Background: This study assessed the effects of the Health Works for Women (HWW) intervention on improving multiple behaviors including nutrition and physical activity among rural female blue-collar employees in North Carolina.
Methods: Nine small to mid-size workplaces were randomly assigned to either intervention or delayed intervention conditions. After a baseline survey, an intervention consisting of two computer-tailored magazines and a natural helpers program was conducted over 18 months. Delayed worksites received one tailored magazine. Approximately 77 and 76% of baseline respondents completed follow-up surveys at 6 and 18 months, respectively, and 538 women (63%) completed all three surveys.
Results: At the 18-month follow-up, the intervention group had increased fruit and vegetable consumption by 0.7 daily servings compared to no change in the delayed group (P < 0.05). Significant differences in fat intake were observed at 6 months (P < 0.05) but not at 18 months. The intervention group also demonstrated improvements in strengthening and flexibility exercise compared to the delayed group. The rates of smoking cessation and cancer screening did not differ between study groups.
Conclusions: The HWW project was a successful model for achieving certain health behavior changes among blue-collar women.
(C)2002 American Health Foundation and Elsevier Science (USA).