Evaluation of a Digital Behavioral Counseling Program for Reducing Risk Factors for Chronic Disease in a Workforce

J Occup Environ Med. 2017 Aug;59(8):e150-e155. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001091.


Objective: To evaluate a digitally delivered, intensive behavioral counseling program for a workforce at risk for obesity-related chronic disease.

Methods: Employees were offered a digital health program modeled after the diabetes prevention program (DPP). Annual workforce health assessments were used to examine changes in chronic disease risk factors between participants (n = 634) relative to a matched comparison group (n = 1268).

Results: Overall, employees were gaining an average of 3.5 pounds annually before program inception. Program engagement was positive; 83% completed the majority of the curriculum and 31% lost at least 5% of their starting weight. Compared with non-participating peers, participants demonstrated reduced weight, improved fasting blood glucose, and improved nutritional intake after a year.

Conclusions: The digital health program was effective for engaging employees in health behavior change. Digital options facilitate widespread implementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Chronic Disease
  • Counseling
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Weight Loss*
  • Workplace*
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol