Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Agricultural and Extension Education and Evaluation

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Chronic diseases among employed Americans contribute to financial and productivity losses for corporations and businesses. Employers often utilize workplace wellness programs to mitigate these losses. Although an important step, many employers fail to assess if their workforce is ready for wellness programs. Additionally, many employers do not improve the workplace environment to make it easier for employees to make healthier food and physical activity choices in workplace wellness programs. Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension Agents can help employers assess readiness and change the workplace environment. This dissertation utilized a systematized review of the literature to determine if physical activity and food environmental change interventions can improve employees' health and encourage healthier eating and physical activity behaviors. This review indicates that physical activity and food environmental change interventions can improve employee health and positively influence physical activity and eating behaviors. This study utilized the twelve-item Organizational Readiness for Implementing Change (ORIC) instrument to assess readiness for environmental change interventions among Louisiana's small and medium for-profit and not-for-profit businesses. This study revealed that small for-profit, small nonprofit, medium nonprofit companies had neutral opinions regarding readiness for change to a workplace environment supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

In contrast, medium for-profit businesses agreed that they were ready for change. This study developed a workplace environmental change self-study course for Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension Agents (FCS Agents). This study used a seven construct and 31 item survey to determine if FCS agents viewed the curriculum as a feasible medium for learning how to implement environmental change interventions within workplaces. Overall, survey respondents had positive perceptions regarding the feasibility of the curriculum.

Date

10-28-2021

Committee Chair

Cater, Melissa

Available for download on Tuesday, October 24, 2028

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