Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
26/04/2012
Date assigned
22/05/2012
Last edited
26/11/2015
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Completed
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
The aim of the study was to assess the effect of walking in reducing the effects of workplace stress which is related to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). For example altered heart rate response to stress, high blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI). Further to this, the study aimed to assess whether the environment in which the lunchtime walk took place could impact the results of the study.

Who can participate?
Participants ranged in age from 18 to 65 years. Participants were required to be healthy, that is free from any cardiovascular or neurological disease and not receiving medication that could affect either system. Participants also needed to be able to take part in fairly intense exercise.

What does the study involve?
This study consisted of an 8-week study period. During this time participants were randomly allocated to one of three groups. The groups were two lunchtime walking group and one control group. The first walking group consisted of a 2km nature route. The other walking group consisted of is a 2km route that is predominantly a built environment. Participants allocated to these groups were required to walk their given route twice a week during two separate lunch breaks. The third group was a waiting-control group who were required to continue with their regular lunchtime activities. Those in the waiting control group will be given access to the walking routes at the end of the 8 week intervention period. Following this period participants were able to walk in either environment and as many times as they wished as long as it was during their lunch break. Walking habits were recorded by the participants and primary and secondary outcome measures were assessed again after 3 months. Collection of activity diaries finished in December 2011.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Expected improvements in health and well-being. There was a small risk of injury when walking around the prescribed walking routes however a full risk assessment was carried out prior to the start of the study and participants were advised on how to minimise these risks e.g. appropriate footwear and notifying a colleague when leaving for a walk.

Where is the study run from?
Centre for Sport and Exercise Science (CSES), University of Essex

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
April 2011 to December 2011.

Who is funding the study?
The Economic and Social Research Council and the British Heart Foundation

Who is the main contact?
Dr Valerie Gladwell
vglad@essex.ac.uk

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Dr Valerie Gladwell

ORCID ID

Contact details

University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
Colchester
CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom
-
vglad@essex.ac.uk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

N/A

Study information

Scientific title

Walks4work: Rationale and study design to investigate walking at lunchtime in the workplace setting

Acronym

Study hypothesis

1. After 8 weeks the walking groups would show improved response and recovery of heart rate and vagal tone to acute stress as compared to the waiting control group
2. The walk in the nature environment would improve heart rate response and recovery to an acute stress as compared to the built environment condition

Ethics approval

Cambridgeshire NHS Research Ethics Committee, 21/10/2010, ref: 10/H0305/66

Study design

Randomised waiting-control group trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Other

Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet

Condition

Modifying workplace stress

Intervention

Participants were assigned to a natural walking environment (n = 32) vs. built walking environment (n = 33) vs. waiting-control group (n = 29) for an 8 week period. Following this all participants, including the waiting control group, were given the option of walking either of the two routes when walking at lunchtime. This stage of the study lasted for 3 months following the 8-week intervention period.

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Heart rate responses to and recovery from a stressor
2. Changes in vagal activity over the stressor and in recovery measured using the high frequency component of heart rate variability (HRV) analysis

Secondary outcome measures

1. Levels of lunchtime physical activity
2. An objective biomarker of stress, cortisol
3. Subjective ratings of stress and mental health assessed using questionnaires, which were SF-8, Perceived stress scale, work engagement, job satisfaction, Rosenburg's self-esteem and the positive and negative affect scale
4. Changes in physical cardiovascular risk factors of blood pressure, body mass index, heart rate variability, waist circumference, and predicted aerobic fitness

Overall trial start date

16/04/2011

Overall trial end date

16/12/2011

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Aged between 18 - 65 years old
2. Healthy
3. Able to participate in fairly intense exercise

Participant type

Patient

Age group

Adult

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

94

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Participants outside of give age range
2. Those with cardiovascular and/or neurological conditions or taking medication which affect either of these systems
3. Anyone who cannot participate in fairly intense exercise

Recruitment start date

16/04/2011

Recruitment end date

16/12/2011

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of Essex
Colchester
CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

Economic and Social Research Council (UK)

Sponsor details

Polaris House
North Star Avenue
Swindon
SN2 1UJ
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Research council

Website

http://www.esrc.ac.uk/

Organisation

British Heart Foundation

Sponsor details

Greater London House
180 Hampstead Road
London
NW1 7AW
United Kingdom

Sponsor type

Charity

Website

Funders

Funder type

Research council

Funder name

Economic Social Research Council (UK) - Early career fellowship ref: RES-064-27-0019)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Funder name

British Heart Foundation (UK) - Non-clinical PhD studentship ref: FS/10/32/28204

Alternative name(s)

BHF

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

foundation

Location

United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

2012 protocol in: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22830646
2014 results in: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24623515

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes