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Self-Directed Walk With Ease Workplace Wellness Program — Montana, 2015–2017
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    30462629
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6289078
  • Description:
    Arthritis occurs in 27% of adults in Montana, among whom 50% have activity limitations, 16% have social participation restrictions, and 23% have severe joint pain attributable to arthritis (1). Physical activity is beneficial in managing arthritis symptoms and in preventing other chronic diseases (2). Walk With Ease is a 6-week evidence-based physical activity program recommended by CDC to increase physical activity and help improve arthritis symptoms (3). In 2015, Walk With Ease was added to an ongoing workplace wellness program for Montana state employees; the results for five outcomes (minutes spent walking, engaging in other physical activity [including swimming, bicycling, other aerobic equipment use, and other aerobic exercise], stretching, pain, and fatigue) were analyzed by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and CDC. Outcomes at baseline (pretest), 6 weeks after the program (posttest), and 6 months later (follow-up) were analyzed by self-reported arthritis status at the time the participant enrolled in the program. Significant increases (p<0.05) in the mean number of minutes spent per week walking and engaging in other physical activity were observed among participants with and without arthritis at the 6-week posttest. Time spent stretching did not change significantly at posttest for either group. Mean pain levels among participants without arthritis increased significantly both at the 6-week posttest and 6-month follow-up; however, pain and fatigue decreased significantly at posttest and follow-up for participants with or without arthritis who began the program with moderate or severe pain and fatigue levels. The data from these analyses suggest that, as a component of a workplace wellness program, self-directed Walk With Ease might be effective in increasing physical activity not only among adults with arthritis, but also among persons without arthritis.

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