Identifying strategies for increasing employee physical activity levels: findings from the Stanford/Lockheed Exercise Survey

Health Educ Q. Fall 1990;17(3):269-85. doi: 10.1177/109019819001700304.


While worksite exercise programs offer a number of potential advantages with respect to increasing physical activity levels in American adults, typical participation rates remain relatively low. The purpose of this study was to explore employee preferences and needs related to physical activity programming in a major work setting in northern California. Two-thirds (399) of a randomly selected sample of employees responded to a mailed survey. Male and female employees reporting no regular aerobic activity over the past two years more strongly endorsed a number of erroneous beliefs concerning exercise, reported less support for engaging in exercise both at home and at work, and avoided even routine types of activity to a greater extent than more active individuals (p values less than 0.001). Current exercisers reported use of a greater number and variety of motivational strategies as part of their exercise program than past exercisers who were not currently active (p less than 0.001). Respondents, regardless of exercise status and age, reported preferences for moderate-intensity activity occurring away from the workplace which could be performed on one's own rather than in a group or class. Implications of the findings with respect to development of educational and behavioral programs for the current employee population are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • California
  • Education
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health Services*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support