The Los Angeles Lift Off: A sociocultural environmental change intervention to integrate physical activity into the workplace

Antronette K. Yancey, William J. McCarthy, Wendell C. Taylor, Angela R Merlo, Constance Gewa, Mark D. Weber, Jonathan E. Fielding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations


Purpose. To present the development and feasibility testing of a sociocultural environmental change intervention strategy aimed at integrating physical activity into workplace routine. Design. Randomized, controlled, post-test only, intervention trial. Setting. Los Angeles County Department of Health Services' worksites. Participants. Four hundred forty-nine employees, predominantly sedentary, overweight, middle-aged women of color, distributed across 26 meetings. Intervention. A single 10-min exercise break during work time involving moderate intensity, low-impact aerobic dance and calisthenic movements to music. Measures. Primary - level of participation, particularly among sedentary staff; secondary - self-perceived health status, satisfaction with current fitness level, and mood/affective state. Results. More than 90% of meeting attendees participated in the exercises. Among completely sedentary individuals, intervention participants' self-perceived health status ratings were significantly lower than controls' (OR = 0.17; 95% CI = 0.05, 0.60; P = 0.0003). Among all respondents not regularly physically active, intervention participants' levels of satisfaction with fitness were more highly correlated with self-ranked physical activity stage of change (r = 0.588) than the control participants' (r = 0.376, z = -2.32, p = 0.02). Among the completely sedentary, control participants reported significantly higher levels of energy than did intervention participants (P < 0.01). Conclusions. Captive audiences may be engaged in brief bouts of exercise as a part of the workday, regardless of physical activity level or stage of change. This experience may also appropriately erode sedentary individuals' self-perception of good health and fitness, providing motivation for adoption of more active lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-856
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • African Americans
  • Latinos
  • Lifestyle change
  • Minority populations
  • Obesity control
  • Organizational change
  • Physical activity
  • Sociocultural environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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