A loyalty scheme to encourage physical activity in office workers: a cluster RCT

Ruth Hunter, Aisling Gough, Jennifer Murray, Jianjun Tang, Sarah Brennan, Oliver Chrzanowski-Smith, Angela Carlin, Chris Patterson, Alberto Longo, W George Hutchinson, Lindsay Prior, Mark Tully, David French, Jean Adams, Emma McIntosh, Yiqiao Xin, Frank Kee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Increasing physical activity in the workplace can provide physical and mental health benefits for employees and economic benefits through reduced absenteeism and increased productivity for the employer. However, there is limited evidence on effective behaviour change interventions in workplace settings that lead to maintained physical activity. This study aimed to address this gap and contribute to the evidence base for effective, and cost-effective, workplace interventions.Objectives: To determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Physical Activity Loyalty (PAL) Scheme, a multi-component intervention based on concepts similar to those that underpin a high-street loyalty card, aimed at encouraging habitual physical activity behaviour and maintained increases in mean steps/day. Design: A cluster-randomised controlled trial and embedded economic evaluation, behavioural economic experiments, mediation analyses and process evaluation. Setting: Office-based employees from public sector organisations in Belfast and Lisburn city centres, Northern Ireland.Participants: 853 participants (mean age 43.6 years (SD 9.6); 71% female) were randomly allocated by cluster to either the Intervention Group or (Waiting-List) Control Group. Intervention: The six month intervention consisted of financial incentives (retail vouchers), feedback and other evidence-based behaviour change techniques. Sensors situated in the vicinity of the workplaces allowed participants to monitor their accumulated minutes of physical activity. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was mean steps/day recorded using a sealed pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker CW-701, Japan) worn on the waist for seven consecutive days at six and 12 months post-intervention. Secondary outcomes included health, mental wellbeing, quality of life, work absenteeism and presenteeism and use of healthcare resources.Results: The mean steps/day were significantly lower for the Intervention Group compared to the control group (6,990 [SD 3,078] vs 7,576 [SD 3,345] respectively, adjusted mean difference= -336, 95% CI: -612 to -60, P=0.02) at six months post-baseline, but not significantly lower at 12 months post-baseline. There was a small but significant enhancement of mental wellbeing, in the Intervention Group (difference between groups for the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale [WEMWBS] of 1.34 points, 95% CI: 0.48 to 2.20), but not for the other secondary outcomes. An economic evaluation suggested that, overall, the scheme was not cost-effective compared to no intervention. The intervention was £25.85 (95% CI: -29.89, 81.60) more costly per participant but had no effect on QALYs (incremental QALY= -0.0000891, 95% CI: -0.008, 0.008).Limitations: Significant re-structuring of participating organisations during the study resulted in lower than anticipated recruitment and retention rates. Technical issues affected intervention fidelity. Conclusions: Overall, assignment to the Intervention Group resulted in a small but significant decline in mean pedometer-measured steps/day at six months relative to baseline, compared to the waiting-list control group. The PAL Scheme was deemed to be not cost-effective compared to no intervention, primarily due to no additional QALY gained through the intervention.Future Work: Research to better understand the mechanisms of physical activity behaviour change maintenance will help the design of future interventions.
LanguageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Research
Volume7
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2019

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Workplace
Quality-Adjusted Life Years
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Absenteeism
Waiting Lists
Costs and Cost Analysis
Control Groups
Mental Health
Behavioral Economics
Organizations
Northern Ireland
Public Sector
Insurance Benefits
Motivation
Japan
Randomized Controlled Trials
Maintenance
Economics
Quality of Life
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

