The Impact Of A Workplace Wellness Program On Employees In A University Setting

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Thomas Halloran (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: "The Affordable Care Act of 2010 contained incentives for worksites to develop workplace wellness programs (WWP) and employee wellness programs (EWP) (Kaspin et al , 2013). These programs have shown positive outcomes to companies in various dimensions , each independently studied. Historically , studies have examined one dimension of wellness and typically within a corporate setting. PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness of an educational wellness intervention on physical activity and overall well-being based on the 8 dimensions of wellness in university faculty and staff. The specific aims of this study include 1) Participants will gain the knowledge and understanding of the 8 dimensions of wellness and how to incorporate the 8 dimensions into their daily lives and 2) Participants will identify areas of improvement within the 8 dimensions of wellness to create a balanced , holistic approach to wellness. METHODS: Employees underwent an eight-week intervention called the Employee Wellness Institute (EWI). Employees met once a week for 90 minutes. Each session highlighted one or two of the eight dimensions of wellness. Participants (N = 12 , 72.7% female; 81.8% white) were university faculty and staff. Demographics were collected by a self-reported survey during the first visit and anthropometric data was collected by a trained researcher during the first and last visits. Body weight and height were collected using TANITA digital scale and SECA stadiometer. Body mass index was measured by dividing weight (kg) by the participant's squared height (m). Participants measured physical activity via pedometer (New Lifestyle 1000) and self-reported activity minutes during the entire length of the Employee Wellness Institute. Nutrition was assessed by a self-reported ""red food log"" tracking the number of unhealthy food items selected during the day for all the eight weeks. Overall wellness was assessed by the Wellness Assessment Questionnaire (University of North Dakota , n.d.). Statistical analysis utilized a paired- t test and Cohen's d for effect size. RESULTS: Within each dimension of wellness there was an average increase of 8% in Physical , 3% in Emotional , 3% in Social , 2% in Occupational , 4% in Spiritual , and both Environmental and Intellectual had the highest increase at 9% which calculated to be statistically significant (p=0.011). CONCLUSION: Data supports the hypothesis that employees would improve their proficiency within the 8-dimensions of wellness as well as physical activity , although not statistically significant. Within a short 8-week intervention , employee had increase their overall wellness up to 9% in some dimensions. If the employees had access to a year-round program that continuously strived to improve their wellness , or if more employees had access to such a program , the overall wellness of an entire faculty/staff of a university may be better. Thus , future research and practice efforts should be focused on implementing and evaluating year-long WWPs for university employees. Healthier employees can directly and indirectly save the employing company. Examples include lower annual health costs , decreased absenteeism , and decreased employee turnover."

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Health Education, Public Health, Dimensions of Wellness

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