Truckies and workplace health promotion: Targeting a hard-to-reach group

Sendall, Marguerite C., McCosker, Laura K., Biggs, Herbert C., Crane, Philip R., Fleming, Mary-Lou, Ramsey, Rebecca, & Rowland, Bevan D. (2015) Truckies and workplace health promotion: Targeting a hard-to-reach group. In Population Health Congress 2015, 6-9 September 2015, Hobart, Tas. (Unpublished)

Abstract

  • Introduction

Research identifies truck drivers as being at high risk of chronic disease. For most truck drivers their workplace is their vehicle. Truck drivers’ health is impacted by the limitations of this unique working environment, including reduced opportunities for physical activity and the intake of healthy foods. Workplaces are widely recognised as effective platforms for health promotion. However, the effectiveness of traditional and contemporary health promotion interventions in truck drivers’ novel workplace is unknown.

  • Methods

This project worked with six transport industry workplaces in Queensland, Australia over a two-year period. Researchers used Participatory Action Research (PAR) processes to engage truck drivers and workplace managers in the implementation and evaluation of six workplace health promotion interventions. These interventions were designed to support truck drivers to increase their physical activity and access to healthy foods at work. They included traditional health promotion interventions such as a free fruit initiative, a ten thousand steps challenge, personal health messages and workplace posters, and a contemporary social media intervention. Participants were engaged via focus groups, interviews and mixed-methods surveys.

  • Results

The project achieved positive changes in truck drivers’ health knowledge and health behaviours, particularly related to nutrition. There were positive changes in truck drivers’ self-reported health rating, body mass index (BMI) and readiness to make health-related lifestyle changes. There were also positive changes in truck drivers reporting their workplace as a key source of health information. These changes were underpinned by a positive shift in the culture of participating workplaces. Truck drivers’ perceptions of their workplace valuing, encouraging, modelling and facilitating healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviours improved. PAR processes enabled researchers to develop relationships with workplace managers, contextualise interventions and deliver rigorous outcomes. Despite the novelty of truck drivers’ mobile workplace, traditional health promotion interventions were more effective than contemporary ones.

  • Conclusion

In this workplace health promotion project targeting a ‘hard-to-reach’ group of truck drivers, a combination of well-designed traditional workplace interventions and the PAR process resulted in positive health outcomes.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 91157
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: health promotion, Participatory Action Research PAR, chronic disease, transport industry
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2015 22:42
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2015 22:44

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