Results of a workplace health campaign: what can be achieved?

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Background: Effective health promotion in the workplace is now essential
because of the rising health-related costs for businesses, the increasing
pressure arising from international competition, prolonged working lives, and
the aging of the work force. The basic problem of prevention campaigns is that
the target groups are too rarely reached and sustainable benefits too rarely
achieved. In 2011, we carried out a broad-based health and fitness campaign
to assess how many personnel could be motivated to participate in a model
study under nearly ideal conditions.
Methods: 1010 personnel were given the opportunity to participate in various
kinds of sports, undergo sports-medicine examinations, attend monthly expert
lectures, and benefit from nutritional offerings and Intranet information during
work hours. Pseudonymized questionnaires were used to classify the participants
according to their exercise behavior as non-active, not very active, and
very active. The participants’ subjective responses (regarding, e.g., health,
exercise, nutrition, and the factors that motivated them to participate in sports
or discouraged them from doing so) were recorded, as were their objective
data (measures of body size and strength). The duration of the study was one
year.
Results: 490 of the 1010 personnel (48.5%, among whom 27.2% were nonactive,
44.1% not very active, and 28.7% very active) participated in the initial
questionnaire and testing. By the end of the study, this figure had dropped to
17.8%; diminished participation affected all three groups to a comparable extent.
A comparison of dropouts and non-dropouts revealed that older age was a
stable predictor for drop-out (bivariate odds ratio [OR] 1.028, p = 0.006; multivariate
OR 1.049, p = 0.009). The study participants reported beneficial effects
on their health and health awareness, performance ability, psychological
balance, stress perception, exercise and dietary behavior.
Conclusion: Even under optimal conditions and with high use of staff resources,
this model study (which cannot be universally implemented) did not lead to
comprehensive and sustained personnel participation. This finding suggests
that the currently available prevention instruments are insufficient for the
effective and cost-efficient promotion of health and fitness in the workplace.
OriginalspracheDeutsch
ZeitschriftDeutsches Ärzteblatt international
Jahrgang111
Heft18
Seiten (von - bis)320-7
Seitenumfang8
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 02.05.2014

ID: 246364

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