Modest effects of a controlled worksite environmental intervention on cardiovascular risk in office workers

Luuk H Engbers, Mireille N M van Poppel, Willem van Mechelen

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29 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To present the effects of a relatively modest environmental intervention on biological cardiovascular risk indicators.

METHOD: A controlled trial, including two worksites. Measurements (i.e., body composition, blood pressure and serum cholesterol) took place at baseline and at 3- and 12-month follow-up. The 12-month environmental intervention (The Hague, The Netherlands, 2004) consisted of: a 'Food'-part: to stimulate healthier food choices by means of product information in the canteen, and a 'Steps'-part: focused on stimulating stair use by means of motivational prompts in staircases and on elevator doors.

RESULTS: Significant differences in change between groups (n=540) in favor of the intervention group were found on: [1] total cholesterol for women (-0.35 mmol/l); [2] HDL for men at 3 months (0.05 mmol/l) and 12 months (0.10 mmol/l); and [3] the total-HDL ratio for the total intervention group at 3 and 12 months (-0.45 mmol/l). Both groups showed a decrease in all body composition values at both follow-ups. A significant difference in change in systolic BP was found in favor of the control group (approximately 4 mm Hg), due to an increase in the intervention group at both follow-ups.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the contrasting results, this modest environmental intervention was ineffective in reducing cardiovascular risk in a population of office workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-62
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Composition
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/prevention & control
  • Cholesterol/blood
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Program Evaluation
  • Workplace

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