Pilot study: Effect of a worksite weight-loss intervention and social influence on self-efficacy and self-regulation for eating and exercise

Sandon, Lona
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Employers need more effective workplace interventions to address overweight and obesity. Self-efficacy (SE) and self-regulation (SR) of weight management behaviors and social influence are important factors for weight loss. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to assess the influence of an intervention on SR, SE, and weight at a worksite and investigate the effect of social influence on these variables. Female employees (age M = 46.5) with a BMI greater than 25 consented and enrolled in the 10-week intervention (n = 58) or control (n = 38) group. Intervention (n = 41) and control (n = 32) participants completed the WEL-SF, PAAI, SR-Eat, and SR-PA questionnaires and weight measurements at week-1, 10, and 14. A sub-set of intervention participants (n = 11) completed interviews during week-11 and 12. Using mixed ANOVA, only WEL-SF scores were significant for between-subjects effects (p < .01). Time and time-by-group effect were significant for weight and BMI (p = .01, p = .00), SE-Eat, SR-Eat (p = .00), SE-PA (p = .00, p = .02 respectively), and SR-PA (p = .00, p = .04 respectively). Independent t-tests were significant for SE-Eat and SR-Eat at week-10 vi (p < .01). Intervention group paired t-tests were significant for increased SE-Eat, SR-Eat, SE-PA, SR-PA, fruit intake, strength/stretching, and aerobic exercise (p < .01), and decreased weight and BMI (p < .01) at week-10 and 14. Attendance correlated with weight loss, SR-Eat, and aerobic exercise (p < .05). Change in SR-Eat was correlated with change in weight at week-10 (r = -.43, p = .01) compared to change in SE-Eat and weight (r = -.35, p = .02). Interviewees perceived limited social influence of co-workers. Social influence on SE and SR included themes of support, role modeling, competition, accountability, and motivation. Behavioral-based worksite weight-loss interventions can influence SE, SR, lead to weight loss, and changes in eating and exercise behaviors. Attendance is a factor for SR and weight loss outcomes. SR for eating behavior was stronger than SE for weight loss outcomes. Social influence played a small role, but interviewees did not perceive it as a strong influence.

Health Studies, Health and environmental sciences, Education, Nutrition, Obesity, Self-efficacy, Self-regulation, Social influence, Weight loss, Worksite health promotion