An evaluation of Lincolnshire Sports’ ‘Workplace Challenge’ physical activity programme

Carter, Alice and Bishop, Daniel and Middleton, Geoff and Evans, Adam (2014) An evaluation of Lincolnshire Sports’ ‘Workplace Challenge’ physical activity programme. Technical Report. University of Lincoln.

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Abstract

This report presents an evaluation of the Workplace Challenge, a County Sport Partnership led physical activity programme which utilises a website designed to engage people from workplaces in physical activity. The Workplace Challenge operated within the geographical boundary of Lincolnshire and thus targeted workplaces within this region. The overarching aim of the Workplace Challenge was to enact culture change within organisations in terms of employees’ physical activity habits.

Methods
A methods-driven, Programme Evaluation model was adopted which utilised qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. Qualitative data was obtained from three case studies of different groups engaged in the Workplace Challenge: A workplace from the private sector, a workplace from the public sector, and individual participants who took part in the programme but were either not associated to a workplace or were the sole representative from their workplace. Purposive samples of participants were selected from each case study who completed a semi structured interview regarding the programme, with results analysed via thematic analysis to highlight common themes. Quantitative analysis was conducted utilising the information stored on the Workplace Challenge website and using a computer script developed with MATLAB®, (MathWorks, Massachusetts, USA).

Key Findings
Key qualitative findings related to the social networks and relationships which operated during the programme and how these influenced programme delivery and uptake. The presence of a key programme driver within a workplace appeared crucial to the successful delivery of the programme; ensuring employees were informed, motivated and connected throughout the programme. Team bonding and intra-workplace competition were prominent outcomes of the programme, with competition motivating increases in physical activity levels amongst many individuals. Feelings of isolation were also apparent from individuals engaged in the programme who felt unconnected to a wider team, as well as negative feelings which stemmed from an individual comparing their physical captivity levels to a more active peer. With reference to the Workplace Challenge programme, responses indicated that the active transport element of the programme was unknown by many individuals, as well as the fact the programme website was staying live after the completion of the challenge. There also existed ambiguity over how to classify exercise intensity on the Workplace Challenge website. Key quantitative findings indicated the varied level of engagement which was apparent from individuals involved in the programme, with a large range of website activity entries being recorded and significant variations in durations of activity completed. The average number of modes of activity completed per participant was low indicating that individuals preferred to undertake a few chosen activities as opposed to the programme encouraging new activity forms.

Keywords:Programme evaluation, Sport Science
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C600 Sports Science
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:15920
Deposited On:01 Nov 2014 21:39

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