Organizations in Motion™ Study Results Released

by Jack Groppel, PhD

On May 23, 2012, New Balance, one of the world’s leading athletic companies based in Boston, released the results from its Organizations in Motion ™ program conducted with Wellness & Prevention, Inc. Organizations in Motion™ is a workplace experiment measuring the impact of strategic movement (taking short, but frequent physical activity breaks throughout the workday) on associate energy levels, cognition and engagement.

Approximately 750 New Balance associates were recruited for this study in their corporate offices in Boston and Lawrence, Massachusetts. The associates received a survey at the start of the program and again at the end of the program 90 days later. That survey assessed their energy levels and engagement at work. Of the 750, 345 associates completed the pre-program survey and 239 (of the 345) completed the post-program survey.

During the 90-day program, associates received instructions and guidance on how to incorporate strategic movement breaks into their day. Dr. Jack Groppel – Co-founder of the Human Performance Institute and Vice President of Applied Science and Performance Training at Wellness & Prevention, Inc. – delivered a kick-off presentation and ongoing support for associates was provided in the form of a program toolkit, bi-weekly rally calls, and daily emails tips. Furthermore, New Balance solicited volunteer "Movement Champions" who motivated associates to get up and move by providing fitness classes during the day, designing fun and engaging competitions, encouraging leaders to "walk the talk", and reassuring associates they had permission to move – at their desks, on calls, and in meetings.

At the end of the 90-day program, 53 percent of the associates that responded to the survey reported they increased their level of physical activity at work and 89 percent of these respondents stated they would continue to do so. More importantly, the increased movement appeared to have a positive impact on the energy levels and engagement of the associates. 37 percent of associates specifically reported high energy levels in the middle of the day (11 percent higher than pre-program) and 42 percent reported increased engagement and focus at work.

Furthermore, when the associates were asked how they feel at work, almost all measures were significantly higher, particularly the ratings for statements such as "I am enthusiastic about my job", "My job inspires me", "In the morning I feel like going to work", and "At work, I feel bursting with energy."

The data are encouraging and a clear sign that incorporating strategic movement into a workday can have positive impact on energy levels and engagement in the workplace. On May 23, 2012, New Balance, one of the world’s leading athletic companies based in Boston, released the results from its Organizations in Motion™ program conducted with Wellness & Prevention, Inc. Organizations in Motion™ is a workplace experiment measuring the impact of strategic movement (taking short, but frequent physical activity breaks throughout the workday) on associate energy levels, cognition and engagement.