Health Improvement Through Training and Employee Control
HITEC II Study: Health Improvement Through Training and Employee Control
Correctional officers are a relatively understudied working population, but an important segment of the public safety workforce. Their job tasks, while usually sedentary, are psychologically stressful and interspersed with emergency responses that often produce injuries. Working third shift and frequent mandatory overtime are also common requirements, especially for new officers.
From 2006 to 2011, CPH-NEW investigators studied physical and mental health of public sector correctional officers as part of the HITEC I study. We observed a steady progression of chronic disease risk factors within the first five years of employment, including obesity/overweight, hypertension, physical inactivity, high levels of depression, and poor sleep and nutritional habits. Read the article "Talking about health:correction employees' assessments of obstacles to healthy living" published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Using the ground work from HITEC I, we are now studying how correctional facilities can promote better musculoskeletal fitness, weight management, and safety for officers through interventions that engage the officers in designing customized programs, policies, and facility improvements.
HITEC II Study aims:
1. Compare the effectiveness of two types of participatory intervention approaches to see which method works best for reducing workplace exposures and improving health.
2. Assess whether introducing preventive health promotion for new recruits can help correctional officers avoid declines in health that are commonly seen during the first years of employment.