Feasibility and Effect of a Peer Modeling Workplace Physical Activity Intervention for Women

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Most working women do not meet current guidelines for physical activity (PA). A 12-week pilot study tested a workplace, peer modeling PA intervention. Inactive female employees from a health system were randomized to an attention control group (ACG; n = 26) or an intervention group (IG; n = 26). The ACG received health information. The IG participated in six group sessions with an active peer model and received an exercise prescription and PA information. Pre and post measures were PA (ActiGraph), Estimated VO2max (cycle ergometer), resting heart rate (HR), glucose and lipids, and cardiovascular risk. Using hierarchical linear modeling, no significant group by time effects were found. Although PA increased in both groups, F(df = 1) = 11.4, p = .002, the IG had greater improvements in fitness (VO2max, HR) and cardiovascular risk (total cholesterol, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein [LDL], calculated risk score) compared with ACG. Results support repeating this intervention in a fully powered study.

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