Improving nutrition and physical activity in the workplace: a meta-analysis of intervention studies

Amanda Hutchinson, Carlene Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    135 Citations (Scopus)


    A comprehensive search of the literature for studies examining physical activity or nutrition interventions in the workplace, published between 1999 and March 2009, was conducted. This search identified 29 relevant studies. Interventions were grouped according to the theoretical framework on which the interventions were based (e.g. education, cognitive-behavioural, motivation enhancement, social influence, exercise). Weighted Cohens d effect sizes, percentage overlap statistics, confidence intervals and fail safe Ns were calculated. Most theoretical approaches were associated with small effects. However, large effects were found for some measures of interventions using motivation enhancement. Effect sizes were larger for studies focusing on one health behaviour and for randomized controlled trials. The workplace is a suitable environment for making modest changes in the physical activity, nutrition and health of employees. Further research is necessary to determine whether these changes can be maintained in the long term.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)238-249
    Number of pages12
    JournalHealth Promotion International
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


    • nutrition
    • physical activity
    • workplace health promotion
    • worksite


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