Behavioral risk factor and illness day changes with workplace health promotion: two-year results

Am J Health Promot. 1993 May-Jun;7(5):365-73. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-7.5.365.


Purpose: The impact of a workplace health promotion program was evaluated to determine changes in the number and level of seven behavioral risks and self-reported illness days.

Design: The study employed a pretest/posttest intervention group (N=7,178) with a two-year follow-up and a time-lagged, nonequivalent comparison group (N=7,101).

Setting: The study population was drawn from a large manufacturing company with more than 100 United States locations.

Subjects: Approximately one half of the study population was 40 years of age or older, 75% were males, 90% were white, and about 40% were hourly manufacturing employees.

Intervention: The program consisted of 1) training and support of coordinators; 2) health risk appraisals; 3) on-site classes, safety meetings, and self-help options; 4) environmental changes, e.g., smoking policy, cafeteria offerings, and blood pressure machines; and 5) recognition.

Measures: A 38-item health appraisal included self-report of illness days and behavioral risks, as well as information from company physical examinations.

Results: Both the number and the level of behavioral risk factors improved over two years. The proportion of employees with three or more risk factors decreased by 14% (p less than .001). The number of self-reported illness days in this group decreased by 12% during the same period (p less than .001). No change in illness days was observed in the group with fewer than three risk factors. Risk levels improved (range = 4.5% to 79%) for six of seven factors among high-risk individuals.


Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Health*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • United States