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 Merlo, Constance Gewa, Mark D. Weber, Jonathan E. Fielding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 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


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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