Research Study Abstract

An Intervention To Increase Physical Activity And Reduce Sedentary Time In Middle-aged Males: ManUp UWS

  • Presented on May 28, 2014

Background: Physical inactivity and sedentary time (ST) have been established as independent risk factors for chronic diseases, many of which are more common in males. Promoting physical activity (PA) and reducing ST in males can be challenging, and interventions targeting males are limited.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to adapt, implement, and evaluate an internet-based intervention designed to increase levels of PA and reduce ST in males aged 35-64 years, employed at the University of Western Sydney (UWS).

Methods: ManUp UWS was a 12-week, two-arm randomised controlled trial comparing an internet-based intervention (receiving access to the ManUp UWS website and printed materials on PA, ST, and health) to a printed resources comparison group (receiving only printed materials). A total of 56 male employees participated, and data on outcomes of PA, ST, weight, BMI, waist circumference, and blood pressure were collected at baseline, and at 12-week and 24-week follow-up. To measure PA and ST, participants wore an ActiGraph GT3X accelerometer for 7 days at each time-point. Linear mixed models were used to assess changes in outcomes. The mean (±SD) age of participants was 48.2y (±7.1), the mean BMI was 30.8kg/m2 (±5.2) and 66.1% of participants were nonacademic staff.

Results: At 24-week follow-up, there were no signifi cant group-by-time effects observed for light PA (F = .11, df = 51.16, p = .89), moderate-vigorous PA (F = 2.75, df = 54.25, p = .07), ST (F = .31, df = 49.66, p = .73), or any other secondary outcomes. There were, however, signifi cant time effects observed for weight (F = 6.08, df = 47.00, p < .05), BMI (F = 6.34, df = 47.01, p < .05), and waist circumference (F = 15.45, df = 47.39, p < .001).

Conclusion: Although there were no signifi cant changes in PA or ST observed at 24-week follow-up, some participants experienced quite substantial improvements in weight-related outcomes, with changes in weight ranging from -21.7kg to +7.6kg and changes in waist circumference ranging from -18.0cm to +10.4cm. The signifi cant effects observed for these measurements across time suggest that both approaches were somewhat successful in terms of improving weight and related outcomes. Further opportunities to increase PA and reduce ST need to be explored in intervention studies in university environments.

Presented at

ACSM 2014 Annual Meeting