Worksite health promotion programs with environmental changes: A systematic review

Department of Public and Occupational Health, Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.28). 08/2005; 29(1):61-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2005.03.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is now widely believed that health promotion strategies should go beyond education or communication to achieve significant behavioral changes among the target population. Environmental modifications are thought to be an important addition to a worksite health promotion program (WHPP). This review aimed to systematically assess the effectiveness of WHPPs with environmental modifications, on physical activity, dietary intake, and health risk indicators.
Online searches were performed for articles published up to January 2004 using the following inclusion criteria: (1) (randomized) controlled trial (RCT/CT); (2) intervention should include environmental modifications; (3) main outcome must include physical activity, dietary intake, and health risk indicators; and (4) healthy working population. Methodologic quality was assessed using a checklist derived from the methodologic guidelines for systematic reviews (Cochrane Back Review Group), and conclusions on the effectiveness were based on a rating system of five levels of evidence.
Thirteen relevant, mostly multicenter, trials were included. All studies aimed to stimulate healthy dietary intake, and three trials focused on physical activity. Follow-up measurements of most studies took place after an average 1-year period. Methodologic quality of most included trials was rated as poor. However, strong evidence was found for an effect on dietary intake, inconclusive evidence for an effect on physical activity, and no evidence for an effect on health risk indicators.
It is difficult to draw general conclusions based on the small number of studies included in this review. However, evidence exists that WHPPs that include environmental modifications can influence dietary intake. More controlled studies of high methodologic quality need to be initiated that investigate the effects of environmental interventions on dietary intake and especially on physical activity in an occupational setting.

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Available from: Mireille van Poppel, Aug 24, 2015
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    • "These activities consist of a series of structured stretching exercises for various muscle groups and joints providing physical, psychological and workplace benefits (González et al., 2011). Literature shows mixed results for PAB programmes, exhibiting both positive (Díaz et al., 2011; Dishman et al., 2009; Martínez et al., 2011) and negative feedback (Castillo et al., 2010; Engbers et al., 2005; Harma, 2002; Marshall, 2004) regarding their effectiveness in terms of increased physical activity. Díaz et al. (2011) carried out a physical activity programmes lasting four months among Chilean public institution workers, reporting significant and favourable changes in terms of the amount of physical activity at the end of the programmes (assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to create a “physical activity break” (PAB) satisfaction scale, for this, the RATER dimensions of the service quality model SERVQUAL were used. Design/methodology/approach – The study opted for a correlational study and used a psychometric approach. Totally, 69 administrative workers at a public university of Chile participated in a physical activity programme and completed a satisfaction questionnaire including sections adapted from the SERVQUAL model. Findings – The study created a PAB satisfaction scale, which shows appropriate psychometric indicators. Furthermore, satisfaction scores were positively correlated with perceived psychological and physical benefits, attendance motivation and intention to participate again in future programmes. Research limitations/implications – Because measures perceived psychological and physical benefits, attendance motivation and intention to participate again in future programmes are measured by single items, futures studies should evaluate association of the satisfaction scale with more consistent measures, as well as include anthropometric measures (e.g. body mass index and weight). Practical implications – This study created a PAB satisfaction scale, using appropriate psychometric indicators which enable the evaluation of the quality of these programmes from the participant’s perspective. Originality/value – Despite the popularity of PAB programmes, to the authors knowledge, up to day there is no way of evaluating these programmes from the participant’s perspective.
    International Journal of Workplace Health Management 01/2015; 8(1):34 - 45. DOI:10.1108/IJWHM-05-2014-0018
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    • "It is intended to achieve this by influencing the environmental and cultural factors of various settings (Whitelaw et al., 2001). The settings approach has been utilized in city/ municipality (de Leeuw and Skovgaard, 2005), school (St Leger, 2001), university (Dooris, 2001), workplace (Engbers et al., 2005), hospital (Pelikan et al., 2001), healthcare (Epping-Jordan et al., 2004) and prison (Whitehead, 2006) settings. Lately, strong emphases have been expressed on finding new settings besides the traditional ones ( "
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    • "This is a common occurrence in other health habits such as seat-belt wearing [44] and cell phone use while driving a car [45]. Thus, strategies should go beyond the usual range of education, rehabilitation, punishment, reward, and disincentive schemes to change individual attitude and belief about health behaviour [32] and environmental modifications to achieve significant behavioural changes among the target population [46]. We believe that it is timely to revisit some of the notions within a communitarian model of health promotion [47–49], in particular the active-passive approach for individual behaviour and preventative health interventions. "
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    ABSTRACT: There is a plethora of workplace physical activity interventions designed to increase purposeful movement, yet few are designed to alleviate prolonged occupational sitting time. A pilot study was conducted to test the feasibility of a workplace e-health intervention based on a passive approach to increase nonpurposeful movement as a means of reducing sitting time. The study was trialled in a professional workplace with forty-six participants (33 females and 13 males) for a period of twenty-six weeks. Participants in the first thirteen weeks received a passive prompt every 45 minutes on their computer screen reminding them to stand and engage in nonpurposeful activity throughout their workday. After thirteen weeks, the prompt was disabled, and participants were then free to voluntary engage the software. Results demonstrated that when employees were exposed to a passive prompt, as opposed to an active prompt, they were five times more likely to fully adhere to completing a movement break every hour of the workday. Based on this pilot study, we suggest that the notion that people are willing to participate in a coercive workplace e-health intervention is promising, and there is a need for further investigation.
    Journal of Environmental and Public Health 04/2013; 2013:128376. DOI:10.1155/2013/128376
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