Practitioner research

<p>Some of the strongest practitioner evidence regarding interventions to support employees with obesity at work has been summarised below.  These are empirical studies or work of publishable quality that provide case studies and reviews of interventions conducted in the workplace.  The studies are presented under only one heading: Organisational Interventions.</p> <p> </p> <p>This topic does not include health promotion interventions or physical activity interventions at work.  That said, the health promotion and physical activity at work literature is useful to consider alongside the obesity at work literature and will be able to be found under the topics health promotion and physical activity, when these are populated.</p>
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Author: Gabel, Whitmore, Pickreign, Ferguson, Jain, Shova & Scherer

Obesity and the workplace: Current programs and attitudes among employers and employees (2009)

Obesity and the workplace: Current programs and attitudes among employers and employees (2009)

US employee and employer views about weight management programmes at work were gathered. 505 public and private employee benefit managers, who provide health benefits to employees, with 50 or more employees were interviewed.  1,352 employees were interviewed, employees were 18-64 years old, full or part time employed, employed in a company with 50 or more employees and registered in employer or union sponsored health insurance.

 

Obesity can be very costly to employers for example absenteeism is more than twice as high in severely obese women compared to normal weight women.  The results showed that 71% of employers and 92% of employers with 5000 or more workers agreed "it's appropriate for an employer to include a range of obesity-related services and benefits for employees" and 80% of employees believe that "programs related to weight management or healthy lifestyles belong in the workplace."   However, it was also generally agreed that the causes of obesity are due to poor lifestyle choices and willpower. Employers believe that addressing obesity should not be solely left to the organisation but that individuals, physicians and health insurers should also address obesity.  The paper discusses beliefs regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of weight management programmes, the causes of obesity and the range of programmes offered.

Author: Institute of Preventive Medicine Environmental and Occupational Health

Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity at the Workplace (2009)

Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity at the Workplace (2009)

The report is formed from evidence-based reviews and research undertaken by organisations who are part of the Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity at the Workplace consortium.  The obesity challenge in the EU, the benefits of health promotion programmes and theoretical frameworks for obesity interventions are discussed.  Prevalent obesogenic factors for different work sectors are identified - e.g. managers - occupational stress and long working hours, nursing and midwifery professionals - lack of onsite physical activity facilities and shift work, service and sales workers - easy access to unhealthy food and lack of breaks.  Practical recommendations are given and the steps to planning, implementing and evaluating a comprehensive programme are provided.  Furthermore, 11 best practice recommendations are also provided such as conduct needs assessment, implement both physical activity and nutrition methods, emphasise employee participation and conduct continuous evaluation.

Author: Luann Heinen & Helen Darling

Addressing obesity in the workplace: The role of employers (2009)

Addressing obesity in the workplace: The role of employers (2009)

Using results from recent surveys this paper discusses obesity in the workplace from the view of US employers including strategies that they use. Employees' poor health habits was recently identified as the key issue for employers.  Popular employee programmes were health risk appraisals and weight management programmes to reduce obesity. However there are challenges for small employers in providing such programmes such as lack of resources and management support. The paper describes key opportunities for employer impact such as: health benefit design and incentives that encourage healthy behaviour, environmental support for healthy lifestyles, culture of health at work and community and family connections.  Examples of organisational programmes are provided as well as actions all employers can take and suggestions for policymakers.

Author: C3 Collaborating for Health

Review. Workplace health initiatives: evidence of effectiveness (2011)

Review. Workplace health initiatives: evidence of effectiveness (2011)

This paper reviewed the evidence of effectiveness of a range of global workplace health initiatives using both scientific and grey literature.  It was noted that the majority of the literature comes from the United States and that peer-reviewed studies examining the impact of workplace health initiatives in SMEs are lacking. Links to further resources such as toolkits are provided.   The report features a section on the impact of workplace health programmes on obesity, a table is provided with a short summary of each paper including methods, conclusions and the value the paper adds. The report also discusses best practice and includes case studies from both high-income and low-income countries. The report concludes with 6 lessons learned, including that the key to effective workplace health promotion initiatives is management buy-in and employee ownership.

