Research opportunity

Would you like to participate in research regarding the benefits of engaging in physical activity outside of work? Taking care of your health not only benefits your general well-being, but also has positive implications for your well-being at work. If you are interested in participating, please click on the link to learn more about the research and to enter your details.

Thank you for interest in participating in the London Sport Workplace Challenge research. Dr. Lennie Waite is interested in studying the effects of leisure time physical activity on employee well-being at work. For more information on her research, please click on the link above. As part of this study, you will be asked to respond to statements regarding your attitudes about work-life, leisure time, and physical activity on two separate occasions. Additionally, you will be asked to supply information regarding your physical activity on a weekly basis.

If you would like to participate, the survey link is below which will take you to our SurveyMonkey page, the survey will take roughly 10-15minutes. Your participation is voluntary and you may refuse to participate or withdraw at any time. You may also refuse to answer any question. Every effort will be made to maintain the confidentiality of your participation in this project. There are no foreseeable risks to participating in this research. While you will not directly benefit from participation, however, your participation may help investigators better understand the interaction between one's individual characteristics, work environment, and physical activity.

Supporting Evidence for the London Sport Workplace Challenge

The LondonSport Workplace Challenge program aims to help organisations increase health and fitness initiatives among individuals within their worksites. The goal of the program is have employees participate at least one time per week for 30 minutes in a sport, such as walking, table tennis, badminton, swimming, running, or netball.

Organisations are interested in fitness programs because of their potential to reduce absenteeism and turnover and increase employee engagement and general health. Previous research has highlighted the benefit of exercise programs in terms of increased employee productivity, job satisfaction, and reduced absenteeism.

The human capital model advocates the investment in the health and well-being of employees. Health valued by employees and employers (Becker, 1864; Grossman, 1972). Grounded in the proposition that workers are a company's most valuable tool, the human capital model boasts the investment in workplace initiatives that will help the physical and mental well-being of employees. A part of this model purports that physical activity initiatives are an investment capable of providing valuable returns to the individual and organisation (Bailey, Hillman, Arent, & Petitpas, 2012). A key part to embracing the human capital model is increasing participation rates. The Workplace Challenge project is dedicated to breaking down barriers to physical activity and increasing activity among previously non-active employees.

Several research studies have highlighted the benefits of physical activity initiatives at organisations. For example, studies have cited a positive relationship between exercise and employee productivity (Bernacki & Baun, 1984; Leutzinger & Blanke, 1991; Rudman, 1987; Robison et al., 1992). In a study of 293 employees from a food retailing company, employees who belonged to the corporate health and fitness program had fewer days absent at work and reported greater general health (Daley & Parfitt, 1996). Additionally, employee fitness programs can have cost saving effects for organisations in terms of reduced absenteeism, turnover, and job-related injuries (Pender, Smith, & Vernof, 1987). In a review of 39 studies linking absenteeism with fitness Shephard (1992) concluded that fitness programs reduced absenteeism by .5-2 days in attendance / year. Furthermore, employees who were members of the corporate health club reported higher levels of psychological well-being. Meta-analytic results support the positive impact of organisational fitness programs in regards to decreased absenteeism and increased job satisfaction (Parks & Steelman, 2008). In a sample of British police officers, physical fitness was related to general happiness and job satisfaction (Kirkcaldy, Cooper, Shepahrd, & Brown, 1994). Organisations that promote a caring climate for employees (i.e., promote the engagement in physical activities for employees) can signal this by providing funding for wellness programs for their employees. These organisations have more satisfied employees and decreased turnover (Burton, 2004; Griffiths, 1996).

Overall, workplace health promotion has a positive impact on the both the organisation and employee. Organisations are able to experience the positive side effects of employee wellness programs without investing in an onsite fitness facility (Kossek, Ozeki, & Kosier, 2001). Employers can offer employees off-site opportunities to employees to pursue physical activity and reap the benefits of having healthier employees. The LondonSport Workplace Challenge program offers participating organisations a chance to enhance health and wellness without investing in an onsite facility. this can be through the support of getting walk or run leaders trained to lead lunch time activities, supporting the purchase of Instant Ping table tennis sets, or even having a pop up netball or football project onsite.