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Durham e-Theses
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The Workplace Food Environment:
Exploring Interventions to Change Behaviours

SMITH, SARAH,ANN (2019) The Workplace Food Environment:
Exploring Interventions to Change Behaviours.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (PhD Thesis Sarah Smith FINAL) - Accepted Version


Abstract: The Workplace Food Environment: Exploring Interventions to Change Behaviours. Sarah Ann Smith
It is recognised that the workplace is a promising setting in which to deliver health-promoting activities. However, the lack of evidence regarding the role of workplaces and the failure of many interventions to recognise and address the complexity of the work environment has been acknowledged. The research reported in this thesis aimed to better understand what constitutes an effective workplace intervention aimed at changing dietary behaviours. Multiple mixed methods research was used to answer the aims and objectives of this thesis. A quantitative systematic review with meta-analysis plus narrative summary was conducted and identified key theoretical behaviour change techniques underpinning successful workplace dietary interventions. Qualitative interviews with those responsible for delivering workplace interventions in the North East region provided evidence of several inter-linked factors within workplace settings that influence dietary behaviours. Findings suggest that workplaces under financial pressure (austerity) may result in a management decision to close onsite catering and canteens resulting in the workforce relying heavily on external sources of catering and food provision. An exploration of the broader workplace and neighbourhood food environment through onsite observations, gathering audit data, plus further qualitative interviews with food providers and users has begun to identify some simple, cost neutral interventions that are easily implemented that help the workforce engage in healthier dietary behaviours.
Results indicate that workplaces are appropriate settings for behaviour change. It is recommended that interventions that aim to improve dietary behaviours in workplace settings must be cost neutral, make use of workplace communication routes, address working patterns and work culture, engage management, provide peer support, and be employee guided. A complex systems approach is most favourable to address the wider context rather than individual behaviour change interventions that can exacerbate inequalities.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Workplace, Food Environment, Behaviour Change, Intervention
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Sport and Exercise Sciences, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:03 Mar 2021 10:05

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