Author

  • Emaley McCulloch M.Ed., BCBA

    Vice President, Relias Institute, Relias

Research

Evaluation of an Employee Wellness Training Series

Research

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;

  1. Heart Disease Prevention
  2. The Importance of Physical Fitness
  3. Weight Management.

Methods

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

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

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.

data change analysis

knowledge of heart disease prevention chart

Table 1: Comparison of groups: Participants who reported themselves at/near ideal weight and those 20lbs or more overweight.

Body Image and Wellness Knowledge chart

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.

Read the Full Research Paper

You can download the full Employee Wellness Series whitepaper below.

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Publication

March 2016

Research Partner

Allegro Living

Abstract

Background: There is limited research on the effectiveness of online worksite wellness education. We examined the outcomes of online micro-learning courses on employee wellness knowledge and behavior. Methods: Participants were 18 employees of an assisted living facility in Florida who were given access to 3 Wellness courses on Weight Management. Assessments occurred before the online training, immediately after and after 60-90 days. Results: Immediate increase in knowledge but knowledge did not sustain overtime. Despite knowledge retention, there was a significant and sustained increase in using a physical fitness plan. No change in avoiding empty calories and other behaviors associated with heart disease. The results support further research on the use of ongoing training and wellness activities.