Effectiveness of interventions targeting health behaviors in university and college staff: A systematic review

Ronald Plotnikoff, Clare E. Collins, Rebecca Williams, John Germov, Robin Callister

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective. Evaluate the literature on interventions targeting tertiary education staff within colleges and universities for improvements in health behaviors such as physical activity, dietary intake, and weight loss. Data Source. One online database, Medline, was searched for literature published between January 1970 and February 2013. Study Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria. All quantitative study designs, including but not limited to randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental studies, nonrandomized experimental trials, cohort studies, and case-control studies, were eligible. Data Extraction. Data extraction was performed by one reviewer using a standardized form developed by the researchers. Extraction was checked for accuracy and consistency by a second reviewer. Data Synthesis. Data in relation to the above objective were extracted and described in a narrative synthesis. Results. Seventeen studies were identified that focused on staff within the tertiary education setting. The review yielded overall positive results with 13 reporting significant health-related improvements. Weight loss, physical activity and fitness, and/or nutrition were the focus in more than half (n = 9) of the studies. Conclusion. This appears to be the first review to examine health interventions for tertiary education staff. There is scope to enhance cross-disciplinary collaboration in the development and implementation of a "Healthy University" settings-based approach to health promotion in tertiary education workplaces. Universities or colleges could serve as a research platform to evaluate such intervention strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e169-e187
    Number of pages20
    JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2015

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