The effects of a workplace health promotion program in small and middle-sized companies : a pre–post analysis

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Die Auswirkungen eines betrieblichen Gesundheitsförderungsprogramms in kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen : eine Pre-Post-Analyse
Author:Wollesen, Bettina; Menzel, Josefine; Drogemueller, Raphaele; Mattes, Klaus
Published in:Journal of public health
Published:25 (2017), 1, S. 37-47, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Electronic resource (online) Print resource
Online Access:
Identification number:PU201706004758

Author's abstract

Aim: Employees have to deal with work-related problems like a sedentary work style or musculoskeletal disorders. Moreover, psychological factors like time pressure can lead to the inability to work. The Fit for Business-program started in order to provide health promotion interventions for small and middle-sized companies. This study analyzed data concerning the infrastructure, activity levels and critical factors of success to increase physical activity levels.
Subject and methods: A total of N = 342 employees filled out standardized questionnaires about the infrastructure needed for health promotion, their workload, their physical and mental well-being, their resources and their health-related behavior. Statistical pre–post analysis included chi2-tests and multivariate tests. Qualitative interviews identified factors necessary for a successful implementation.
Results: There were differences concerning employees’ specific health conditions and infrastructures established for health promotion. The number of physically active employees increased significantly (p  = 0.015, Z = –3.67). This increase in sporting activity was due to participation in sports in fitness centers (+16.5 %, p < 0.001, Z  = 5.217), company sports (+8.7 %, p = 0.002, Z = –3.024) and sports clubs (+6.4 %, p = 0.048, Z = –1.976). Moreover, when the specific needs of the employees were considered, the number of people involved in several kinds of sports increased.
Conclusions: The implementation of health promotion programs in small and middle-sized companies is successful if the following factors are considered: a responsible key person or a linkage group and a marketing platform for the programs (e.g. a trail course) exists, an assessment of the employees’ demands for health promotion takes place and the interventions are geographically close to the company and compatible with working hours. Additionally, there might be a relationship between the company-specific infrastructure for health promotion and resulting workloads or physical complaints.