Relationship between employment category and gender on quality of life, physical activity and their barriers and motivators, for full-time university staff

Leicht, Anthony Scott, Sealey, Rebecca M., and Devine, Sue (2013) Relationship between employment category and gender on quality of life, physical activity and their barriers and motivators, for full-time university staff. International Journal of Workplace Health Managment, 6 (3). pp. 160-173.

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Abstract

Purpose – There has been considerable interest in worksite health programmes to improve employee health and productivity with programme effectiveness possibly influenced by employment category and gender. The purpose of this paper is to examine the current quality of life (QOL), physical activity (PA) levels, sitting times, and barriers/motivators to undertaking PA between academic and professional, and male and female staff within a university workplace.

Design/methodology/approach – Participants (105 males, 192 females, n=297) employed as full-time staff of a regional university completed an online survey with differences between staff categories (academic vs professional) and genders identified via ANCOVA using sitting time and working hours as covariates. Relationships between variables were assessed using Spearman's Rank correlations.

Findings – Academic and male staff reported greater working hours (~7-25 per cent, p<0.05) but similar QOL, seven-day total PA (~3,600 MET-minutes per week) and sitting times (~6-7 hours per day) compared to professional and female staff. The most common barriers for PA were lack of time or energy, with motivators including to feel good or improve health. Male staff reported these less frequently compared to females (~13-25 per cent, p<0.05). Significant correlations between working hours and QOL (=-0.157 to -0.220, p<0.05), sitting time and QOL (=-0.195 to 0.171, p<0.05), and PA levels and QOL (=0.141-0.192, p<0.05) were identified for all staff.

Originality/value – The current study has demonstrated significant employment and gender differences in working hours with staff exhibiting similar QOL, PA and sitting levels. Gender differences in working hours, and PA barriers/motivators may provide important foci for the development of worksite health programmes to improve staff health and well-being.

Item ID: 31069
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1753-836X
Keywords: stress, employee behaviour, exercise, health and productivity, workplace health
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2014 05:56
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 100%
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