Quality of Work Life Mini Survey Results

Posted: July 11, 2016 at 1:03 pm, Last Updated: July 25, 2016 at 11:58 am

In our continued effort to connect with and serve the faculty and staff of George Mason University, Mason Recreation and the Quality of Work Life Committee administered a survey in the Spring of 2016 that was open to all faculty and staff members. The survey was publicized in About Mason, via the Human Resources department newsletter, in the Staff Senate newsletter, and sent to other HR contacts around the university.  A total of 279 faculty and staff members responded.

Some good news right off the bat – 92.3% of the survey respondents reported that on average they engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least once per week. However, only 57.3% of respondents reported that they engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 3 or more times per week.

The National Institutes of Health recommend that for major health benefits adults should engage in “at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Another option is to do a combination of both.” This suggests that our faculty and staff, while already physically active, need to do so more frequently per week. This relates to Mason’s strategic goal of being a Well-Being University, of which 85.5% of respondents believed they understood, as being physically active is an important part of achieving personal well-being.

Faculty and staff members’ top 5 physical activities of choice are walking (80% of respondents), running (31.2%), indoor cardio (31.2%), lifting weights (29.6%), and fitness classes (20.3%). With walking and running being such popular activities for faculty and staff members, and for students (thanks to a separate student survey we conducted in FY2016), Mason Recreation has identified that we need to do a better job of identifying walking/running trails on campus and making the routes more easy to find on our website. Look for improvements in this area coming in Fall 2016.

Of the survey respondents, only 29.0% currently use Mason Recreation facilities (AFC, RAC, Skyline, Fields, Tennis Courts, etc.), programs (Intramurals, Clubs, Fitness Classes, Swim Lessons, etc.), or services. Of the group that does take advantage of Mason Rec, many are only using Mason Rec as one of their workout resources. Top barriers that faculty and staff identified as preventing them from using Mason Rec facilities, programs, or services were cost (42.9% of respondents – which stayed consistent across income brackets as 41.3% of respondents making over $55,000 per year responded that cost was a barrier), they live too far from campus (20.9% – which jumps to 37.1% of respondents who live over 10 miles from the Fairfax campus), they like to run/walk/bike outdoors (20.3%), they go to a facility closer to their house (17.0%), and a tie for 5th place between lack of free time and parking near Mason Rec facilities being hard to find (15.9%).

Other highlights included faculty and staff letting us know that if they had a membership they would primarily use the Aquatic and Fitness Center or the Recreation and Athletic Complex on any weekday, but primarily from 4-7pm (70.4% of respondents) or 6-9am (42.8% of respondents). If they did have a membership, they would also primarily use cardio equipment, machine weights, take group exercise/spin classes, use free weights, or swim. This information will assist us in future decision making.

A full summary of the results can be found here.

Congratulations to April Kelley from University Libraries who won the FitBit we gave away as a part of the drawing for completing this survey. Thank you to everyone who provided us with their insight and feedback to help Mason Rec better serve you!