The steps to health employee weight management randomized control trial: rationale, design and baseline characteristics.
BACKGROUND: The workplace can be an important setting for addressing obesity. An increasing number of employers offer weight management programs. PURPOSE: Present the design, rationale and baseline characteristics of the Steps to Health study (STH), a randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of two preexisting employee weight management programs offered at Duke University and Medical Center. METHODS: 550 obese (BMI ≥30) employee volunteers were randomized 1:1 to two programs. Baseline data, collected between January 2011 and July 2012, included height/weight, accelerometry, workplace injuries, health care utilization, and questionnaires querying socio-cognitive factors, perceptions of health climate, physical activity, and dietary intake. In secondary analyses participants in the two programs will also be compared to a non-randomized observational control group of obese employees. RESULTS: At baseline, the mean age was 45 years, 83% were female, 41% white, and 53% black. Mean BMI was 37.2. Participants consumed a mean of 2.37 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (in the past week), participated in 11.5 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and spent 620 min being sedentary. CONCLUSION: STH addresses the need for evaluation of worksite interventions to promote healthy weight. In addition to having direct positive effects on workers' health, worksite programs have the potential to increase productivity and reduce health care costs.
Østbye, T; Stroo, M; Brouwer, RJN; Peterson, BL; Eisenstein, EL; Fuemmeler, BF; Joyner, J; Gulley, L; Dement, JM
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