Recent trends in worksite health promotion have placed greater emphasis on the worksite as the focus of intervention. Using social ecology as a theoretical framework for this initiative, a sample of New York State employers completed an environmental audit, and then received technical support from state-funded contractors to implement workplace changes that encourage heart-healthy behaviors. The assessment, which measured organizational policies, services, facilities and administrative structures, was repeated at program conclusion and again 3 years later.
Analysis compared the number and types of possible attributes available at each worksite over time. At program completion, the mean number of heart-health supporting attributes among all worksites increased significantly (p = .01). Three years after the program ended, the average levels of attributes decreased and several remained significantly higher than at baseline (p = .01). Analysis indicated that the sustained improvements were concentrated on nutrition and physical activity resources – the constructs most emphasized in the study. The extent to which supports in other areas persisted varied for different sub-components.
One noteworthy finding was the drop in certain administrative supports. This finding may partly explain the overall drop in resources across all areas. In summary, a relatively low cost, public health initiative can successfully increase and sustain a number of worksite attributes supporting heart-healthy behaviors among employees. Emphasis on administrative support features may further enhance the maintenance of these environmental change outcomes.
|Keywords:||Worksite Health Promotion, Social Ecology, Environmental Change, Intervention Evaluation|
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University at Albany School of Public Health, Albany, NY, USA
Professor, Department of Health Science, The State University of New York, Brockport, NY, USA
Program Research Specialist, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA
Public Health Nutritionist, Newe York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA
Health Scientist, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA