Year of Publication

2020

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr Richard Ingram

Committee Member

Dr. Martha Riddell

Committee Member

Dr. David Fardo

Committee Member

Dr. Carrie Davidson

Abstract

Introduction: Worksite wellness programs are popular employer offerings as of the last few decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major shifts in behavior since these programs have been implemented. The purpose of this study was to see how the pandemic has affected various offerings within a university worksite wellness program.

Methods: This study is a secondary analysis of a university worksite wellness program, and it compares participation in the various offerings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by evaluating 2019 participation (pre-pandemic) to 2020 participation (including onset of the pandemic and after). This worksite wellness program, which is available to employees at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY, USA) and individuals on the university-sponsored health insurance programs, included approximately 40,000 eligible individuals per year in 2019 and 2020. The main outcome measures include participation in the three arms (MoveWell, EatWell, and BeWell) of this university worksite wellness program.

Results: Participation in the MoveWell and EatWell arms decreased after the onset of the pandemic in Kentucky (-33.6% and -32.1%, respectively), but participation in the BeWell arm increased (+41.8%). The most dramatic increase in participation that occurred was through BeWell’s health coaching, which increased by +76.1% when compared to the same time frame in 2020.

Conclusions: Although participation was reduced in the MoveWell and EatWell arms of this worksite wellness program, individuals were still participating in these programs, which is noteworthy in a pandemic. BeWell program participation increased during the pandemic and is a suggested point of focus for employers.

Available for download on Thursday, November 17, 2022

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