Worksite health interventions are not novel but their effect remains subject of debate. We examined employer-based wellness program to determine health habits trends, and compare prevalence estimates to national data. We conducted serial surveys (1996 and 2007-10) to employees of a large medical center that included questions measuring outcomes, including obesity, regular exercise, cardiovascular activity, and smoking status. Logistic regression models were estimated to compare data by membership across years, considering p-values ≤ 0.01 as statistically significant. 3,206 employees responded (Response rates 59-68%). Obesity prevalence increased over time in members and nonmembers of the wellness facility, consistent with national trends. Members had a lower prevalence of cigarette smoking compared to nonmembers (overall year-adjusted odds ratio 0.66, P < 0.001). Further, employees had a lower prevalence of cigarette smoking (9.7 vs. 17.3% in 2010, P < 0.001) compared with national data. Wellness facility membership was associated with increased regular exercise and cardiovascular exercise (P < 0.001) compared to nonmembers. In summary, working in a medical center was associated with a decreased prevalence of cigarette smoking, but not with lower prevalence of obesity. Worksite wellness facility membership was associated with increased exercise and decreased cigarette smoking. Employer-based interventions may be effective in improving some health behaviors.
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