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Hunter, R., Gough, A., Murray, J., Tang, J., Brennan, S., Chrzanowski-Smith, O., ... Kee, F. (2019). A loyalty scheme to encourage physical activity in office workers: a cluster RCT. Public Health Research, 7(15). https://doi.org/10.3310/phr07150
Hunter, Ruth ; Gough, Aisling ; Murray, Jennifer ; Tang, Jianjun ; Brennan, Sarah ; Chrzanowski-Smith, Oliver ; Carlin, Angela ; Patterson, Chris ; Longo, Alberto ; Hutchinson, W George ; Prior, Lindsay ; Tully, Mark ; French, David ; Adams, Jean ; McIntosh, Emma ; Xin, Yiqiao ; Kee, Frank. / A loyalty scheme to encourage physical activity in office workers: a cluster RCT. In: Public Health Research. 2019 ; Vol. 7, No. 15.
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abstract = "Background: Increasing physical activity in the workplace can provide physical and mental health benefits for employees and economic benefits through reduced absenteeism and increased productivity for the employer. However, there is limited evidence on effective behaviour change interventions in workplace settings that lead to maintained physical activity. This study aimed to address this gap and contribute to the evidence base for effective, and cost-effective, workplace interventions.Objectives: To determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Physical Activity Loyalty (PAL) Scheme, a multi-component intervention based on concepts similar to those that underpin a high-street loyalty card, aimed at encouraging habitual physical activity behaviour and maintained increases in mean steps/day. Design: A cluster-randomised controlled trial and embedded economic evaluation, behavioural economic experiments, mediation analyses and process evaluation. Setting: Office-based employees from public sector organisations in Belfast and Lisburn city centres, Northern Ireland.Participants: 853 participants (mean age 43.6 years (SD 9.6); 71{\%} female) were randomly allocated by cluster to either the Intervention Group or (Waiting-List) Control Group. Intervention: The six month intervention consisted of financial incentives (retail vouchers), feedback and other evidence-based behaviour change techniques. Sensors situated in the vicinity of the workplaces allowed participants to monitor their accumulated minutes of physical activity. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was mean steps/day recorded using a sealed pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker CW-701, Japan) worn on the waist for seven consecutive days at six and 12 months post-intervention. Secondary outcomes included health, mental wellbeing, quality of life, work absenteeism and presenteeism and use of healthcare resources.Results: The mean steps/day were significantly lower for the Intervention Group compared to the control group (6,990 [SD 3,078] vs 7,576 [SD 3,345] respectively, adjusted mean difference= -336, 95{\%} CI: -612 to -60, P=0.02) at six months post-baseline, but not significantly lower at 12 months post-baseline. There was a small but significant enhancement of mental wellbeing, in the Intervention Group (difference between groups for the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale [WEMWBS] of 1.34 points, 95{\%} CI: 0.48 to 2.20), but not for the other secondary outcomes. An economic evaluation suggested that, overall, the scheme was not cost-effective compared to no intervention. The intervention was £25.85 (95{\%} CI: -29.89, 81.60) more costly per participant but had no effect on QALYs (incremental QALY= -0.0000891, 95{\%} CI: -0.008, 0.008).Limitations: Significant re-structuring of participating organisations during the study resulted in lower than anticipated recruitment and retention rates. Technical issues affected intervention fidelity. Conclusions: Overall, assignment to the Intervention Group resulted in a small but significant decline in mean pedometer-measured steps/day at six months relative to baseline, compared to the waiting-list control group. The PAL Scheme was deemed to be not cost-effective compared to no intervention, primarily due to no additional QALY gained through the intervention.Future Work: Research to better understand the mechanisms of physical activity behaviour change maintenance will help the design of future interventions.",
author = "Ruth Hunter and Aisling Gough and Jennifer Murray and Jianjun Tang and Sarah Brennan and Oliver Chrzanowski-Smith and Angela Carlin and Chris Patterson and Alberto Longo and Hutchinson, {W George} and Lindsay Prior and Mark Tully and David French and Jean Adams and Emma McIntosh and Yiqiao Xin and Frank Kee",
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Hunter, R, Gough, A, Murray, J, Tang, J, Brennan, S, Chrzanowski-Smith, O, Carlin, A, Patterson, C, Longo, A, Hutchinson, WG, Prior, L, Tully, M, French, D, Adams, J, McIntosh, E, Xin, Y & Kee, F 2019, 'A loyalty scheme to encourage physical activity in office workers: a cluster RCT', Public Health Research, vol. 7, no. 15. https://doi.org/10.3310/phr07150

A loyalty scheme to encourage physical activity in office workers: a cluster RCT. / Hunter, Ruth; Gough, Aisling; Murray, Jennifer; Tang, Jianjun; Brennan, Sarah; Chrzanowski-Smith, Oliver; Carlin, Angela; Patterson, Chris; Longo, Alberto; Hutchinson, W George; Prior, Lindsay; Tully, Mark; French, David; Adams, Jean; McIntosh, Emma; Xin, Yiqiao; Kee, Frank.

In: Public Health Research, Vol. 7, No. 15, 31.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A loyalty scheme to encourage physical activity in office workers: a cluster RCT

