"Finding Your Way Fit 2" Helps People Lose Weight and Body Fat and Lower Blood Pressure

Creating and testing a workplace health and fitness program

Project staff at Saint Peter's University Hospital recruited 101 volunteers from eight workplaces in New Brunswick, N.J., to participate in a community health fitness program called Finding Your Way Fit 2.

The project was designed as a pilot—and an expansion of a smaller St. Peter's community health fitness program—to learn how health care organizations and workplaces can work together to address the health and fitness needs of workers.

Key Results

  • Among the participants who remained active in the program:

    • More than half (58%) lost weight, decreased their BMI and decreased their body fat.
    • 26 percent (vs. the study goal of 30%) lost 5 percent of their body weight and experienced a 5 percent decrease in BMI.
    • The majority achieved a significant drop in blood pressure (75% decreased their resting systolic blood pressure nearly 9 percent).
    • 70 percent (vs. the study goal of 30%) showed statistically significant improvements on the timed mile walk and treadmill, as indicated by a decreased heart rate.
  • Most participants who remained active in the program were able to cite at least one significant change in either their eating or exercise habits.

  • Anecdotal evidence indicated that family members of participants also began to eat healthier food and to increase their activity levels.

  • Participants were more likely to remain involved when their organization's leaders also participated and promoted the program at the workplace.