The healthy worker project: A work-site intervention for weight control and smoking cessation

R. W. Jeffery, J. L. Forster, S. A. French, S. H. Kelder, H. A. Lando, P. G. McGovern, D. R. Jacobs, J. E. Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Objectives. A randomized trial was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a work-site health promotion program in reducing obesity and the prevalence of cigarette smoking. Methods. Thirty-two work sites were randomized to treatment or no treatment for 2 years. Treatment consisted of health education classes combined with a payroll-based incentive system. Evaluation was based on cohort and cross-sectional surveys. Results. Of 10 000 total employees in treatment work sites, 2041 and 270 participated in weight control and smoking cessation programs, respectively. Weight losses averaged 4.8 lbs, and 43% of smoking participants quit. Net 2-year reductions in smoking prevalence in treatment vs control work sites were 4.0% and 2.1% in cross-sectional and cohort surveys, respectively. No treatment effect was found for weight. Treatment effects for smoking prevalence and weight were both positively correlated with participation rates in the intervention programs (r = .45 for smoking and r = .55 for weight). Conclusions. This work-site health promotion program was effective in reducing smoking prevalence at a cost that is believed to make the investment worthwhile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-401
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993


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