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Increasing workplace physical activity through motivational and volitional coaching – a randomized controlled trial with truck drivers

Angeli Gawlik (Department of Health and Social Psychology, Institute of Psychology, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany)
Martin Boss (Department of Health and Social Psychology, Institute of Psychology, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany)
Jens Kleinert (Department of Health and Social Psychology, Institute of Psychology, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 21 February 2022

Issue publication date: 29 March 2022

163

Abstract

Purpose

Although the health hazards of truck drivers are well known, only few studies address the health status of this occupational group. The purpose of this empirical research paper is to evaluate the effects of motivational and volitional coaching on workplace physical activity (WPA) with the provision of a vehicle-integrated fitness device.

Design/methodology/approach

Intervention group 1 and intervention group 2 received motivational coaching to improve behavioral internalization. Intervention group 2 received additional volitional coaching to increase physical activity (PA)-related self-efficacy. The control group received only the vehicle-integrated fitness device to perform WPA, as did both intervention groups. Internalization and PA-related self-efficacy were collected four times. WPA was assessed weekly.

Findings

All 140 participating truck drivers were consistently physically active for an average of 85 min (SD = 85.2 min) during motivational coaching, 76 min (SD = 65.0 min) during volitional coaching and 71.0 min (SD = 63.5 min) during follow-up, with no differences found between groups. Variance analyses for repeated measures revealed no intervention effects on WPA, internalization and self-efficacy, and internalization and self-efficacy did not prove to be mediators of increased WPA.

Originality/value

The primary goal of increasing WPA of all participants was achieved, but the present form of coaching cannot be confirmed as a successful strategy. Nevertheless, the results are valuable and could be an impetus for further research on WPA promotion in truck drivers as the creation of an opportunity with the vehicle-integrated fitness device alone led to an increased WPA.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr. Chloe Chermette and Marion Sulprizio for their preliminary work on this project. The authors thank Daimler AG for their support in acquiring study participants and for providing the vehicle-integrated fitness device.

Citation

Gawlik, A., Boss, M. and Kleinert, J. (2022), "Increasing workplace physical activity through motivational and volitional coaching – a randomized controlled trial with truck drivers", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 215-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWHM-04-2021-0077

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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