Date of Award

Winter 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Anthony R Tagliaferro


The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a worksite health promotion (WHP) delivered in a small workplace, improves health risk factors, is cost-effective, and positively impacts health behaviors.

Comparison (C, n = 31) and Intervention (I, n = 29) groups underwent health risk assessment and screening at baseline, 12 and 24 months. The I group attended lifestyle classes at the workplace and reported pedometer step counts. Data were analyzed using general linear model ANOVA or Chi square analysis.

At 12 months from baseline, the I group had a decreased LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) (126.67 +/- 4.0 mg/dl to 110.86 +/- 4.4 mg/dl p = 0.011), and average steps per day increased (5253 +/- 368 steps, 7149 +/- 400 steps, p = 0.01). No changes were noted in waist circumference (WC), or metabolic syndrome (MetS) markers. In the C group from baseline, WC increased (37.1 +/- 0.4 in, 38.9 +/- 0.4 in, p = 0.001), and MetS markers increased (1.44 +/- 0.1, 1.88 +/- 0.1 markers, p = 0.018) to a value that was also greater than that in the I group at 12 months (1.29 +/- 0.1 markers, p = 0.002). Dietary omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio was found to be greater than that of the I group (14.49 +/- 1.8; 10.33 +/- 2.3, p = 0.03). Cost-effectiveness compared favorably to other studies.

At 24 months, LDL-C and Mets markers were not different from the 12 to 24 month values, either within or between groups. WC of the I group (37.3 in) was significantly less than the C group (38.7 in, p = 0.04). C-reactive protein of the I group was 44% less than that of the C group (p = 0.027). More of the I group than the C group participants reported increased physical activity (84.2% vs. 41.2% , p = 0.007) and improved diet (63.2% vs. 29.4%, p = 0.043). Both groups were highly receptive to a WHP.

This study demonstrated that health risks and health behaviors can improve following a WHP in a small workplace that is also cost-effective, and well-accepted by employees.