Author: North East Business Group on Health

Weight control and the workplace. Employers and health plans explore their toughest health improvement challenge (2013)

Weight control and the workplace. Employers and health plans explore their toughest health improvement challenge (2013)

This paper reports a roundtable discussion by employers.  The paper discusses the difficulties of obesity in the workplace, for example, obese women have more days absent from work than non-obese women, 9.4 days, which results in costs in absenteeism. Weight management approaches that are used in the workplace are discussed - behavioural, pharmacological, surgical and provider-focused. Challenges, such as stigma, to weight management in the workplace are mentioned and aspects of successful programmes are identified, e.g. leadership support, developing a business case and defining success.  The paper concludes with three key findings from the discussion that should be examined.

Author: The British Dietetic Association

BDA Work Ready Programme. Supporting healthier working lives through dietitian-led wellness initiatives (2015)

BDA Work Ready Programme. Supporting healthier working lives through dietitian-led wellness initiatives (2015)

This white paper examines the link between good nutrition, hydration and physical activity and a healthy workforce, and how initiatives can be incorporated into health promotion programmes.  Three clinical conditions were discussed in this paper - overweight/obesity, musculoskeletal conditions and mood disorders.  Focusing on obesity, the paper describes obesity as a multi-factoral condition and describes a recent review that suggests that multi-component interventions are more effective than solely dietary interventions. Findings regarding obesity and absenteeism amongst London Underground staff and other costs of obesity also discussed. The paper has a plethora of information which includes discussing the health of the UK workforce, the benefits of investing in health and wellbeing, specifically three clinical conditions. The report also provides evidence for nutrition behaviour change interventions and elements to a successful nutrition intervention are discussed as well as barriers and enablers to behaviour change in nutrition interventions.

Author: McKinsey Global Institute

Overcoming obesity: An initial economic analysis (2014)

Overcoming obesity: An initial economic analysis (2014)

According to this report, obesity is one of the top three global social burdens caused by human beings.  This discussion paper covers a variety of interventions that are currently implemented globally within a range of contexts such as governments, organisations, schools, health-care systems and manufacturers. 74 interventions in 18 areas were identified and their cost-effectiveness for the UK was examined.  Actions that are required to tackle obesity are discussed along with barriers to achieve those actions. This paper emphasises that tackling obesity will require a sustained approach from a number of engaged sectors. Examples of employer initiatives include introducing healthier options in the canteen, decreasing access and availability of high-calorie food in the work environment, modifying canteen labels (e.g. traffic-light labels) and providing material incentives for improving health (e.g. discounts on insurance premiums and gym membership).  The UK invests approximately 1% of the social cost of obesity into actions that prevent obesity such as weight-management programmes and public-health campaigns.

Author: Nobel, Pickering & Sasser

Tipping the scales on weight control: New Strategies for Employers (2016)

Tipping the scales on weight control: New Strategies for Employers (2016)

This paper reviewed weight control initiatives that employers implement.  Case studies were reviewed and employers, practitioners, benefits consultants and key opinion leaders were interviewed.  One of the key problems in addressing obesity in the workplace is the lack of employee engagement.  The report details findings from a workshop that included many benefits and wellness professionals.  Programmes that have been implemented in addition to the barriers and success factors of these programmes are discussed in the report. Finally, the paper concludes with a weight control framework, which suggests different actions based on certain BMI categories.

Author: NHS Employers

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. A weight management initiative for staff (2016)

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. A weight management initiative for staff (2016)

The organisation found that 40% of staff were trying to make positive changes to their diet and more than 60% expressed an interest in health and fitness assessments and/or screening. Subsequently the organisation implemented a brief heath and fitness assessment and seven fortnightly healthy lifestyle and weight management workshops - ProHealthChoices4u over four months.  The results showed that 94.4% of participants lost weight and 38.5% achieved 5% or more weight loss. This case study discusses the programme, barriers to the programme, successes and feedback.

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Author: Gabel, Whitmore, Pickreign, Ferguson, Jain, Shova & Scherer

Obesity and the workplace: Current programs and attitudes among employers and employees (2009)

Obesity and the workplace: Current programs and attitudes among employers and employees (2009)

US employee and employer views about weight management programmes at work were gathered. 505 public and private employee benefit managers, who provide health benefits to employees, with 50 or more employees were interviewed.  1,352 employees were interviewed, employees were 18-64 years old, full or part time employed, employed in a company with 50 or more employees and registered in employer or union sponsored health insurance.

