Introduction Japanese government introduced behavioural approach for modifying unfavourable life styles leading to metabolic syndrome (MetS) into community health promotion in 2008. Previous studies have reported its efficacy in community settings. However, few studies examined effectiveness of work-site behavioural intervention for employees.
Methods A total of 311 male workers of a health insurance company were recruited. They were classified as high risk group of Mets by measuring BMI, blood pressure, HbA1c, HDL and LDL cholesterol levels at the annual health examination in 2008. A subgroup of them were recommended to participate in a health promotion activity with behavioural approach aiming diet and physical activity modification (intervention group; 86 persons). After 1-year follow-up, prevalence of MetS and levels of the previous factors were compared between the intervention group and non-intervention group (225 persons).
Results After adjusting for age, no statistically significant difference of the prevalence of MetS and levels of the previous factors was found between the group at the baseline examination. In the 2009 examination, BMI, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels decreased significantly in the intervention group while HbA1c level increased and HDL cholesterol level decreased in the non-intervention group. Prevalence of Mets decreased in the intervention group (−23.3%: 95% CI −34.2 to −12.2%) and also did in the non-intervention group (−16.8%: −23.5 to −10.3%). Difference in change of the prevalence in each group (6.5%: −3.7 to 16.7%) was in borderline significance.
Conclusion This quasi-experimental study at worksite suggested effectiveness of work-site behavioural intervention for employees with MetS in Japan.