The influence of learning style on the effectiveness of a worksite physical activity intervention in a university setting Open Access

Keong, Farrah Michelle (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/sq87bt648?locale=en
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Abstract

ABSTRACT

The influence of learning style on the effectiveness of a worksite physical activity intervention in a university setting

By Farrah Keong

Purpose: To evaluate the influence of learning styles on physical activity interventions in the workplace.

Design: The Physical Activity and Lifestyle study was a randomized control trial. Employees from 60 university departments were assigned to five treatment groups.

Subjects: Physically inactive university employees were followed over 9 months. Only those who completed learning style questions (n=337) were included in these analyses

Main Exposure: Learning style (Assimilating, Accommodating, Converging, and Diverging) type based on the Kolb Learning Style Inventory

Intervention: Intervention components included gym membership, educational materials, or time during work to exercise. Participants were randomized to one of five groups: 1) Control, 2) Gym Alone, 3) Gym+ Education, 4) Gym+ Time, 5) Gym+ Education +Time

Outcomes: The primary objective was to examine the effect of learning style (LS) on the interventions, measured by change in physical activity(PA)(number of days meeting CDC recommendations for PA). This hypothesis was tested by examining 1) whether Accommodators and Assimilators responded more to educational interventions than Divergers, and 2) whether Accommodators responded more to an intervention than Divergers and Assimilators. A secondary objective was to explore differences in the use of educational materials among Gym+ Education and Gym+ Time+ Education groups by learning style.

Analysis: Longitudinal generalized linear mixed models were used to model the interaction of LS and treatment group on the outcome PA.

Results: The effect of the educational materials was not significantly different from the other interventions for Divergers compared to others (RR 1.12 (95%CI: 0.96-1.31)). Furthermore, the relationship between Accommodators and others did not differ for the Gym Alone and Gym+ Time interventions compared to the control (RR 1.10 (95%CI: 0.75-1.60)). There was no difference in the educational material use by learning style.

Conclusion: No significant effect of learning style on intervention groups was found, even when LS characteristics were aligned with treatment group. In this study, learning style seemed to have limited impact on physical activity. However, interventions which are designed to target learning styles may see different results.

Key Words: Worksite wellness, physical activity, learning styles

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
BACKGROUND / LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................. 1

Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 1
Measurement of Physical Activity ............................................................................................... 4
Targeted Interventions ................................................................................................................. 6
Workplace Interventions .............................................................................................................. 7
Correlates and Mediators of Physical Activity .......................................................................... 10
Learning Style and Health Education ........................................................................................ 12
Learning Style and Physical Activity......................................................................................... 16
Objectives ................................................................................................................................. 16
Rationale ............................................................................................................................... 17

METHODS ................................................................................................................................... 19

Data Source ............................................................................................................................... 19
Intervention ............................................................................................................................... 19
Study Design .............................................................................................................................. 20
Eligibility ............................................................................................................................... 20
Randomization ....................................................................................................................... 20
Study Population .................................................................................................................... 21
Data Collection ...................................................................................................................... 21
Data Measures ............................................................................................................................ 22
Outcome ................................................................................................................................ 22
Exposure ............................................................................................................................... 23
Covariates .............................................................................................................................. 23
Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................. 24
Descriptive Statistics .............................................................................................................. 24
Covariate-Adjusted Methods ................................................................................................. 25

RESULTS ..................................................................................................................................... 28

Baseline Characteristics ............................................................................................................. 28
The Effect of Learning Style on the Intervention ...................................................................... 28

DISCUSSION ............................................................................................................................... 31

Conclusion ................................................................................................................................ 31
Strengths and Limitations .......................................................................................................... 33
Future Research ......................................................................................................................... 35

References ..................................................................................................................................... 38
Tables ............................................................................................................................................ 45
Figures .......................................................................................................................................... 51
Appendix ....................................................................................................................................... 54

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