Who provides physical activity support in the workplace? Implications for peer led interventions

Edmunds, Sarah, Lowry, Ruth G. and Sitch, M. (2019) Who provides physical activity support in the workplace? Implications for peer led interventions. Health Education Journal. ISSN 0017-8969

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Abstract

Objective: Social support is one mechanism through which peer support physical activity (PA) interventions influence behaviour. The aim of this study was to explore the sources and characteristics of social support for PA among office-based work colleagues.
Design: A sequential mixed-methods approach was used. First, social network analysis was utilised to map the sources of social support. Then interviews and focus groups were used to explore the characteristics of this support.
Setting: One UK public sector employer in the south of England.
Method: Using an online survey, 99 employees (40 men; Mage = 40 ± 12 years) reported their PA and named specific colleagues who provided four forms of social support for PA (emotional, informational, companionship, validation). Social network diagrams for each support network were visualised using UCINET and Netdraw. Individuals identified as most frequently providing support for PA participated in one-to-one interviews (n = 6) to discuss their perspective on social support for PA in the workplace. Three focus groups explored the characteristics of social support for PA among employees identified within the networks as support seekers or disconnected. These qualitative data were analysed thematically.
Results: Different patterns of relationships between employees were demonstrated for the four forms of support with informational support provided most frequently and validation least frequently. Qualitative data illustrate how each form of support was provided and received, as well as further perceived characteristics of social support.
Conclusion: These findings could help inform the future selection and training of peer PA champions in workplace settings and more widely.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Qualitative, mixed methods, peer support, physical activity, social network analysis, social support, workplace, Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV201 Physical education and training
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Departments > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Sarah Edmunds
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2019 12:21
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 12:21
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/4849

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