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The Impact of a Workplace-Based Weight Loss Program on Work-Related Outcomes in Overweight Male Shift Workers

Morgan, Philip J. PhD; Collins, Clare E. PhD; Plotnikoff, Ronald C. PhD; Cook, Alyce T. BEd; Berthon, Bronwyn BND; Mitchell, Simon BPhys; Callister, Robin PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 2 - p 122–127
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31824329ab
CME Available for this Article at

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a workplace-based weight loss program (Workplace POWER [Preventing Obesity Without Eating like a Rabbit]) for male shift workers on a number of work-related outcomes.

Methods: A total of 110 overweight/obese (body mass index = 25–40) (mean [SD] age = 44.3 [8.6] years; body mass index = 30.5 [3.6]) male employees at Tomago Aluminium (New South Wales, Australia) were randomized to either (i) Workplace POWER program (n = 65) or (ii) a 14-week wait-list control group (n = 45). Men were assessed at baseline and 14-week follow-up for weight, quality of life, sleepiness, productivity at work (presenteeism), absenteeism, and workplace injuries.

Results: Retention was 81%. Intention-to-treat analysis using linear mixed models revealed a significant intervention effect for weight, quality of life (mental), presenteeism, absenteeism, and injuries.

Conclusions: The Workplace POWER weight loss program improved a number of important work-related outcomes in male shift workers.

From the School of Education (Drs Morgan, Plotnikoff, and Ms Cook and Ms Berthon), School of Health Sciences (Dr Collins), and School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy (Dr Callister), Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, and Tomago Aluminium (Mr Mitchell), Tomago, New South Wales, Australia.

Address correspondence to: Philip J. Morgan, PhD, Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW Australia 2308 (

S.M. is the Health and Safety Services Leader at Tomago Aluminium. Since completion of the project, P.J.M. has worked as consultant to Tomago Aluminium.

Authors Morgan, Collins, Plotnikoff, Cook, Berthon, Mitchell and Callister PhD were supported by Tomago Aluminium and the Hunter Medical Research Institute. Author Mitchell is the Health and Safety Services Leader at Tomago Aluminium. Author Morgan has worked as consultant to Tomago Aluminium. All other authors declare that they have no competing interests.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12609001003268

Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine