Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Body composition changes and work-efficiency effects from diet modification and incorporation of an at-home exercise regimen
by Farrell, Brian M., M.S., University of Cincinnati, 2010, 46; 1474849
Abstract (Summary)

Background. Obesity has been identified as one of the more serious health risk factors facing many individuals and society as a whole. The cost that is associated with the loss of life and medical expenses is significantly greater than that of smoking, excessive drinking, and poverty. In a working population, to stay economically viable and healthy, exercise and physical activity need to be a part of daily lifestyle to maintain both healthy body weight and composition and to prevent negative work effects. Obesity leads to reduced productivity and efficiency at the workplace, and leads to greater healthcare costs for companies. The cost of obesity in healthcare encompasses direct costs such as missed days to indirect costs from increased doctor visits and medications for health complications from obesity. There are numerous studies that support the fact that a modest reduction in weight can improve risk factors of obesity.

Methods. A Physical Activity Pamphlet (PAP) was developed to assist employees in service industries with Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25kg/m2 to make healthier choices about their weekly exercise patterns. The guide centers around adding more steps, burning more calories, and incorporating more exercise in simple ways. There is also a reference to MyPyramid.gov for nutritional advice and dietary suggestions. A Physical Activity Assessment Tool (PAAT) was also developed to measure the impact the PAP could have on changing the behavior of the employee group in making healthier choices.

Conclusion. Studies of wellness programs in work settings have shown results of improving healthy behaviors of those that participate in the program. Wellness programs offer nutrition interventions and exercise advice, which include a variety of education tools to improve participant knowledge so they can make healthier choices. Implementing these changes would benefit both employees and their employers. It would aid employees by increasing job satisfaction, efficiency, and motivation, and reducing absenteeism rates. It would benefit employers by decreasing absenteeism, improving efficiency of work force, and improved overall morale at the workplace. This study would have shown that a change in diet and implementing a physical activity regimen would help to reduce weight and favorably change body composition, which would lower risks for chronic diseases and costs associated with obesity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Juma, Shanil
Commitee: Falciglia, Graciela
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Nutrition
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 48/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Occupational health, Nutrition, Kinesiology, Health education
Keywords: Body composition, Exercise, Nutrition, Obesity, Physical activity, Wellness
Publication Number: 1474849
ISBN: 978-1-109-70824-0
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