Comparison of two health-promotion programs for older workers

Am J Public Health. 2011 May;101(5):883-90. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300082. Epub 2011 Mar 18.


Objectives: We examined the effects of 2 worksite health-promotion interventions (compared with a health-education control) on older workers' healthy behaviors and health outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, randomized controlled trial with 423 participants aged 40 years and older. Participants were categorized into 3 study arms: the COACH intervention combined Web-based risk assessments with personal coaching support, the RealAge intervention used a Web-based risk assessment and behavior-specific modules, and a control group received printed health-promotion materials. Participants were assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Random-effects modeling controlled for baseline stage of change for all behaviors of interest in all groups.

Results: At 6 and 12 months, COACH participants showed significantly increased fruit and vegetable consumption (P = .026; P < .001) and participation in physical activity (P = .05; P = .013), and at 12 months they showed decreased percentage of energy from fat (P = .027). RealAge participants showed significantly decreased waist circumference at 6 and 12 months (P = .05; P = .018).

Conclusions: COACH participants were twice as likely to use the COACH intervention as RealAge participants were to use the RealAge intervention. COACH participants experienced twice the number of positive outcomes that control participants experienced.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Counseling
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Waist Circumference
  • Workplace