WELLNESS AT WORK: WHAT INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL FACTORS INFLUENCE PARTICIPATION IN AND ADHERENCE TO A WORKPLACE WEIGHT LOSS (WEIGHT WATCHERS) PROGRAM?
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Obesity is a health concern for Canadians. Workplace weight loss programs are demonstrating promising outcomes with managing obesity. However, participation and adherence is problematic, especially for those employees most at risk (e.g., shift workers). Using a mixed methods, case study design this research examined participation in and adherence to a workplace weight loss program over a three month period. Framed by behavior change theory the study examined both individual and organizational factors within a large health care organization. The intervention used was the Weight Watchers program. This research highlighted gender, importance rating, stage of change and motivation as individual factors and culture, shift/schedules, time slot and environment as organizational factors. A few overlapping factors were identified including: Convenience, co-worker support and perceived ‘busyness and no-time’. This research confirms that individual behavior change is multi-factorial. More research is needed to determine if manipulation of these factors would improve participation in and adherence to workplace weight loss programs.