reward being contested for was two tickets to a major sporting event.

The results from the survey showed that workers do track physical activity but less so at work and that there was a negative correlation between employer empowerment and physical activity. The trial found that physical activity can be increased through incentives such as a non-financial reward but also through information and knowledge.

It is hoped that this study will lead to a companywide weekly competition involving nonfinancial rewards for physical activity in the workplace.