Reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome at the worksite: preliminary experience with an ecological approach

Daniela Lucini, Silvano Zanuso, Nadia Solaro, Chiara Vigo, Mara Malacarne, Massimo Pagani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: Given the time spent at work, the workplace represents an ideal setting to implement preventive programs for non-communicable diseases, the major cause of mortality and morbidity in Western and developing countries. We sought to verify if an ecological approach based on corporate culture, employees’ education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, offering easy opportunity to assume healthy lifestyle, could be associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk. Methods: The study involved 1089 workers in two multinational companies following different workplace health promotion policies. Company A offered to all employees the opportunity to access a web platform dedicated to general information on health and diseases. Company B implemented an ecological model encompassing company culture, employees’ education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, giving to all employees the opportunity to adopt healthy solutions throughout daily living at workplace. Participants volunteered self-reported clinical information using an IT tool. Numbers of Metabolic Syndrome components (MetS) were taken as proxy of cardiometabolic risk. Results: MetS probability obtained via statistical modeling was lower in company B as compared to company A, and absenteeism was also lower in company B. Our study shows that a work environment favoring assumption of healthy lifestyle, as in company B, is associated with a lower percentage of employees with MetS components and lower absenteeism. Moreover, statistical modeling shows that individual probabilities of being without MetS elements, controlling for age and gender, is remarkably higher in company B. Conclusions: Our data suggest that ecological approaches might be useful in worksite prevention policies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalActa Diabetologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016



  • Exercise medicine
  • Lifestyle
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Prevention
  • Workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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