Worksite Neighborhood and Obesogenic Behaviors

Findings Among Employees in the Promoting Activity and Changes in Eating (PACE) Trial
Published:November 06, 2014DOI:


      Understanding mechanisms linking neighborhood context to health behaviors may provide targets for increasing lifestyle intervention effectiveness. Although associations between home neighborhood and obesogenic behaviors have been studied, less is known about the role of worksite neighborhood.


      To evaluate associations between worksite neighborhood context at baseline (2006) and change in obesogenic behaviors of adult employees at follow-up (2007–2009) in a worksite randomized trial to prevent weight gain.


      Worksite property values were used as an indicator of worksite neighborhood SES (NSES). Worksite neighborhood built environment attributes associated with walkability were evaluated as explanatory factors in relationships among worksite NSES, diet, and physical activity behaviors of employees. Behavioral data were collected at baseline (2005–2007) and follow-up (2007–2009). Multilevel linear and logistic models were constructed adjusting for covariates and accounting for clustering within worksites. Product-of-coefficients methods were used to assess mediation. Analyses were performed after study completion (2011–2012).


      Higher worksite NSES was associated with more walking (OR=1.16, 95% CI=1.03, 1.30, p=0.01). Higher density of residential units surrounding worksites was associated with more walking and eating five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, independent of worksite NSES. Residential density partially explained relationships among worksite NSES, fruit and vegetable consumption, and walking.


      Worksite neighborhood context may influence employees’ obesogenic behaviors. Furthermore, residential density around worksites could be an indicator of access to dietary and physical activity–related infrastructure in urban areas. This may be important given the popularity of worksites as venues for obesity prevention efforts.
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