Workplace wellness programs are programs undertaken by an employer to improve employee health. Such programs have become popular since every employer aims to cut healthcare costs and improve employees’ productivity and efficiency. The study considers research that evaluated workplace wellness programs’ effects on employees’ health and economic outcomes across the eastern United States.
A workplace wellness program occurred at a large warehouse retail company, BJ’s Wholesale Club, which employed approximately 26 000 workers. The program devised by dietitians lasted for 18 months and consisted of 8 modules, which focused on critical points such as “wellness, nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction, and prevention” (Song & Baicker, 2019).
The researchers implemented the workplace wellness program by randomly selecting 20 worksites and the rest as controls, assigning treatment or control status accordingly. The self-reported surveys included measures such as diet, smoking, exercise, and the usage of alcohol. There was a control for age, sex, age-sex interactions, race, and initial employment characteristics to improve the accuracy of estimates.
Several secondary analyses were also carried out. First, the program’s impact was carried out on a predetermined group of stably employed workers. Second, the aggregate indicators of employment and claims at the workplace level were evaluated. Third, the key results were analyzed using only the impact weights. Fourth, logistic models for binary results were evaluated.
Among the section’s strengths is that the study was conducted outside of artificial settings. A study takes place at a warehouse retail company with randomly selected worksites. Another strength of the study is the perfect measurements, implying research conducted with the help of participants in their natural environments, including controls for age, sex, age-sex interactions, race, and initial employment characteristics to improve the accuracy of the estimates. As a result, the research report contains many details and precise definitions of key terms. Among the weaknesses of the section are less-than-perfect samples relying on voluntary responses to surveys which tend to be superficial.
Song Z., and Baicker K. (2019). Effect of a workplace wellness program on employee health and economic outcomes: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA, 321(15), 1491–1501.