Barriers to participation in a worksite wellness program.
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THE PURPOSE OF THIS RESEARCH WAS TO DETERMINE BARRIERS THAT PREVENT PARTICIPATION IN AN EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAM, WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: « Eat & Meet » About Healthy Living, conducted at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. All ECU ARAMARK employees (n = 481) over the age of 18 were eligible to participate in the wellness program. Weekly 30 minute classes, taught by a Registered Dietitian, on various nutrition- and health-related topics were conducted for 10-weeks. Five question knowledge quizzes were administered to participants at the end of each class to determine the comprehension of material presented. Qualitative interviews (n = 19) were conducted with employees (participants and non-participants) and the program organizer after the completion of the 10-week program to identify barriers to program participation. A total of 50 (10.4% of the total number of potential participants) ECU ARAMARK employees, managers, and leadership team directors attended Wellness Wednesdays at least once during the 10-week program. Employees, on average, scored 71-100% on the weekly knowledge quizzes administered at the end of each class. The most common barriers to participation reported included (most often to least often reported): insufficient incentives, inconvenient locations, time limitations, not interested in topics presented, undefined reasons, schedule, marketing, health beliefs, and not interested in the program. Results showed that employee wellness programs can be effective in increasing knowledge of employees on nutrition- and health-related topics. However, program planning that addresses identified barriers including insufficient incentives, inconvenient locations, and time limitations may facilitate higher participation in future worksite wellness opportunities.
PMID: 20461204 [PubMed – in process]PMCID: PMC2867226Free PMC Article
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