Using formative research to develop environmental and ecological interventions to address overweight and obesity

Mark G. Wilson, Ron Z. Goetzel, Ronald J. Ozminkowski, Dave M. DeJoy, Lindsay Della, Enid Chung Roemer, Jennifer Schneider, Karen J. Tully, John M. White, Catherine M. Baase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: This paper presents the formative research phase of a large multi-site intervention study conducted to inform the feasibility of introducing environmental and ecological interventions. Research Methods and Procedures: Using mixed methods that included an environmental assessment, climate survey, leadership focus groups and interviews, and archival data, information was collected on employee health and job factors, the physical environment, social-organizational environment, and current health programs. Results: Results show that 83% of employees at the study sites were overweight or obese. Leadership was very supportive of health initiatives and felt integrating the strategies into organizational operations would increase their likelihood of success. Environmental assessment scores ranged from 47 to 19 on a 100-point scale. Health services personnel tended to view the organizational climate for health more positively than site leadership (mean of 3.6 vs. 3.0, respectively). Discussion: Intervention strategies chosen included increasing healthy food choices in vending, cafeterias, and company meetings, providing a walking path, targeting messages, developing site goals, training leaders, and establishing leaders at the work group level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37S-47S
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Environment
  • Formative research
  • Intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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