Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success
|Pouran D. Faghri1*, Valerie B. Duffy1, Nicole R. Benson1 and Martin G. Cherniack2|
|1Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut, USA|
|2Occupational & Environmental Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, USA|
|Corresponding Author :||Dr. Pouran D. Faghri
MD, MS, FACSM, Department of Allied Health Sciences
University of Connecticut, 358 Mansfield Road
U-2101, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received January 23, 2012; Accepted March 23, 2012; Published March 26, 2012|
|Citation: Faghri PD, Duffy VB, Benson NR, Cherniack MG (2012) Worksite Weight Loss Intervention for Employees in Stressful Workplaces: A Pilot Study and Baseline Survey Indicators of Success. J Obes Wt Loss Ther 2:121. doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000121|
|Copyright: © 2012 Faghri PD, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
Statement of problem: Correctional facilities are stressful, unhealthy and dangerous working environments, which increase the risk of chronic diseases and a shortened lifespan for employees, particularly corrections officers. The need exists for effective worksite interventions to lower chronic disease risk and improve health of correctional employees.
Objective: The primary aim was to pilot test eight-week worksite nutrition and physical activity educational intervention for correctional employees and to determine baseline indicators of weight loss success.
Methods: Twenty overweight/obese volunteer employees were recruited by convenience sampling. Educational material was tailored to baseline responses on diet and physical activity knowledge, preferences, and behaviors. Adiposity status was both self-rated by the study participants and measured by researchers. The primary indicator was change in adiposity with a goal of 3% loss in weight across the intervention.
Results: The group averaged one-pound loss per week; eleven of 20 employees lost ≥3% of body weight. The number of overweight/obese employees with healthy waist circumferences increased from 3 to 8 post-intervention. At baseline, employees who reached the weight loss goal were most likely to: accurately assess their level of adiposity; have lower knowledge about nutrition and healthy eating; report greater preference for discretionary-energy foods but less preference for vegetables; and less confidence in changing their physical activity behaviors.
Conclusions: The intervention resulted in clinically meaningful, short-term weight loss among employees in stressful workplaces. Simple baseline survey-assessment defined employees who reported room to change their dietary and physical activity patterns as well as an accurate realization of their level of excessive adiposity.