Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from IJBNPA and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research

HealthWorks: results of a multi-component group-randomized worksite environmental intervention trial for weight gain prevention

Jennifer A Linde14*, Katherine E Nygaard1, Richard F MacLehose12, Nathan R Mitchell1, Lisa J Harnack1, Julie M Cousins3, Daniel J Graham1 and Robert W Jeffery1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

2 Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

3 School of Kinesiology, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

4 Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 S. 2nd Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:14  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-14

Published: 16 February 2012

Abstract

Background

U.S. adults are at unprecedented risk of becoming overweight or obese, and most scientists believe the primary cause is an obesogenic environment. Worksites provide an opportunity to shape the environments of adults to reduce obesity risk. The goal of this group-randomized trial was to implement a four-component environmental intervention at the worksite level to positively influence weight gain among employees over a two-year period. Environmental components focused on food availability and price, physical activity promotion, scale access, and media enhancements.

Methods

Six worksites in a U.S. metropolitan area were recruited and randomized in pairs at the worksite level to either a two-year intervention or a no-contact control. Evaluations at baseline and two years included: 1) measured height and weight; 2) online surveys of individual dietary intake and physical activity behaviors; and 3) detailed worksite environment assessment.

Results

Mean participant age was 42.9 years (range 18-75), 62.6% were women, 68.5% were married or cohabiting, 88.6% were white, 2.1% Hispanic. Mean baseline BMI was 28.5 kg/m2 (range 16.9-61.2 kg/m2). A majority of intervention components were successfully implemented. However, there were no differences between sites in the key outcome of weight change over the two-year study period (p = .36).

Conclusions

Body mass was not significantly affected by environmental changes implemented for the trial. Results raise questions about whether environmental change at worksites is sufficient for population weight gain prevention.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00708461

Keywords:
Obesity; Worksites; Adults; Environment; Weight gain prevention