Women in the workplace: promoting healthy lifestyles and mitigating weight gain during the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods

Seonad K. Madden, Helen Skouteris, Cate Bailey, Andrew P. Hills, Kiran D.K. Ahuja, Briony Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Overweight and obesity before, during, and after pregnancy are associated with adverse outcomes for mothers and their offspring. Workplaces have been identified as important settings for improving health and wellbeing. However, the value of workplace interventions for women across the reproductive life stages has yet to be realized. This paper aims to explore the potential of workplaces to facilitate healthy lifestyle behaviors, prevent further weight gain, and devise tailored interventions for working women, specifically during the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods. Workplaces can be used to engage women, including preconception women, who are detached from clinical settings. Potential benefits of workplace health promotion for women and employers include improved employee wellbeing, productivity, and corporate competitiveness. However, workplaces also need to overcome implementation barriers such as activity scheduling and availability. A systems approach may address these barriers. Consequently, designing and implementing workplace health promotion interventions to meet the specific needs of working women of reproductive age will necessitate collaboration with a range of key stakeholders across all stages of intervention design. Given that these women make up a considerable proportion of the workforce, workplaces can help optimize the health status of employees and prevent excess weight gain during the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number821
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020


  • Obesity
  • Postpartum
  • Preconception
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight management
  • Women’s health
  • Workplace

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