AU - Hunter, Ruth

AU - Gough, Aisling

AU - Murray, Jennifer

AU - Tang, Jianjun

AU - Brennan, Sarah

AU - Chrzanowski-Smith, Oliver

AU - Carlin, Angela

AU - Patterson, Chris

AU - Longo, Alberto

AU - Hutchinson, W George

AU - Prior, Lindsay

AU - Tully, Mark

AU - French, David

AU - Adams, Jean

AU - McIntosh, Emma

AU - Xin, Yiqiao

AU - Kee, Frank

PY - 2019/8/31

Y1 - 2019/8/31

N2 - Background: Increasing physical activity in the workplace can provide physical and mental health benefits for employees and economic benefits through reduced absenteeism and increased productivity for the employer. However, there is limited evidence on effective behaviour change interventions in workplace settings that lead to maintained physical activity. This study aimed to address this gap and contribute to the evidence base for effective, and cost-effective, workplace interventions.Objectives: To determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Physical Activity Loyalty (PAL) Scheme, a multi-component intervention based on concepts similar to those that underpin a high-street loyalty card, aimed at encouraging habitual physical activity behaviour and maintained increases in mean steps/day. Design: A cluster-randomised controlled trial and embedded economic evaluation, behavioural economic experiments, mediation analyses and process evaluation. Setting: Office-based employees from public sector organisations in Belfast and Lisburn city centres, Northern Ireland.Participants: 853 participants (mean age 43.6 years (SD 9.6); 71% female) were randomly allocated by cluster to either the Intervention Group or (Waiting-List) Control Group. Intervention: The six month intervention consisted of financial incentives (retail vouchers), feedback and other evidence-based behaviour change techniques. Sensors situated in the vicinity of the workplaces allowed participants to monitor their accumulated minutes of physical activity. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was mean steps/day recorded using a sealed pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker CW-701, Japan) worn on the waist for seven consecutive days at six and 12 months post-intervention. Secondary outcomes included health, mental wellbeing, quality of life, work absenteeism and presenteeism and use of healthcare resources.Results: The mean steps/day were significantly lower for the Intervention Group compared to the control group (6,990 [SD 3,078] vs 7,576 [SD 3,345] respectively, adjusted mean difference= -336, 95% CI: -612 to -60, P=0.02) at six months post-baseline, but not significantly lower at 12 months post-baseline. There was a small but significant enhancement of mental wellbeing, in the Intervention Group (difference between groups for the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale [WEMWBS] of 1.34 points, 95% CI: 0.48 to 2.20), but not for the other secondary outcomes. An economic evaluation suggested that, overall, the scheme was not cost-effective compared to no intervention. The intervention was £25.85 (95% CI: -29.89, 81.60) more costly per participant but had no effect on QALYs (incremental QALY= -0.0000891, 95% CI: -0.008, 0.008).Limitations: Significant re-structuring of participating organisations during the study resulted in lower than anticipated recruitment and retention rates. Technical issues affected intervention fidelity. Conclusions: Overall, assignment to the Intervention Group resulted in a small but significant decline in mean pedometer-measured steps/day at six months relative to baseline, compared to the waiting-list control group. The PAL Scheme was deemed to be not cost-effective compared to no intervention, primarily due to no additional QALY gained through the intervention.Future Work: Research to better understand the mechanisms of physical activity behaviour change maintenance will help the design of future interventions.

AB - Background: Increasing physical activity in the workplace can provide physical and mental health benefits for employees and economic benefits through reduced absenteeism and increased productivity for the employer. However, there is limited evidence on effective behaviour change interventions in workplace settings that lead to maintained physical activity. This study aimed to address this gap and contribute to the evidence base for effective, and cost-effective, workplace interventions.Objectives: To determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Physical Activity Loyalty (PAL) Scheme, a multi-component intervention based on concepts similar to those that underpin a high-street loyalty card, aimed at encouraging habitual physical activity behaviour and maintained increases in mean steps/day. Design: A cluster-randomised controlled trial and embedded economic evaluation, behavioural economic experiments, mediation analyses and process evaluation. Setting: Office-based employees from public sector organisations in Belfast and Lisburn city centres, Northern Ireland.Participants: 853 participants (mean age 43.6 years (SD 9.6); 71% female) were randomly allocated by cluster to either the Intervention Group or (Waiting-List) Control Group. Intervention: The six month intervention consisted of financial incentives (retail vouchers), feedback and other evidence-based behaviour change techniques. Sensors situated in the vicinity of the workplaces allowed participants to monitor their accumulated minutes of physical activity. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was mean steps/day recorded using a sealed pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker CW-701, Japan) worn on the waist for seven consecutive days at six and 12 months post-intervention. Secondary outcomes included health, mental wellbeing, quality of life, work absenteeism and presenteeism and use of healthcare resources.Results: The mean steps/day were significantly lower for the Intervention Group compared to the control group (6,990 [SD 3,078] vs 7,576 [SD 3,345] respectively, adjusted mean difference= -336, 95% CI: -612 to -60, P=0.02) at six months post-baseline, but not significantly lower at 12 months post-baseline. There was a small but significant enhancement of mental wellbeing, in the Intervention Group (difference between groups for the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale [WEMWBS] of 1.34 points, 95% CI: 0.48 to 2.20), but not for the other secondary outcomes. An economic evaluation suggested that, overall, the scheme was not cost-effective compared to no intervention. The intervention was £25.85 (95% CI: -29.89, 81.60) more costly per participant but had no effect on QALYs (incremental QALY= -0.0000891, 95% CI: -0.008, 0.008).Limitations: Significant re-structuring of participating organisations during the study resulted in lower than anticipated recruitment and retention rates. Technical issues affected intervention fidelity. Conclusions: Overall, assignment to the Intervention Group resulted in a small but significant decline in mean pedometer-measured steps/day at six months relative to baseline, compared to the waiting-list control group. The PAL Scheme was deemed to be not cost-effective compared to no intervention, primarily due to no additional QALY gained through the intervention.Future Work: Research to better understand the mechanisms of physical activity behaviour change maintenance will help the design of future interventions.

U2 - 10.3310/phr07150

DO - 10.3310/phr07150

M3 - Article

VL - 7

JO - Public Health Research

T2 - Public Health Research

JF - Public Health Research

SN - 2050-439X

IS - 15

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Hunter R, Gough A, Murray J, Tang J, Brennan S, Chrzanowski-Smith O et al. A loyalty scheme to encourage physical activity in office workers: a cluster RCT. Public Health Research. 2019 Aug 31;7(15). https://doi.org/10.3310/phr07150