Do overweight workers profit by workplace health promotion, more than their normal-weight peers? Evaluation of a worksite intervention

Stefanie Mache*, Sarah Jensen, Stefan Linnig, Reimo Jahn, Mirco Steudtner, Elke Ochsmann, Geraldine Preuß

*Corresponding author for this work
8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Worksite health promotion programs have been identified as strongly effective in decreasing body weight and increasing awareness and change in health behavior. Aim of this study is to determine the effects of a multi-component intervention in workplace health promotion. Methods: In a controlled study trail, 1,573 workers of a logistics company had the chance to participate in a one year worksite health promotion program. Main elements of the multi-component intervention were physical activity training in combination with nutrition counseling. Employees completed a questionnaire at baseline and then again after twelve month. Main outcome variables were changes in body weight and health behaviors. Secondary outcomes were subjective health indicators. Results: Our results showed preliminary improvements in physical activity and eating behavior among normal weight and overweight/obesity weight groups. No significant weight reduction could be found, only a minimal reduction of BMI. The reduction was larger in the overweight group. Workers considered overweight or obese showed significantly greater body weight loss and changes in eating behavior than workers with a normal weight status. Workers with obesity/overweight scored their general health status significantly lower than their colleagues with normal weight status. No significant improvements were found for overall perception of health status between baseline and follow-up in the BMI-groups. Conclusion: This 12-month intervention-control study suggests that a well-implemented multi-component workplace health promotion program may support substantial change in health behavior (e.g. nutrition and physical activity). It is indicated that overweight employees may especially profit from such worksite health promotion. An investigation of long-term effects of this multi-component intervention is strongly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalJournal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2015


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