OFFICE WORKOUT CHALLENGE – BY L&T HEALTH AND FITNESS 2011 MACMA AWARD WINNER NICKY LOWRY, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, CANDIDATE MS HEALTH PROMOTION Results 2011-2013: Objective: The goal of the OWC is threefold: I. Increase fitness center usage II. Motivate inactive members to become active again III. Help members adopt healthier lifestyles Program: The Office Workout Challenge (OWC) is an annual fitness challenge hosted by L&T Health and Fitness at the headquarters of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, DC. Since it’s inception in 2002, the OWC participation numbers have grown each year, and it has become a highly anticipated event. The program format is an 8 week team challenge, with teams of 10 individuals competing against each other to win a highly coveted plaque which is engraved with the winners’ names. An average number of 200 members participate each year. Points are awarded for participation in: I. Health seminars II. Health screenings (additional cost to participant) III. Triathlon week (using stationary bikes, treadmills and rowers) IV. Nutritional challenges V. Team building challenges VI. Regular physical activity VII. Individual goals of weight loss, body fat % loss, and strength increase The 2011 OWC had 24 teams (238 members) participating; double that of the previous year. There were a possible 9,600 workouts that could be completed during the 8 weeks, and there was a 50% workout completion rate. Results 2011: The 2011 program brought about: I. II. III. IV. V. Loss of 335 pounds 31% decrease in body fat 195 pound strength increase Return to center of nine inactive members Increase in center usage; 50% workout completion rate The program also produced an Increase in revenues from health screenings and personal training, although this was not one of the program objectives. This chart shows the results from the OWC for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. There were four individuals in 2011 who had exceptional weight and body fat percentage losses which skewed the data slightly. Even considering these outliers, the average losses, gains and participation rates each year are substantial. Discussion: Population Engagement: Fundamental to the success of any intervention is capturing the attention of the target audience and maintaining their interest throughout the program. By offering a combination of varied and creative activities such as seminars, screenings, personal training, pyramid challenges, a triathlon week, body blast workouts and other team challenges in a short 8 week time period, the L&T staff keeps the population interested and the participation numbers high. 400 350 300 250 2011 2012 2013 200 Teams: A team has a built in social support network, and its relationship to behavior change success is well established. One of the main reasons worksite health programs are so well received is because of the built-in social support from coworkers (McKenzie, Nieger & Thackeray, 2012). As the target population works together in a team challenge format, the OWC program harnesses the motivation that is inherent in a social support system and competitive environment . 150 100 50 0 Weight lost (lbs) Body Fat lost (%) Strength gained * Workouts completed (%) * In 2013, the strength test changed from bench press to push ups in order to bring the OWC into line with standard fitness assessments. Behavior Change Models: Designing a successful intervention is best done with an understanding of behavior change theories (Glanz, Rimer & Viswanath, 2008). I. Precede-Proceed Model – stresses outcomes rather than inputs, and relies on population participation in defining their own high-priority goals (Glanz et al., 2008). The OWC utilizes this theory by offering participants pre-challenge goal-setting sessions to allow individuals the opportunity to set their own goals emphasizing their personal outcome desires. II. Ecological Models - state that there are many factors working together to influence behavior change. By creating a social network of support through the team interaction, and offering programming before/after work and during lunch, the OWC is employing interpersonal and institutional/community constructs from these models (Hayden, 2009). References: Conclusion: Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K. & Viswanath, K. (2008). Health Behavior and Health Education. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons Hayden, J. (2009). Introduction to Health Behavior Theory. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers McKenzie, James F.; Neiger, Brad L.; Thackeray, Rosemary (2012). Planning, Implementing, & Evaluating Health Promotion Programs: A Primer (6th Edition). Benjamin Cummings: Kindle Edition. The OWC in general, and the 2011 program in particular, has a significant impact on the fitness center membership. People anticipate the challenge every year, and start planning their teams and strategies well in advance. The program attains its high level of success through target population engagement, use of teamwork and competition, and by being grounded in known behavior change models.