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: 4.53). 08/2005; 29(1):61-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2005.03.001
Source: PubMed


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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    • "While worker safety programming is well-established in the American workplace, largely due to the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act [2], workplace health promotion programs are a more recent addition. These programs have flourished in recent decades, and there is evidence that these programs are effective in improving employee health [3] [4] [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Accumulating evidence suggests that worksite interventions integrating worksite health promotion (WHP) and occupational safety and health (OSH) may be more efficacious and have higher participation rates than health promotion programs offered alone. However, dissemination of integrated programs is complicated by lack of tools for implementation - particularly for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Objective: The goal of this study is to describe perceptions of acceptability and feasibility of implementing an integrated approach to worker health that coordinates WHP and OSH in SMBs. Methods: In September to November 2012, decision-makers for employee health programming within SMBs (< 750 employees) in greater Minneapolis were identified. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed to develop an understanding of perceived benefits and barriers, awareness, and capacity for implementing an integrated approach. Results: Worker health was widely valued by participants. They reported strong management support for improving employee health and safety. Most participants indicated that their company was open to making changes in their approach to worker health; however, cost and staffing considerations were frequently perceived as barriers. Conclusions: There are opportunities for implementing integrated worksite health programs in SMBs with existing resources and values. However, challenges to implementation exist, as these worksites may lack the appropriate resources.
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    • "Studies have shown that obesity and work are likely to be interrelated and workplace could provide 'obesogenic' environment through the presence of unhealthy food and beverages (Shimotsu et al. 2007; Schulte et al. 2007). Therefore, food environmental intervention at workplace could be considered for this group of respondents and such interventions at the workplace have shown improved dietary behavior (Engbers et al. 2005). "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · International Journal of Public Health and Clinical Sciences
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · International Journal of Workplace Health Management
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