Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Kinesiology and Health

First Advisor

Dr. Rachel Gurvitch

Second Advisor

Dr. Deborah R. Shapiro

Third Advisor

Dr. Halley E. M. Riley

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Keith Wright


Introduction: Due to idiosyncrasies to the urban environment and the teaching profession, public school professionals have potentially a higher risk of developing serious health issues, higher rates of absenteeism, and diminished productivity than some working adults in other fields. The effects of physical inactivity and continuous exposure to stress are directly linked to chronic illnesses, which, in turn, carry a high emotional and financial cost to the individual and society. School employee wellness programs can help school districts save money and increase employees’ productivity by improving the wellbeing of participants and lowering the rate of absenteeism and sick presenteeism.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the development of the eHealth physical activity (PA) program and to evaluate its impact on urban school employees’ barriers and motivation towards PA and their feelings about job-related stress. The PA program called Teachers Engaged, Active, and Motivated (TEAM) and this study was framed by the Health Belief Model and the Behavior Change Techniques taxonomy. The study attempted to answer the following questions: To what extent will participation in the TEAM PA program influence urban school employees’ barriers to being physically active? To what extent will participation in the TEAM PA program influence urban school employees’ motivation towards physical activity? To what extent will participation in the TEAM PA program influence urban school employees’ job-related stress?

Methods: This study adopted an intervention mixed-method design to analyze the data collected from participants responses to the emailed-delivered survey and during the in-depth individual interviews. The survey contained some demographic questions, the Barriers to Being Active Quiz (BBAQ), the Motives for Physical Activity Measure-Revised (MPAM-R), and the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire (ERIQ). There were post-program semi-structured interviews with program participants. The PI used a deductive and inductive thematic analysis approach to define themes among participants’ responses to questions extracted from the subscales of each questionnaire.

Results: Employees from one school (n=100) received the recruiting email. Twenty-three employees completed the pre-survey, and, after the 6-week program, 15 employees completed the post-survey concluding the quantitative part of the study. The paired t-test analysis was statistically significant for the BBAQ measure (p=.038), non-significant for the MPAM-R measure (p=.086), and non-significant for the ER ratio (p=.204). Eleven participants were interviewed for the qualitative part of the study, and responses were analyzed through deductive and inductive approaches.


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