Objective: To investigate associations between employees' health locus of control (HLOC) and self-perceived health, health behaviors, and participation in health promotion programs (HPPs) and the mediating effect of self-perceived health and health behaviors on the relation between HLOC and participation. Method: Between 2010 and 2012, a six-month longitudinal study was conducted among 691 Dutch employees. Using questionnaires, information was collected on health behaviors, self-perceived health, HLOC, and intention to participate at baseline. Actual participation was assessed at follow-up. Logistic regression analyses were used to study associations between HLOC and self-perceived health, health behaviors, and participation, and to examine whether associations between HLOC and participation were mediated by self-perceived health and health behaviors. Results: Higher internal HLOC was associated with sufficient physical activity (moderate: OR:1.04, 95%CI:1.00-1.08; vigorous: OR:1.05, 95%CI:1.01-1.10) and fruit and vegetable intake (OR:1.05, 95%CI:1.01-1.09), a good self-perceived health (OR:1.20, 95%CI:1.11-1.30), a positive intention towards participation (OR:1.05, 95%CI:1.00-1.09), and actual participation (OR:1.06, 95%CI:1.00-1.13). Self-perceived health or health behaviors did not mediate associations between HLOC and participation. Conclusion: Employees with a higher internal HLOC behaved healthier and were more likely to participate in HPPs, irrespectively of their health. Increasing internal HLOC seems a promising avenue for improving employees' health and participation in HPPs.

Health locus of control, Health promotion, Lifestyle, Longitudinal design, Mediation analysis, Workplace
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.07.037, hdl.handle.net/1765/90054
Preventive Medicine
Department of Public Health

Rongen, A, Robroek, S.J.W, & Burdorf, A. (2014). The importance of internal health beliefs for employees' participation in health promotion programs. Preventive Medicine. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.07.037