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Ann Work Expo Health. 2018 Sep 13;62(suppl_1):S42-S54. doi: 10.1093/annweh/wxy049.

The Impact of Worksite Wellness Programs by Size of Business: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study of Participation, Health Benefits, Absenteeism, and Presenteeism.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Center for Health, Work & Environment, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
2
Department of Biostatistics and Informatics, Center for Health, Work and Environment, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
3
Department of Health Systems, Management and Policy, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
4
Segue Consulting, Denver, CO, USA.
5
Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Washington, DC, USA.
6
IBM Watson Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
7
Center for Workforce Health and Performance, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
8
Institute for Health and Aging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
9
Pinnacol Assurance, Denver, CO, USA.
10
Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO, USA.
11
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.

Abstract

Objective:

Worksite wellness programs (WWP) may positively impact employee health, medical expenditures, absenteeism, and presenteeism. However, there has been little research to assess the benefits of WWP in small businesses. The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate changes in health, absenteeism, and presenteeism for employees who participated in a WWP.

Methods:

We conducted an observational, 3-year cohort study of 5766 employees from 314 businesses of differing sizes. We followed two cohorts of employees, who completed at least two annual health risk assessments (HRA) between May 2010 and December 2014. Changes from baseline to the first and second follow-up periods were assessed for chronic and non-chronic health conditions, absenteeism, and presenteeism.

Results:

Small business employees were more likely to participate in the WWP than were employees from large businesses. Changes in chronic and non-chronic health conditions varied by size of business, with small business employees showing improvements in stress, overall health, depression, smoking status, vegetable and fruit consumption, and physical activity, and in their perceptions of job health culture. In contrast, large business employees experienced improvements in stress, vegetable consumption, and alcohol use. No changes in absenteeism or presenteeism were observed.

Conclusions:

Small businesses achieve higher employee participation rates and more health improvements when compared to employees from large employers. Findings suggest that small businesses may gain the most from a WWP.

PMID:
30212884
DOI:
10.1093/annweh/wxy049

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