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Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Dietary Behavior: The Role of the Occupational Health ServicesA Scoping Review

Kwak, Lydia PhD; Hagströmer, Maria PhD; Jensen, Irene PhD; Karlsson, Malin Lohela PhD; Alipour, Akbar MD, PhD; Elinder, Liselotte Schäfer PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 1 - p 35–46
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000012
Original Articles

Objective: Conduct a scoping review to identify and map the literature that has evaluated the effects of health promotion interventions aimed at physical activity and/or dietary behavior, implemented by the occupational health services.

Methods: A search for peer-reviewed articles was conducted (up to February 2013) through electronic databases, hand searching of key journals, and reference lists. A methodological quality assessment was performed.

Results: Fourteen studies were included, describing 10 interventions. The main component was counseling of individuals with known cardiovascular disease risk factors. Intervention effects were reported for dietary behavior, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and biological risk factors.

Conclusions: Results are promising, especially with regard to interventions containing counseling targeting individuals at risk. High-quality studies using objective measures to assess behavioral outcomes and the (cost)-effectiveness of interventions containing counseling, PA on prescription, and multilevel interventions are needed.

From the Unit of Intervention and Implementation Research (Drs Kwak, Jensen, Karlsson, and Alipour), Institute for Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Division of Physiotherapy (Dr Hagströmer), Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden; and Division of Social Medicine (Dr Elinder), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Address correspondence to: Lydia Kwak, PhD, Unit of Intervention and Implementation Research, Institute for Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Box 210, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden (

This work was done as part of the Programme Research on Occupational Health Services Methods at Karolinska Institute funded by the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, Sweden. The authors have no competing interests to declare.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine