Why people engage in a weight loss intervention at their workplace: a stratified case study

Jeanette Reffstrup Christensen, Majda Pajevic, Pia Ilvig, Karen Søgaard, Christina Jessen-Winge

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    Background: The prevalence of obesity has increased significantly worldwide within the
    last decade. As obesity is recognised as a contributing factor when developing various
    health threatening chronic diseases, prevention initiatives focusing on weight loss are
    becoming more important. Because of the time spent at the workplace, workplaces can
    be optimal arenas for weight loss programs and these programs have been effective to
    decrease body weight. Thus, reasons for engaging in weight loss interventions needs
    exploring, in order to engage more workplaces in weight loss interventions. Such
    information provides important knowledge that may help to inform decisions of
    municipalities, employers and other public health decision makers, when and if
    implementing weight loss interventions. The aim of this study was therefore to explore
    reasons for employee engagement in weight loss projects at the workplace and the
    incentives a municipality, a manager at a home-care centre, and a project manager
    have to launch such projects.
    Methods: A stratified case study was conducted. A representative from the
    municipality, the manager at a home-care centre, the project manager of the weight
    loss intervention and six health-care workers were interviewed at the end of a one-year
    weight loss intervention at the workplace. Data were analysed using Systematic Text
    Results: Analysis identified different views and considerations for engaging in a weight
    loss intervention at the workplace. For the representative of the municipality the
    possible economical gain of the project was in focus. The project manager and the
    manager of the home-care centre both reflected mainly on improvement of the
    healthcare workers health. For the project manager achieving good scientific results
    was highlighted as well. However, the employees were influenced by several factors,
    such as their health and weight loss, the pressure from the environment and their
    struggle for recognition.
    Conclusions: This study concluded that if targeting the increasing worldwide obesity
    problem through workplace initiated weight loss programs, the sales pitch to
    managements and employers have to be tailored in order to increase the participation
    and motivation for the initiative.
    BogserieBMC Public Health
    StatusUdgivet - 2019


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