The impact of the Canadian Standardized Test of Fitness and of health counselling on health attitudes and behaviour
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The purpose of this research study was to determine whether or not the use of a single day of Personal Wellness Evaluations would be meaningful enough to change the attitudes of participants toward adopting a healthier lifestyle, or if it was necessary to include regular planned health counselling alon-g with the Personal Wellness Evaluations in order to'observe changes in beliefs, attitudes and behaviours toward active living and the adoption of a healthier lifestyle. Attitudes and behaviours toward physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices were assessed through a questionnaire composed of the following instruments: Fishbein and Ajzen Attitude and Behaviour Questionnaire, Leisure Behaviour Questionnaire, Ten Centimeter Bipolar Health Continuum, Neugarten Life Satisfaction Assessment, Job Description Index, Selected questions from the Ontario Health Survey, and the Symptom Reporting Questionnaire. Physical fitness evaluation consisted of the Canadian Standardized Test of Fitness, measures of blood pressure, and total cholesterol. The participants were divided into three groups: Group 1- CSTF & health counselling, Group 2- CSTF only, and Group 3- a control group. All three groups received the questionnaire both at the beginning and at the end of the study. Group 1 and Group 2 also participated in fitness testing at these same times, with a three-month time interval between test times. Group 1 also received weekly one-hour health education sessions during the three months between fitness testing. While there were some differences found between the three groups in this study, the results of this study suggested that this three-month workplace wellness program had no impact on the participants' attitudes and behaviours toward health and physical activity. There were no significant differences in the physical fitness measures between Group 1 and Group 2 , nor in the participants' questionnaire responses. These results may be due to the participants' lack of compliance to this wellness program. Employees who 11 participate in a workplace weIlness program must be self-motivated to comply with the program in order to receive the full benefits the program has to offer. Some participants in this study did not have the internal motivation necessary to remain in the study for the three-month period. Future research may consider implementing a workplace wellness program for a longer duration as well as incorporating a specific physical fitness program for the participants to follow. An exercise program could improve the participants' physical fitness, while the health counselling would give the individuals the health education necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle.