Be Engaged: Help Integrate Protection/Promotion was a three-year randomized, controlled study designed to explore new approaches to worksite wellness and workstation design. This study examined the effect of combining health protection (ergonomics) and health promotion (wellness) on absenteeism, workers compensation, height/weight measures and self-reported health parameters.
|The study population included office workers who were at increased risk for upper extremity and back injury. Participants were randomized into one of two arms. Control participants received quarterly newsletters and intervention participants attended a monthly 30 minute small group session to explore and discuss wellness/ergonomic topics of interest to them. All study participants completed a baseline visit and annual visits for three years. Data collection at these visits consisted of height and weight measures and completion of an online survey.|
| Results and Dissemination
Workplace wellness and safety are receiving increased attention. A recent study conducted by Linda Snetselaar, a professor of epidemiology, and colleagues tested a worksite intervention addressing wellness and ergonomics in six businesses. The study was funded through the Healthier Workforce Center at the University of Iowa. Many businesses fear that worksite wellness programs will not be adopted or sustained. Their study results showed that 90% of employees who started a group counseling program that included monthly group lunch sessions completed the program, and those who participated had lower absenteeism. This type of highly interactive and integrated short intervention can result in high levels of participation and may reduce absenteeism, a significant concern for many workplaces. Findings from the study were published in Topics in Clinical Nutrition.
Snetselaar L, Ahrens L, Johnston K, Smith K, Hollinger D, & Hockenberry J (2016). A participatory integrated health promotion and protection worksite intervention: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Topics in Clinical Nutrition, 31(1): 36-46.