 

Obesity can be very costly to employers for example absenteeism is more than twice as high in severely obese women compared to normal weight women.  The results showed that 71% of employers and 92% of employers with 5000 or more workers agreed "it's appropriate for an employer to include a range of obesity-related services and benefits for employees" and 80% of employees believe that "programs related to weight management or healthy lifestyles belong in the workplace."   However, it was also generally agreed that the causes of obesity are due to poor lifestyle choices and willpower. Employers believe that addressing obesity should not be solely left to the organisation but that individuals, physicians and health insurers should also address obesity.  The paper discusses beliefs regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of weight management programmes, the causes of obesity and the range of programmes offered.

Author: Gabel, Whitmore, Pickreign, Ferguson, Jain, Shova & Scherer

Obesity and the workplace: Current programs and attitudes among employers and employees (2009)

US employee and employer views about weight management programmes at work were gathered. 505 public and private employee benefit managers, who provide health benefits to employees, with 50 or more employees were interviewed.  1,352 employees were interviewed, employees were 18-64 years old, full or part time employed, employed in a company with 50 or more employees and registered in employer or union sponsored health insurance.

 

Obesity can be very costly to employers for example absenteeism is more than twice as high in severely obese women compared to normal weight women.  The results showed that 71% of employers and 92% of employers with 5000 or more workers agreed "it's appropriate for an employer to include a range of obesity-related services and benefits for employees" and 80% of employees believe that "programs related to weight management or healthy lifestyles belong in the workplace."   However, it was also generally agreed that the causes of obesity are due to poor lifestyle choices and willpower. Employers believe that addressing obesity should not be solely left to the organisation but that individuals, physicians and health insurers should also address obesity.  The paper discusses beliefs regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of weight management programmes, the causes of obesity and the range of programmes offered.

x
Author: Institute of Preventive Medicine Environmental and Occupational Health

Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity at the Workplace (2009)

Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity at the Workplace (2009)

The report is formed from evidence-based reviews and research undertaken by organisations who are part of the Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity at the Workplace consortium.  The obesity challenge in the EU, the benefits of health promotion programmes and theoretical frameworks for obesity interventions are discussed.  Prevalent obesogenic factors for different work sectors are identified - e.g. managers - occupational stress and long working hours, nursing and midwifery professionals - lack of onsite physical activity facilities and shift work, service and sales workers - easy access to unhealthy food and lack of breaks.  Practical recommendations are given and the steps to planning, implementing and evaluating a comprehensive programme are provided.  Furthermore, 11 best practice recommendations are also provided such as conduct needs assessment, implement both physical activity and nutrition methods, emphasise employee participation and conduct continuous evaluation.

Author: Institute of Preventive Medicine Environmental and Occupational Health

Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity at the Workplace (2009)

The report is formed from evidence-based reviews and research undertaken by organisations who are part of the Guidelines for the Prevention of Obesity at the Workplace consortium.  The obesity challenge in the EU, the benefits of health promotion programmes and theoretical frameworks for obesity interventions are discussed.  Prevalent obesogenic factors for different work sectors are identified - e.g. managers - occupational stress and long working hours, nursing and midwifery professionals - lack of onsite physical activity facilities and shift work, service and sales workers - easy access to unhealthy food and lack of breaks.  Practical recommendations are given and the steps to planning, implementing and evaluating a comprehensive programme are provided.  Furthermore, 11 best practice recommendations are also provided such as conduct needs assessment, implement both physical activity and nutrition methods, emphasise employee participation and conduct continuous evaluation.

x
Author: Luann Heinen & Helen Darling

Addressing obesity in the workplace: The role of employers (2009)

Addressing obesity in the workplace: The role of employers (2009)

Using results from recent surveys this paper discusses obesity in the workplace from the view of US employers including strategies that they use. Employees' poor health habits was recently identified as the key issue for employers.  Popular employee programmes were health risk appraisals and weight management programmes to reduce obesity. However there are challenges for small employers in providing such programmes such as lack of resources and management support. The paper describes key opportunities for employer impact such as: health benefit design and incentives that encourage healthy behaviour, environmental support for healthy lifestyles, culture of health at work and community and family connections.  Examples of organisational programmes are provided as well as actions all employers can take and suggestions for policymakers.

