The purpose of this study was to determine whether a brief, tailored counselling intervention is effective for increasing physical activity in sedentary women when delivered in the workplace. This prospective randomized trial used a brief intervention based on the Transtheoretical Model. The intervention group received health screening, a brief intervention, and, 2 weeks later, a booster telephone call from a nurse practitioner. The intervention was tailored to each woman's reported exercise behaviour. The 134 women randomized to the intervention were compared with 153 women in a control group who received health counselling not tailored to their exercise behaviour and no telephone call. Six weeks later, the intervention group, when compared to baseline, had significantly improved their physical activity, increasing their amount of weekend physical activity as well as minutes walked for exercise, on errands, total walking, and total daily blocks walked. When compared to controls, they showed significantly greater gains. This test of a brief, tailored strategy provides a critical contribution to the search for efficient, effective ways for nurses to deliver workplace health promotion interventions.
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