Availability and Use of Workplace Supports for Health Promotion Among Employees of Small and Large Businesses

Ann Marie Dale, Chris Enke, Skye Buckner-Petty, James Aaron Hipp, Christine Marx, Jaime Strickland, Bradley Evanoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: To explore the availability and utilization of workplace health supports by employees of small and large-sized employers. Design: Cross-sectional, telephone-based interviews collected on 16 workplace health supports for physical activity and diet. Setting: Participants selected by random-digit-dialing from 4 metropolitan areas of Missouri employees from 2012 to 2013. Participants: Two thousand fifteen working adults. Methods: We explored the availability and use of supports by employer size (<100 employees vs ≥100 employees), accounting for industry and personal factors. Analysis: We examined distributions and Poisson regression models of availability for supports by employer size and by industry and use of supports by employer size and personal factors. Results: One-fifth of the 1796 employees were employed by small-sized employers. Large employers offered more supports than small (mean: 6 vs 3), but a higher proportion of employees of small-sized employers used supports when available (59% vs 47%). The differences in offered supports between industries were not due to size alone. In regard to the determinants of participation, the personal factors of gender, age, weight, and income were associated with participation in 10 of the supports. Employer size was also associated with participation in 10 supports. No associations were found between personal factors or workplace size and participation for 3 supports. Conclusion: A higher proportion of employees working for smaller businesses use available supports than employees of larger businesses. Supports offered by employers should target the needs and interests of the workforce, particularly for the higher risk low-income employees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • health behaviors
  • health disparities
  • small businesses
  • supportive environments
  • workplace


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