Spotlight on article published in
IBI Spotlights call attention to important health and productivity findings from peer-reviewed work. The research described in this particular Spotlight is authored or co-authored by an IBI researcher. IBI members are encouraged to obtain the original articles from the copyright holder.
What is the Issue?
As the health of the nation declines and the costs of medical care rise, interest in health and wellness promotion in the workplace has increased.
What are the findings/solutions?
Research by IBI Executive Vice President Dr. Kimberly Jinnett, Pinnacol Assurance and the University of Colorado demonstrates that small businesses can overcome barriers to adoption of worksite wellness programs. Importantly, workers at small firms are just as likely as other workers to complete online HRAs. The study also found substantial health risks among the small business workforce.
Newman, L. S., Stinson, K. E., Metcalf, D., & Fang, H. (2015). Implementation of a Worksite Wellness Program Targeting Small Businesses: The Pinnacol Assurance Health Risk Management Study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(1), 14-21.
To assess small business adoption and need for a worksite wellness program in a longitudinal study of health risks, productivity, workers’ compensation rates, and claims costs.
Health risk assessment data from 6507 employees in 260 companies were examined. Employer and employee data are reported as frequencies, with means and standard deviations reported when applicable.
Of the 260 companies enrolled in the health risk management program, 71% continued more than 1 year, with 97% reporting that worker wellness improves worker safety. Of 6507 participating employees, 34.3% were overweight and 25.6% obese. Approximately one in five participants reported depression. Potentially modifiable conditions affecting 15% or more of enrollees include chronic fatigue, sleeping problems, headaches, arthritis, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension.
Small businesses are a suitable target for the introduction of health promotion programs.
Kim Jinnett, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Integrated Benefits Institute, contributed as an author to this research article.