• A survey of habitual daily physical activity of health and fitness employees in Cork

      McGillion, David (University of Chester, 2008-09)
      The purpose of the current study was to investigate the self-reported physical activity of employees in the fitness industry in Cork, Ireland. Convenience sampling was used to distribute Baecke Habitual Physical Activity questionnaires to health clubs in the Cork area. Of the 300 surveys distributed, 107 were completed correctly and returned for analysis (36%). Respondents were grouped by gender, (male: n = 50; female: n = 57), by employment position (manager: n = 38; fitness instructor: n = 52; aerobics instructor: n = 8; personal trainer: n = 9), and by facility type (private: n = 84; public: n = 23). The data was used to produce activity indices broken down into Work, Leisure, Sport and Total. Chi squared analysis and cross tabulations were carried out to investigate if there was a significant relationship between self reported habitual physical activity and employment type, gender and employment position. The data indicated that 28% of the population sampled does not habitually undertake any physical activity outside of work. Results also show that that 69.3% of the participants currently undertake less than thirty minutes per day of habitual walking and/or cycling. This is concerning as the very group of individuals who would act as role models appear not to have adopted a consistent physical activity habit. The impact of this is that the general public who look to health and fitness professionals for advice and motivation may not perceive the health and fitness industry as worthy role models to follow. This may have a negative effect on participation and adherence rates in physical activity thus compounding the growing health and obesity crisis. Recommendations include developing a standard of health and fitness for employees of the fitness industry in order to ensure that the proponents of physical activity are not adopting a “Do as I say, not do as I do” approach to physical activity promotion.