Date of Award

Winter 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

John M. Ritz

Committee Member

Walter F. Deal, III

Committee Member

Robert J. Spina


The problem of this study was to determine if participation in an employer sponsored walking program reduced employees' cardiovascular health risks. The independent variable was the "WalkAbout with Healthy Edge" program and the dependent variables included: body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, amount of exercise, and tobacco use. The study population was an employer group of 1300, and 284 employees registered for the program. Due to attrition, 79 submitted the first month of step logs and participation decreased over the months respectively to 58, 40, 38, 32, and 29. Twenty-three participants submitted six months of walking logs, and pre-test and post-test data. Significant improvement was found between clinical measurements for pre-BMI (M = 30.80, SD = 6.14) and post-BMI (M = 29.996, SD = 5.95), t(22) = 2.65, p = .015 (two-tailed) and pre-systolic blood pressure (M = 128.17, SD = 18.1) compared to post-systolic blood pressure (M = 122.87, SD = 16.4), t(22) = 1.79, p < .05 (one-tailed). This group had a significant improvement in their exercise habits; weekly exercise amounts respectively were 2.82 (1.99) and 4.23 (2.18), t(21) = -3.14, p = .005 (two-tailed). Mean daily steps for the first week were 7451.40 (SD = 3419.48) and 9069.73 (SD = 2678.10), t(22) = 3.14, p = .005 (two-tailed) for week 24. The mean daily steps taken remained below the 10,000 step goal throughout the six-month program. Exercise amount was significantly correlated with each month of steps taken, suggesting that as daily steps increased overall exercise amount increased in a moderately obese, sedentary sample. This group had a very low incidence of tobacco use, which did not change over the course of the study. Clinical measurements on a control group from health screenings pre and post study were evaluated and there were no significant changes in BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol measurements, exercise amount or tobacco use over the six month study period. Based on the findings presented, "WalkAbout with Healthy Edge" program increases physical activity in a workplace setting and improves systolic blood pressure and BMI measurements.