Promoting diet and physical activity in nurses: A systematic review

Torquati, Luciana, Pavey, Toby, Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy, & Leveritt, Michael (2017) Promoting diet and physical activity in nurses: A systematic review. American Journal of Health Promotion, 31(1), pp. 19-27.

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  • To systematically review the effectiveness of intervention studies promoting diet and physical activity (PA) in nurses.

Data Source

  • English language manuscripts published between 1970 and 2014 in PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and EMBASE, as well as those accessed with the PICO tool, were reviewed.

Study Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

  • Inclusion criteria comprised (1) nurses/student nurses working in a health care setting and (2) interventions where PA and/or diet behaviors were the primary outcome.

  • Exclusion criteria were (1) non–peer-reviewed articles or conference abstracts and (2) interventions focused on treatment of chronic conditions or lifestyle factors other than PA or diet in nurses.

Data Extraction

  • Seventy-one full texts were retrieved and assessed for inclusion by two reviewers. Data were extracted by one reviewer and checked for accuracy by a second reviewer.

Data Synthesis

  • Extracted data were synthesized in a tabular format and narrative summary.


  • Nine (n = 737 nurses) studies met the inclusion criteria. Quality of the studies was low to moderate. Four studies reported an increase in self-reported PA through structured exercise and goal setting. Dietary outcomes were generally positive, but were only measured in three studies with some limitations in the assessment methods. Two studies reported improved body composition without significant changes in diet or PA.


  • Outcomes of interventions to change nurses' PA and diet behavior are promising, but inconsistent. Additional and higher quality interventions that include objective and validated outcome measures and appropriate process evaluation are required.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 92488
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Systematic Review, Health Promotion, Workplace, Nutrition, Physical Activity. Manuscript format: literature review; Research purpose: descriptive; Study design: Systematic review; Outcome measure: behavioral; Setting: workplace; Health focus: physical act
DOI: 10.4278/ajhp.141107-LIT-562
ISSN: 0890-1171
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 American Journal of Health Promotion
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2016 04:52
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 23:01

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