Initial and Sustained Participation in an Internet-delivered Long-term Worksite Health Promotion Program on Physical Activity and Nutrition

Suzan Robroek, DEM Lindeboom, Lex Burdorf

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Background: Determinants of participation in health promotion programs are largely unknown. To evaluate and implement interventions, information is needed regarding their reach as well as regarding the characteristics of program users and non-users. Objective: In this study, individual, lifestyle, and health indicators were investigated in relation to initial, and sustained participation in an Internet-delivered physical activity and healthy nutrition program in the workplace setting. In addition, determinants of program website use were studied. Methods: Determinants of participation were investigated in a longitudinal study among employees from six workplaces participating in a two-year cluster randomized controlled trial. The employees were invited by email to participate. At baseline, all participants visited a website to fill out the questionnaire on lifestyle, work, and health factors. Subsequently, a physical health check was offered, followed by face-to-face advice. Throughout the study period, all participants had access to a we Results: Complete baseline data were available for 924 employees (intervention: n=456, reference: n=468). Lifestyle and health factors were not associated with initial participation. Employees aged 30 years and older were more likely to start using the program and to sustain their participation. Workers with a low intention to increase their physical activity level were less likely to participate (Odds Ratio (OR)=0.60, 95% Confidence interval (95% CI), 0.43-0.85) but more likely to sustain parti Conclusions: Modest initial participation and high attrition in program use were found. Workers with a low intention to change their behavior were less likely to participate, but once enrolled they were more likely to sustain their participation. Lifestyle and health indicators were not related to initial participation, but those with an unhealthy lifestyle were less likely to sustain. This might influence program effectiveness. Regular email messages prompted website use, but the use of importa
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-02-65-02

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