Author: Luann Heinen & Helen Darling

Addressing obesity in the workplace: The role of employers (2009)

Using results from recent surveys this paper discusses obesity in the workplace from the view of US employers including strategies that they use. Employees' poor health habits was recently identified as the key issue for employers.  Popular employee programmes were health risk appraisals and weight management programmes to reduce obesity. However there are challenges for small employers in providing such programmes such as lack of resources and management support. The paper describes key opportunities for employer impact such as: health benefit design and incentives that encourage healthy behaviour, environmental support for healthy lifestyles, culture of health at work and community and family connections.  Examples of organisational programmes are provided as well as actions all employers can take and suggestions for policymakers.

x
Author: C3 Collaborating for Health

Review. Workplace health initiatives: evidence of effectiveness (2011)

Review. Workplace health initiatives: evidence of effectiveness (2011)

This paper reviewed the evidence of effectiveness of a range of global workplace health initiatives using both scientific and grey literature.  It was noted that the majority of the literature comes from the United States and that peer-reviewed studies examining the impact of workplace health initiatives in SMEs are lacking. Links to further resources such as toolkits are provided.   The report features a section on the impact of workplace health programmes on obesity, a table is provided with a short summary of each paper including methods, conclusions and the value the paper adds. The report also discusses best practice and includes case studies from both high-income and low-income countries. The report concludes with 6 lessons learned, including that the key to effective workplace health promotion initiatives is management buy-in and employee ownership.

Author: C3 Collaborating for Health

Review. Workplace health initiatives: evidence of effectiveness (2011)

This paper reviewed the evidence of effectiveness of a range of global workplace health initiatives using both scientific and grey literature.  It was noted that the majority of the literature comes from the United States and that peer-reviewed studies examining the impact of workplace health initiatives in SMEs are lacking. Links to further resources such as toolkits are provided.   The report features a section on the impact of workplace health programmes on obesity, a table is provided with a short summary of each paper including methods, conclusions and the value the paper adds. The report also discusses best practice and includes case studies from both high-income and low-income countries. The report concludes with 6 lessons learned, including that the key to effective workplace health promotion initiatives is management buy-in and employee ownership.

x
Author: North East Business Group on Health

Weight control and the workplace. Employers and health plans explore their toughest health improvement challenge (2013)

Weight control and the workplace. Employers and health plans explore their toughest health improvement challenge (2013)

This paper reports a roundtable discussion by employers.  The paper discusses the difficulties of obesity in the workplace, for example, obese women have more days absent from work than non-obese women, 9.4 days, which results in costs in absenteeism. Weight management approaches that are used in the workplace are discussed - behavioural, pharmacological, surgical and provider-focused. Challenges, such as stigma, to weight management in the workplace are mentioned and aspects of successful programmes are identified, e.g. leadership support, developing a business case and defining success.  The paper concludes with three key findings from the discussion that should be examined.

Author: North East Business Group on Health

Weight control and the workplace. Employers and health plans explore their toughest health improvement challenge (2013)

This paper reports a roundtable discussion by employers.  The paper discusses the difficulties of obesity in the workplace, for example, obese women have more days absent from work than non-obese women, 9.4 days, which results in costs in absenteeism. Weight management approaches that are used in the workplace are discussed - behavioural, pharmacological, surgical and provider-focused. Challenges, such as stigma, to weight management in the workplace are mentioned and aspects of successful programmes are identified, e.g. leadership support, developing a business case and defining success.  The paper concludes with three key findings from the discussion that should be examined.

x
Author: The British Dietetic Association

BDA Work Ready Programme. Supporting healthier working lives through dietitian-led wellness initiatives (2015)

BDA Work Ready Programme. Supporting healthier working lives through dietitian-led wellness initiatives (2015)

This white paper examines the link between good nutrition, hydration and physical activity and a healthy workforce, and how initiatives can be incorporated into health promotion programmes.  Three clinical conditions were discussed in this paper - overweight/obesity, musculoskeletal conditions and mood disorders.  Focusing on obesity, the paper describes obesity as a multi-factoral condition and describes a recent review that suggests that multi-component interventions are more effective than solely dietary interventions. Findings regarding obesity and absenteeism amongst London Underground staff and other costs of obesity also discussed. The paper has a plethora of information which includes discussing the health of the UK workforce, the benefits of investing in health and wellbeing, specifically three clinical conditions. The report also provides evidence for nutrition behaviour change interventions and elements to a successful nutrition intervention are discussed as well as barriers and enablers to behaviour change in nutrition interventions.

