UGA researchers receive $1.3 million CDC grant to study workplace physical activity intervention

October 25, 2004

Workers may be taking more exercise breaks than snack breaks in the future if a team of University of Georgia exercise and health researchers finds that workplace fitness programs are just what the doctor ordered.

Despite evidence that physical inactivity is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers, only a third of adults in the United States regularly participate in recommended levels of either moderate or vigorous physical activity.

In an effort to increase the physical activity level of the general population, federal health officials have identified workplaces as important settings for fitness programs. However the effectiveness of such programs has yet to be determined by sound research.

The UGA team, led by Rod Dishman, a professor of exercise science in UGA's College of Education, has received a $1.3 million grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week physical activity program in a three-year study involving 1,600 male and female employees in 16 worksites of The Home Depot, Inc., across the United States and Canada.

Co-principal investigators in the project, titled "WAGES: Workplace Activity by Employee Goal Setting," include UGA colleagues David DeJoy, professor, and Mark Wilson, associate professor, both in health promotion and behavior, and Bob Vandenberg, a professor of management. DeJoy and Wilson founded The Workplace Health Group, a multidisciplinary research group that studies workplace health and organizational effectiveness.

A sedentary lifestyle contributes directly to an estimated 200,000 deaths annually from coronary heart disease (CHD), type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. The combined effect of physical inactivity and poor diet accounts for more than 300,000 deaths each year and is a key contributor to the 50 percent increase in obesity among U.S. adults during the past decade, say health experts.

"Observational studies have demonstrated that the risk of all-cause and CHD mortality is about 50 percent lower in physically active men and women than in their sedentary peers," said Dishman. "Regular exercise is also associated with elevated HDL-cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) and enhanced insulin sensitivity, which together lower the odds of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Overweight adults who are physically active have lower morbidity and mortality than normal weight adults who are sedentary.

"Moreover moderate-to-vigorous physical activity increases cardiorespiratory fitness, which is independently associated with reduced risk of CHD morbidity and mortality."

Workplaces offer unique opportunities to encourage adults and their families to increase their physical activity. Most adults spend half of their waking hours at the workplace, providing opportunities for individualized and mass reach interventions to be implemented, UGA researchers say.

"Evidence suggests that workplace fitness programs can be cost-effective, possibly reducing employer costs for insurance premiums, disability benefits and medical expenses," said Dishman. "Other possible benefits include improved workplace morale in areas such as job satisfaction, perceived organizational commitment, turnover intentions and absenteeism, and feelings of increased energy and less fatigue."

The UGA researchers say the focus of the study will be to determine the effects of a multilevel intervention aimed at personal goal-setting by employees and ecologically based organizational action designed to promote physical activity and a healthy workplace.

"It's all about getting employees to set personal and group goals in their personal leisure activity and about helping employee-management teams create a better environment to promote activity," said Dishman.

University of Georgia

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to