Fitness Practices amongst Worksite Wellness Programs

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Fitness-related practices differ greatly across worksite wellness programs (WPs). Reporting and documentation of such practices are integral to understanding the mechanisms that influence WP success. This review aims to organize the most relevant literature on fitness-related practices amongst WPs according to well-established variables of exercise prescription. A comprehensive search of five academic databases, organizational websites, bibliographies, and the authors’ personal libraries was carried out between October 30, 2017, and January 15, 2018. Data was then abstracted according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) FITT-VP principle of exercise prescription and compared to guidelines for musculoskeletal fitness (MF) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Emergent themes were also generated. Thirty-eight articles that reported on thirty-one separate programs were included in the review. Only one reported all of the elements needed to satisfy ACSM guidelines for both MF and CRF. Emergent themes included diverse measurement methods, a bias toward aerobic exercise, and incomplete reporting. In conclusion, future studies may benefit the literature by considering universally transferable measurement methods, reporting procedural elements of the program in replicable detail, examining complementary training methods in worksite contexts, and aligning exercise prescriptions with well-established principles and guidelines such as those provided by ACSM.