Purpose – Health promotion programs (HPPs) are increasingly prevalent at universities due to the numerous documented benefits in other various work environments. However, universities are unique work environments with various job duties and responsibilities. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine differences in participation in university HPPs among faculty, staff and administration. Further, barriers to participation were examined as well as an analysis of those meeting weekly physical activity (PA) recommendations. Design/methodology/approach – An electronic survey was sent to all employees at a large, metropolitan university ( n =3,603), that inquired about participation in the university HPP in the last six months and their perceived barriers to participation. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess PA amount, and thus, if the employee was meeting the weekly PA recommendations was determined. Findings – Results ( n =308) indicated a difference in HPP participation rates between all three job classifications ( χ 2: p < 0.001; staff highest, faculty lowest). Unique barriers were identified for each job classification such as time constraints, following their own exercise program, and schedule conflicts. Results also indicated a difference in those meeting PA recommendations ( χ 2: p < 0.001; faculty highest, staff lowest). Originality/value – The results of this study suggest that to maximize effectiveness of university HPPs, administrators should recognize the differences in barriers to participation among different classifications of university employees; specific needs per job classification should also be considered. By taking these types of factors into consideration when planning, university HPPs can target specific employees with evidence-based communications and strategies for optimal participation, effectiveness and outcomes.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 9, 2015