Appendix D: Gaps in the evidence

Appendix D: Gaps in the evidence

PHIAC identified a number of gaps in the evidence relating to the interventions under examination, based on an assessment of the evidence. These gaps are set out below.

1. Few studies use robust data collection methods to measure the impact of workplace interventions on employees' physical activity levels (most use self-reporting).

2. Few studies aim to determine whether signs and posters encourage people to continue using the stairs in the longer term.
(Source: evidence statement 1.)

3. There is a lack of studies on how the effectiveness of workplace physical activity interventions are influenced by:

  • The type of workplace

  • The characteristics of employees (for example, their gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and employment status).

    (Source: evidence statements 8 and 9.)

4. Few studies assess the impact of employer schemes to encourage employees to walk or cycle to work.

5. There is a lack of studies on the cost effectiveness (for employers and for NHS services) of introducing workplace physical activity schemes.

6. There is a lack of studies on the potentially negative effects of physical activity interventions in the workplace.

7. There is a lack of research to show whether employers can benefit from increased productivity and reduced sickness absence if their employees become more physically active. (Data may already exist as 'grey' literature within companies.)

8. There is a lack of research on employers' views of the benefits of workplace physical activity.

The Committee made five recommendations for research.