health behavior, health promotion, metabolic syndrome, occupational health nursing, workers



  1. Park, Sungwon
  2. Jang, Min Kyeong
  3. Park, Chang Gi
  4. Hong, Oi Saeng


Background: Metabolic syndrome has a high global prevalence, affecting 26% of South Koreans. Lifestyle modifications have shown benefits in studies involving health behavior enhancement, specifically through workplace eating and exercise interventions. However, workplace interventions focusing on health behaviors have been inadequately explored.


Objectives: This study examined factors affecting health promotion behaviors of workers at high risk of metabolic syndrome by applying Theory of Planned Behavior constructs (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and intention).


Methods: This correlational cross-sectional study collected survey data from 164 hotel workers in South Korea. The study applied factor analysis and structural equation modeling for the data analysis.


Results: Analysis revealed five health promotion behaviors: exercise, making healthy food choices, avoiding fatty foods, eating a nutritious and balanced diet, and eating regular moderate meals. Participants were grouped as total participants, those with one risk factor, and those with two risk factors. In the "total" group, four behaviors were influenced by perceived behavioral control: exercise, making healthy food choices, eating a nutritious and balanced diet, and eating regular moderate meals. In the "one risk factor" group, intention and attitude influenced the eating regular moderate meals behavior, and two other behaviors were influenced by perceived behavioral control: exercise and eating a nutritious and balanced diet; in the "two risk factor" group, only perceived behavioral control directly affected exercise.


Discussion: Perceived behavioral control was a key predictor of health behaviors, and theory constructs partially explained behaviors. Perceived behavioral control influenced four behaviors and influenced exercise in all three groups. Also, theory constructs showed a greater effect on behaviors in the one risk factor group than in the two risk factor group, indicating that participants with one risk factor more effectively managed their behaviors on their own and with healthcare providers' support. Occupational health providers should conduct early assessments of workers showing metabolic syndrome risk factors to identify their particular risks, intention, and behaviors. As the number of risk factors affects behaviors and perceived behavioral control primarily influences exercise, these findings should be incorporated in metabolic syndrome interventions.