Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Prev Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;53(1-2):53-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.04.012. Epub 2011 May 4.

The association between worksite social support, diet, physical activity and body mass index.

Author information

  • 1Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, 67 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Social support may be associated with improved diet and physical activity-determinants of overweight and obesity. Wellness programs increasingly target worksites. The aim was to evaluate the relationship between worksite social support and dietary behaviors, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI).


Baseline data were obtained on 2878 employees from 2005 to 2007 from 34 worksites through Promoting Activity and Changes in Eating, a group-randomized weight reduction intervention in Greater Seattle. Worksite social support, diet, physical activity, and BMI were assessed via self-reported questionnaire. Principal component analysis was applied to workgroup questions. To adjust for design effects, random effects models were employed.


No associations were found with worksite social support and BMI, or with many obesogenic behaviors. However, individuals with higher worksite social support had 14.3% higher (95% CI: 5.6%-23.7%) mean physical activity score and 4% higher (95% CI: 1%-7%) mean fruit and vegetable intake compared to individuals with one-unit lower support.


Our findings do not support a conclusive relationship between higher worksite social support and obesogenic behaviors, with the exception of physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake. Future studies are needed to confirm these relationships and evaluate how worksite social support impacts trial outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center