Why people engage in a weight loss intervention at their workplace: a stratified case study

Jeanette Reffstrup Christensen, Majda Pajevic, Pia Ilvig, Karen Søgaard, Christina Jessen-Winge

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


Background: The prevalence of obesity has increased significantly worldwide within the
last decade. As obesity is recognised as a contributing factor when developing various
health threatening chronic diseases, prevention initiatives focusing on weight loss are
becoming more important. Because of the time spent at the workplace, workplaces can
be optimal arenas for weight loss programs and these programs have been effective to
decrease body weight. Thus, reasons for engaging in weight loss interventions needs
exploring, in order to engage more workplaces in weight loss interventions. Such
information provides important knowledge that may help to inform decisions of
municipalities, employers and other public health decision makers, when and if
implementing weight loss interventions. The aim of this study was therefore to explore
reasons for employee engagement in weight loss projects at the workplace and the
incentives a municipality, a manager at a home-care centre, and a project manager
have to launch such projects.
Methods: A stratified case study was conducted. A representative from the
municipality, the manager at a home-care centre, the project manager of the weight
loss intervention and six health-care workers were interviewed at the end of a one-year
weight loss intervention at the workplace. Data were analysed using Systematic Text
Results: Analysis identified different views and considerations for engaging in a weight
loss intervention at the workplace. For the representative of the municipality the
possible economical gain of the project was in focus. The project manager and the
manager of the home-care centre both reflected mainly on improvement of the
healthcare workers health. For the project manager achieving good scientific results
was highlighted as well. However, the employees were influenced by several factors,
such as their health and weight loss, the pressure from the environment and their
struggle for recognition.
Conclusions: This study concluded that if targeting the increasing worldwide obesity
problem through workplace initiated weight loss programs, the sales pitch to
managements and employers have to be tailored in order to increase the participation
and motivation for the initiative.
TidsskriftBMC Public Health
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 7 jan. 2019


  • Sundhed, ernæring og livskvalitet
  • Health promotion program
  • Lifestyle engagement
  • Physical detoriation
  • Health care workers
  • Municipalities
  • Weight Loss
  • Qualitative methods


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