Author: The British Dietetic Association

BDA Work Ready Programme. Supporting healthier working lives through dietitian-led wellness initiatives (2015)

This white paper examines the link between good nutrition, hydration and physical activity and a healthy workforce, and how initiatives can be incorporated into health promotion programmes.  Three clinical conditions were discussed in this paper - overweight/obesity, musculoskeletal conditions and mood disorders.  Focusing on obesity, the paper describes obesity as a multi-factoral condition and describes a recent review that suggests that multi-component interventions are more effective than solely dietary interventions. Findings regarding obesity and absenteeism amongst London Underground staff and other costs of obesity also discussed. The paper has a plethora of information which includes discussing the health of the UK workforce, the benefits of investing in health and wellbeing, specifically three clinical conditions. The report also provides evidence for nutrition behaviour change interventions and elements to a successful nutrition intervention are discussed as well as barriers and enablers to behaviour change in nutrition interventions.

x
Author: McKinsey Global Institute

Overcoming obesity: An initial economic analysis (2014)

Overcoming obesity: An initial economic analysis (2014)

According to this report, obesity is one of the top three global social burdens caused by human beings.  This discussion paper covers a variety of interventions that are currently implemented globally within a range of contexts such as governments, organisations, schools, health-care systems and manufacturers. 74 interventions in 18 areas were identified and their cost-effectiveness for the UK was examined.  Actions that are required to tackle obesity are discussed along with barriers to achieve those actions. This paper emphasises that tackling obesity will require a sustained approach from a number of engaged sectors. Examples of employer initiatives include introducing healthier options in the canteen, decreasing access and availability of high-calorie food in the work environment, modifying canteen labels (e.g. traffic-light labels) and providing material incentives for improving health (e.g. discounts on insurance premiums and gym membership).  The UK invests approximately 1% of the social cost of obesity into actions that prevent obesity such as weight-management programmes and public-health campaigns.

Author: McKinsey Global Institute

Overcoming obesity: An initial economic analysis (2014)

According to this report, obesity is one of the top three global social burdens caused by human beings.  This discussion paper covers a variety of interventions that are currently implemented globally within a range of contexts such as governments, organisations, schools, health-care systems and manufacturers. 74 interventions in 18 areas were identified and their cost-effectiveness for the UK was examined.  Actions that are required to tackle obesity are discussed along with barriers to achieve those actions. This paper emphasises that tackling obesity will require a sustained approach from a number of engaged sectors. Examples of employer initiatives include introducing healthier options in the canteen, decreasing access and availability of high-calorie food in the work environment, modifying canteen labels (e.g. traffic-light labels) and providing material incentives for improving health (e.g. discounts on insurance premiums and gym membership).  The UK invests approximately 1% of the social cost of obesity into actions that prevent obesity such as weight-management programmes and public-health campaigns.

x
Author: Nobel, Pickering & Sasser

Tipping the scales on weight control: New Strategies for Employers (2016)

Tipping the scales on weight control: New Strategies for Employers (2016)

This paper reviewed weight control initiatives that employers implement.  Case studies were reviewed and employers, practitioners, benefits consultants and key opinion leaders were interviewed.  One of the key problems in addressing obesity in the workplace is the lack of employee engagement.  The report details findings from a workshop that included many benefits and wellness professionals.  Programmes that have been implemented in addition to the barriers and success factors of these programmes are discussed in the report. Finally, the paper concludes with a weight control framework, which suggests different actions based on certain BMI categories.

Author: Nobel, Pickering & Sasser

Tipping the scales on weight control: New Strategies for Employers (2016)

This paper reviewed weight control initiatives that employers implement.  Case studies were reviewed and employers, practitioners, benefits consultants and key opinion leaders were interviewed.  One of the key problems in addressing obesity in the workplace is the lack of employee engagement.  The report details findings from a workshop that included many benefits and wellness professionals.  Programmes that have been implemented in addition to the barriers and success factors of these programmes are discussed in the report. Finally, the paper concludes with a weight control framework, which suggests different actions based on certain BMI categories.

x

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