Tips for Implementing Worksite Weight Management Programs

July 15, 2004
The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Inc. (AAOHN) is offering the following guidelines to help companies develop and implement workplace weight-management programs.

AAOHN sponsored a recent study to explore participation in and perception of employer sponsored weight-management programs among the working population. The study included 10,000 telephone interviews among full-time employees ages 18 years and older. According to the survey, workplace weight-management programs play a tremendous role in helping employees achieve weight loss.

  • Management involvement is a must management support contributes to the success of the program. Management should promote the program at meetings and take an interest in success and outcomes. This will indicate that management is directly interested in employee health.
  • Recruit employees Getting employees involved at the very beginning is crucial to making the program successful. Setting up a committee and having representation from a diverse group of individuals is key (diverse: fit employees, overweight employees and obese employees).
  • Promote often Promote the programs as often as possible. Visibility and repeated communications help ensure consistent participation.
  • Enlist trained professionals Enlisting a trained health and wellness professional, like an occupational and environmental health nurse or health consultant, to help implement and lead the program. This brings credibility to the program and helps to ensure that all employees are participating in a healthy manner.
  • Encourage a team atmosphere Encourage employees to participate in the programs together and to check in on each other's progress to help with overall encouragement and support.
  • Share successes Nothing motivates employees like seeing results. Proving the program works keeps employees and management excited and participation levels high.
About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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