The effectiveness of body age-based intervention in workplace health promotion: Results of a cohort study on 9851 Danish employees

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: The aging population emphasize the need for effective health promotion interventions. The workplace is a prioritized setting for health promotion to reach widely within a population. Body age can be used as a health-risk estimate and as a motivational tool to change health behavior. In this study we investigate body age-based intervention including motivational interview and its effect on health, when applied to real life workplace health promotion. Material and methods: Body age-based intervention was performed in 90 companies on 9851 Danish employees from 2011-2017. Metabolic risk factors were assessed, body age score was determined and an individualized motivational interview was conducted at baseline and follow-up. Change in body age score, single risk factors, smoking habits and metabolic syndrome were analyzed. The body age score is a composite score comprising 11 weighted variables. A body age score ≤ 0 is preferred, as this elicit a younger/healthier or equal body age compared to chronological age. Results: At 1.3 year follow-up the unhealthiest employees were less likely to participate. Within follow-up participants (39%, n = 3843) body age had improved by a decline in mean body age score of -0.6 and -0.7 years for men and women, respectively (p<0.001). Number of employees with metabolic syndrome had decreased from 646 at baseline to 557 at follow-up (p = 0.005) and 42% of smokers had quit smoking (p<0.001). Conclusion: On the basis of this study, we suggest that body age assessment motivates to participate in workplace health promotion, affect high risk behavior such as smoking thus have potential in public health promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0239337
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9 September
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

ID: 249856747