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Health Promot Pract. 2006 Jul;7(3 Suppl):233S-46S. Epub 2006 Jun 7.

Putting promotion into practice: the African Americans building a legacy of health organizational wellness program.

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  • 1University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California, USA.


A Los Angeles REACH demonstration project led by Community Health Councils, Inc. adapted and implemented an organizational wellness intervention originally developed by the local health department, providing training in incorporating physical activity and healthy food choices into the routine "conduct of business" in 35 predominantly public and private, nonprofit-sector agencies. A total of 700 staff, members, or clients completed the 12-week or subsequently retooled 6-week curriculum. Attendance and retention rates between baseline and postintervention assessments were improved substantially in the shortened offering. Feelings of sadness or depression decreased significantly (p = .00), fruit and vegetable intake increased significantly (+0.5 servings/day, p = .00), and body mass index decreased marginally (-0.5 kg/m(2), p = .08) among 12-week participants. The numbers of days in which individuals participated in vigorous physical activity increased significantly among 6-week participants (+0.3, p = .00). This model holds promise for extending the reach of environmentally focused work-site wellness programming to organizations and at-risk populations not traditionally engaged by such efforts.

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