Promoting Weight Loss and Blood Pressure Control at Work: Impact of an Education and Intervention Program

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the impact of tailored intervention on body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) among hypertensive employees participating in an employer-based BP screening program.

Methods:

The quasi-experimental design involved screening subjects (n = 15,583) within the Merrill Lynch organization. A control group had BP and weight measurements plus education whereas experimental sites additionally received a pedometer, to measure physical activity, body fat measurement, and education encouraging physical activity. Change in BMI and BP were compared after 1 year.

Results:

The experimental group (n = 47) demonstrated statistically significant improvements in BMI (P < 0.01) and systolic BP (P = 0.04) versus control group (n = 94). Furthermore, 38.3% of the experimental group reported undertaking vigorous physical activity (≥3×/wk) at 1-year; a 100% increase compared with baseline.

Conclusions:

A targeted worksite intervention program may be an effective way to lower BP and promote exercise and weight loss.

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