Employee wellness programs have many benefits to both employers and employees. Studies show that workplace wellness programs can increase work productivity and effectively reduce employer costs related to health care and absenteeism (Mattke et al, 2013).
This study examines the knowledge and health behavior outcomes associated with an educational series of mobile-friendly, micro-learning wellness courses and whether these associations, if any, persist over time.
The Wellness Series through Relias Learning are animated, mobile-friendly tutorials, each taking 10 minutes or less to complete. Micro-learning courses deliver information in small and focused bursts with embedded interactions and competency checks. Three of these micro courses were evaluated in this study;
- Heart Disease Prevention
- The Importance of Physical Fitness
- Weight Management.
Figure 1: Screen shots of one of the wellness courses
The study was conducted with 18 volunteers who are employees at Allegro Senior Living in Florida. Sixteen of the Eighteen remaining participants were females and all worked in various roles at Allegro living (e.g. Director, server and receptionist). Eighty-four percent of participants reported that they could lose 10 or more pounds. All individuals who participated in the Wellness Series did voluntarily as they were not mandatory employee courses.
Figure 2: Participant Demographics
Assessments were given before and after completing the wellness courses and then for follow -up 60-90 days later. The survey's assessed knowledge and behavior change before and after the courses. The follow up assessed retention of knowledge and sustained behavior change.
Results from table indicate that the after the wellness courses, participants demonstrated immediate increase knowledge but that knowledge did not sustain overtime in the follow up assessment. Despite loss of knowledge, some behaviors did change and sustain over time such as implementing a physical fitness plan, creating a weight management plan and staying within recommended calories per day.
Figure 2: Table 1: Analysis of these data suggests change did occur following the training.
Table 1: Comparison of groups: Participants who reported themselves at/near ideal weight and those 20lbs or more overweight.
In order to generalize these results, future studies should include more participants and include a control group that does not access the wellness courses to eliminate other variables that could impact knowledge and behavior change.
Additionally, you can download the full Employee Wellness Series whitepaper here.