235640 Participation in a worksite obesity prevention program: Facilitating factors and barriers

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:30 PM

Judith Siegel, PhD, MSHyg , School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Michael Prelip, MPH, DPA , School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Using a participatory research approach, employees at eight public elementary schools were invited to be in an obesity reduction/prevention health promotion program. At each school, employees formed a health promotion committee and were assisted by researchers in planning dietary and exercise activities appropriate for the personnel at their school. Following the two-year intervention, focus groups were conducted to determine the facilitating factors and barriers to the implementation of the intervention. Separate groups were held for personnel who participated in the health promotion activities at their school and for personnel who did not. Using standardized interview guides, focus group members were probed about their conceptions of health, awareness of and involvement with wellness activities in their school, likes and dislikes in regard to the activities, and recommendations for future health promotion programs. Participant and non-participant respondents were similar in how they defined health, attitudes about health promotion activities in the school setting, their recall of the types of activities offered in their school, and the barriers that impeded them from participating. The primary facilitating factors were being part of a social network, perceiving benefit from the program, preferring group activities, finding the incentives attractive, and liking the low/no cost. The primary barriers were not being a part of a social network, not perceiving benefits, feeling shy about performing physical exercise with co-workers, not finding the schedule of activities suitable, and having competing commitments. Strategies for overcoming barriers and methodological limitations of the focus group data will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the factors that facilitate and inhibit participation in a voluntary work site health promotion program. 2. Formulate strategies for overcoming barriers to participation in health promotion programs.

Keywords: Obesity, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I work in this area, teach in this area, and competed successfully for federal research funds to conduct an investigation in this area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.