Understanding the durability of a fire department wellness program

Linda Mabry, Diane L. Elliot, David P. MacKinnon, Felix Thoemmes, Kerry S. Kuehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: To understand the influences associated with durability and diffusion of benefits of a fire service wellness program. Methods: Qualitative assessment of group interviews. Results: Five years following a controlled worksite wellness trial, behavioral improvements were durable and had diffused to control participants. These findings were associated with firefighters' team orientation, enacted healthy norms and competitiveness regarding the results of annual health assessments. The original intervention trial appeared to initiate individual change that coalesced into group effects. Secondary influences included increasing public awareness about health, newly hired younger firefighters, and a modicum of administrative support. Culture shift was achieved at the workplace. Conclusions: Although the fire service is a unique occupation, these findings suggest general strategies to achieve durable positive health change in other occupational settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-702
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary behaviors
  • Physical activity
  • Qualitative
  • Worksite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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