Effect of Nurses Living Fit? Exercise and Nutrition Intervention on Body Mass Index in Nurses
Speroni, Karen Gabel
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Purpose: Overweight and obesity are increasing at alarming rates worldwide. In the healthcare setting, administrators are searching for evidence-based programs featuring interventions on healthy living to enable weight loss in overweight workers and maintenance of normal weight. This is especially true among professional nurses who often become "role models" for patients affected by illnesses induced by overweight status. The hospital-based Nurses Living Fit & trade; (NLF) intervention was developed and researched by nurses to decrease overweight in nurses. Methods: This prospective, quasi-experimental, multi-center study evaluated changes in Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference between NLF and contrast nurse group convenience samples from seven hospitals. Nurses participating were physically active and provided consent. The NLF intervention included exercise, yoga and nutrition sessions. Diaries were completed for exercise (pedometer steps and exercise and yoga time), nutrition (food group servings, fast food meals, and water consumed), and sleeping, to address healthy lifestyle principles. The BMI and waist measures were completed at Baseline, Week 12 and Week 24. Results: A total of 217 nurses were enrolled in this study (NLF=108; Contrast=109) at 7 hospitals. The study hypothesis was met as NLF group participants had a greater mean reduction in BMI (-0.49) than contrast group participants (-0.19). The NLF group also had a greater mean reduction in waist circumference (-1.00"), versus the contrast group (-0.09"). Ninety three percent of the NLF participants recommended overall that the NLF program should be provided to other nurses (94.9%) and to health care professionals (92.3%). Conclusion: The NLF program demonstrated a decrease in BMI for nurse participants. Hospitals can provide an evidence-based program like NLF to educate nurses on healthy lifestyle principles. Ideally, nurses can utilize these principles to achieve or maintain normal weight, and to better educate their patients, families, and community, on healthy lifestyle principles targeting normal weight.