Office-based physical activity and nutrition intervention: barriers, enablers, and preferred strategies for workplace obesity prevention, Perth, Western Australia, 2012
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Introduction: Workplace health promotion programs to prevent overweight and obesity in office-based employees should be evidence-based and comprehensive and should consider behavioral, social, organizational, and environmental factors. The objective of this study was to identify barriers to and enablers of physical activity and nutrition as well as intervention strategies for health promotion in office-based workplaces in the Perth, Western Australia, metropolitan area in 2012. Methods: We conducted an online survey of 111 employees from 55 organizations. The online survey investigated demographics, individual and workplace characteristics, barriers and enablers, intervention-strategy preferences, and physical activity and nutrition behaviors. We used χ2 and Mann–Whitney U statistics to test for differences between age and sex groups for barriers and enablers, intervention-strategy preferences, and physical activity and nutrition behaviors. Stepwise multiple regression analysis determined factors that affect physical activity and nutrition behaviors. Results: We identified several factors that affected physical activity and nutrition behaviors, including the most common barriers (“too tired” and “access to unhealthy food”) and enablers (“enjoy physical activity” and “nutrition knowledge”). Intervention-strategy preferences demonstrated employee support for health promotion in the workplace. Conclusion: The findings provide useful insights into employees’ preferences for interventions; they can be used to develop comprehensive programs for evidence-based workplace health promotion that consider environmental and policy influences as well as the individual.
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