This project is part of ‘ActivAte 2020’, a 3-year workplace wellness programme in the Devon & Cornwall and Dorset Police forces, which aims to promote physical activity, healthy eating and improved sleep for police officers and staff.
The PAW-Force trial focuses on promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour within the police force. The aim is to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a mobile fitness technology intervention (Fitbit® wearable activity monitor and ‘Bupa Boost’ health and wellbeing app). Approximately 180 officers and staff have been recruited to the trial from two sites, Plymouth Basic Command Unit (Devon & Cornwall Police) and North Dorset territorial region (Dorset Police).
The eight month mixed methods trial uses a pre- and post-design, and involves an exploratory analysis of outcomes including physical activity, sedentary time, health and wellbeing, stress, objectively reported sickness absence and self-perceived productivity. Qualitative interviews are being used to explore acceptability and engagement with the technology in the short and long term, and the wider context of opportunities and barriers to physical activity in the police force.
The trial will also explore the acceptability of different app features (individual goal-setting vs. social competitions). An additional survey with managers, commissioners and occupational health staff within the police force will investigate perceived feasibility and acceptability of the intervention at various organisational levels.
This work will add to the evidence base on mobile health technology, physical activity and workplace wellness. The study will improve our understanding of the feasibility and acceptability of wearable fitness technology in a specific workplace setting, and in the longer term. There are potential benefits to the health and wellbeing of individuals and at an organisational level (e.g. improved productivity, reduced sickness absence).