Worksite Health Promotion Programs: The Effect of the Social and Physical Environment

Lisa J. Leininger, Breanna Z. Orozco, Debra Harris, Susan Tracz


Introduction: Worksite health promotion programs (HPPs) are effective in providing health benefits to participating employees. However, participation rates are traditionally low. Therefore, health promotion professionals implement a variety of strategies to encourage participation, which may include attending to the physical and social environment. However, little is known about how the physical and social environment influences participation in HPPs and physical activity. The purpose of this study was to examine if the physical and social environment of the workplace is associated with participation in HPPs and physical activity. Methods: The Environmental Assessment Tool (EAT) was administered at four university campuses, and university employees were sent an electronic survey that inquired about program and physical activity participation. Participation in a HPP was analyzed using a chi-square test for independence. To assess differences between groups for physical activity of higher, medium and lower levels of support, MANOVAs were performed. Results: Findings indicate that HPP participation was associated with level of physical and social support. The campus designated as the higher support campus had the highest participation rates in programming. The medium support campuses followed, and the lower support campus had the lowest overall participation rates. However, there was no significant difference in off-campus moderate or vigorous physical activity participation between campuses. Conclusion: The physical and social environment are important factors in HPP participation. Therefore, improving the physical and social environment of the workplace should be considered a best practice for HPPs.


Worksite Health Promotion, Physical Activity, Physical and Social Environment

Full Text:


Copyright (c) 2015 The Health & Fitness Journal of Canada

ISSN: 19206216