It's time to start changing the game: A 12-week workplace team sport intervention study
2017-09-04T08:41:18Z (GMT) by
Background A 12-week multi-team sport programme was provided to employees of a large services organisation and conducted in workplaces. This programme was used to investigate the short-term effect of regular sports team participation on individual employee and organisational health. Methods A large services organisation participated in this study. Two regional worksites of office workers were assigned as the team sport (intervention) (n = 28 participants) or control (n = 20 participants) groups. The team sport sessions were underpinned by psychological behaviour change theory and consisted of weekly 1-h team sport sessions for 12 weeks. Measures of aerobic fitness, physical activity behaviour, group cohesion, interaction and communication, psychological wellbeing, health, anthropometrics and workplace experiences were recorded pre- and post-intervention. Data were analysed using a series of mixed ANOVAs. Results After 12 weeks significant improvements were observed in VO2 max (+ 4.5 ± 5.8 ml/min kg, P < .002, η 2 p = .182), interpersonal communication within teams (+ 3%, P < .042, η 2 p = .087) and mean weekly physical activity duration (+ 154.74′, P < .002, η 2 p = .071) in the intervention group. A significant (P < .012, η 2 p = .130) effect on body composition was observed in the intervention group. Conclusions Participation in team sport may be an effective method to improve the aerobic fitness and physical activity behaviour of employees, and promote interpersonal communication between colleagues. Individual health outcomes and social interactions have the capacity to influence the health of the organisation. The extent of which these findings are replicable across a scope of organisations should be examined objectively over the long term.