Meta-analyses of workplace physical activity and dietary behaviour interventions on weight outcomes

Department of Public and Occupational Health and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Body@Work, Research Center Physical Activity, Work and Health, TNO-VUmc, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Obesity Reviews (Impact Factor: 8). 06/2011; 12(6):406-29. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00765.x
Source: PubMed


This meta-analytic review critically examines the effectiveness of workplace interventions targeting physical activity, dietary behaviour or both on weight outcomes. Data could be extracted from 22 studies published between 1980 and November 2009 for meta-analyses. The GRADE approach was used to determine the level of evidence for each pooled outcome measure. Results show moderate quality of evidence that workplace physical activity and dietary behaviour interventions significantly reduce body weight (nine studies; mean difference [MD]-1.19 kg [95% CI -1.64 to -0.74]), body mass index (BMI) (11 studies; MD -0.34 kg m⁻² [95% CI -0.46 to -0.22]) and body fat percentage calculated from sum of skin-folds (three studies; MD -1.12% [95% CI -1.86 to -0.38]). There is low quality of evidence that workplace physical activity interventions significantly reduce body weight and BMI. Effects on percentage body fat calculated from bioelectrical impedance or hydrostatic weighing, waist circumference, sum of skin-folds and waist-hip ratio could not be investigated properly because of a lack of studies. Subgroup analyses showed a greater reduction in body weight of physical activity and diet interventions containing an environmental component. As the clinical relevance of the pooled effects may be substantial on a population level, we recommend workplace physical activity and dietary behaviour interventions, including an environment component, in order to prevent weight gain.

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    • "In the UK, employers have been proactive in signing-up for the national government's " Responsibility Deal – Health at Work Network " and have pledged to improve the work environment for their employees (Department of Health, 2012). Workplace weight management programmes involving education and counselling including elements of dietary and physical activity behaviour have reported both short-term (Benedict and Arterburn, 2008; Verweij et al., 2011), and long-term (Scroggins et al., 2011) improvements in body weight. However, current literature reviewing specific dietary modifications in the workplace question the overall long-term effectiveness of research in this area (Geaney et al., 2013, Anderson et al., 2009, Mhurchu et al., 2010; Maes et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the feasibility and benefits of providing weight management support via the workplace. Design/methodology/approach – Quasi-experimental design using non-random assignment to a 12-week Slimming World (SW) weight management programme, either within the workplace or at a regular community group. Weight was recorded weekly and a 39-item questionnaire focused on mental and emotional health, self-esteem, dietary habits and physical activity habits administered at baseline, 12 weeks, six and 12 months. Findings – In total, 243 participants enroled (workplace n¼129, community n¼114) with 138 completers (defined as those weighing-in at baseline and attending at least once within the last four weeks; workplace n¼76, community n¼62). Completers reported a mean weight change of −4.9 kg±3.4 or −5.7 per cent±3.8. Mental and emotional health scores increased ( po0.05) from baseline to 12 weeks. Self-worth scores increased ( po0.05) from baseline to 12 weeks, six and 12 months. Healthy dietary habit scores increased and unhealthy dietary habit scores decreased ( po0.05) from baseline to 12 weeks, six and 12 months. Healthy physical activity habit scores improved ( po0.05) from baseline to 12 weeks and six months. There were no significant differences between groups. Research limitations/implications – Participant demographic was predominantly female (94 per cent) aged 42.3 years, with only 13 men participating. Practical implications – The results support the use of a 12-week SW weight management programme as a credible option for employers wanting to support staff to achieve weight loss and improve psycho-social health outcomes which could lead to improvements in quality of life and work performance. Originality/value – Provides evidence for the delivery of weight management support via the workplace
    International Journal of Workplace Health Management 09/2015; 8(3):230-243. DOI:10.1108/IJWHM-10-2014-0040
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    • "Both diet and physical activity are considered of importance in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight (Swinburn et al. 2003, WHO 2004). Worksite health promotion programmes aimed at physical activity and diet were found to be effective on weight-related outcomes (Verweij et al. 2011; Groeneveld et al. 2010; Anderson et al. 2009). Moreover, workplace health promotion programmes that improve physical activity levels have been shown to also reduce the risk on MSD (Proper et al. 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study is to investigate the effects of a worksite health promotion intervention on musculoskeletal symptoms, physical functioning, work ability, work-related vitality, work performance, and sickness absence. In a randomized controlled design, 314 construction workers were randomized into an intervention group (n = 162) receiving personal coaching, tailored information, and materials, and a control group (n = 152) receiving usual care. Sickness absence was recorded continuously in company records, and questionnaires were completed before, directly after the 6-month intervention period, and 12 months after baseline measurements. Linear and logistic regression analyses were performed to determine intervention effects. No significant changes at 6 or 12 months of follow-up were observed in musculoskeletal symptoms, physical functioning, work ability, work-related vitality, work performance, and sickness absence as a result of the intervention. This study shows that the intervention was not statistically significantly effective on secondary outcomes. Although the intervention improved physical activity, dietary, and weight-related outcomes, it was not successful in decreasing musculoskeletal symptoms and improving other work-related measures. Presumably, more multifaceted interventions are required to establish significant change in these outcomes.
    International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 12/2014; 88(6). DOI:10.1007/s00420-014-1007-9 · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    • "Workplace interventions intended to enhance fitness have been shown to increase physical activity and to reduce body fat [23], [24], [25], [26]. However, some studies fail to show that the intervention increases physical activity [27] and for most biometric health outcomes the evidence is less conclusive, if they are studied at all [23], [29] (for a disagreeing perspective, see [30]). "
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a 12-month-long experiment in a financial services company to study how the availability of treadmill workstations affects employees' physical activity and work performance. We enlisted sedentary volunteers, half of whom received treadmill workstations during the first two months of the study and the rest in the seventh month of the study. Participants could operate the treadmills at speeds of 0-2 mph and could use a standard chair-desk arrangement at will. (a) Weekly online performance surveys were administered to participants and their supervisors, as well as to all other sedentary employees and their supervisors. Using within-person statistical analyses, we find that overall work performance, quality and quantity of performance, and interactions with coworkers improved as a result of adoption of treadmill workstations. (b) Participants were outfitted with accelerometers at the start of the study. We find that daily total physical activity increased as a result of the adoption of treadmill workstations.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88620. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0088620 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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