Workplace Design Changes Help Employees Keep Weight Off, Study Says

Researchers found that simple, low-cost interventions — for example, encouraging workers to take the stairs and making healthy options available in vending machines — helped to avoid employee weight gain.

Some simple changes to promote healthy habits at work can help to prevent employees from gaining weight, reports a study in the March Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

However, these types of environmental interventions aren't likely to lead to weight loss — even when combined with an individual weight-management program — according to the study by researchers at University of Georgia and Emory University.

The researchers report on the impact of environmental interventions at several Dow Chemical Company worksites. They found that simple, low-cost interventions — for example, encouraging workers to take the stairs and making healthy options available in vending machines — helped to avoid employee weight gain.

They study also evaluated the effects of a voluntary, low-intensity individual weight-management program. The program was popular, with about 60 percent of eligible workers participating. "However, employees who participated in the individually focused intervention were no more successful at losing weight than those who were only exposed to the environmental interventions," the researchers wrote. In all groups, about 13.5 percent of workers reduced their weight by five percent or more.

There is growing interest in using environmental design changes to support healthy eating and physical activity in the workplace. The new results add to the evidence that such design changes can help to prevent employees from gaining weight.

However, they show no evidence that environmental interventions promote weight loss — even when combined with an individual weight-management program. "Low-cost environmental interventions provide an opportunity for worksites to encourage weight maintenance and control in the general employee population," the researchers concluded. They call for further studies to see if more comprehensive worksite programs can succeed in promoting weight loss.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue