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The Measurable Benefits of a Workplace Wellness Program in Canada: Results After One Year

Lowensteyn, Ilka, PhD; Berberian, Violette, MBA; Belisle, Patrick, MSc; DaCosta, Deborah, PhD; Joseph, Lawrence, PhD; Grover, Steven, A., MD, MPA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 3 - p 211–216
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001240
Original Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of an employee wellness program in Canada.

Methods: A comprehensive program including web-based lifestyle challenges was evaluated with annual health screenings.

Results: Among 730 eligible employees, 688 (94%) registered for the program, 571 (78%) completed a health screening at baseline, and 314 (43%) at 1 year. Most (66%) employees tracked their activity for more than 6 weeks. At 1-year follow-up, there were significant clinical improvements in systolic blood pressure -3.4 mm Hg, and reductions in poor sleep quality (33% to 28%), high emotional stress (21% to 15%), and fatigue (11% to 6%). A positive dose–response was noted where the greatest improvements were observed among those who participated the most.

Conclusion: The program had high employee engagement. After 1 year, the benefits included clinically important improvements in physical and mental health.

McGill Comprehensive Health Improvement Program, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Drs Lowensteyn, DaCosta, Grover); Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Dr Lowensteyn, Mr Belisle, Drs DaCosta, Joseph, Grover); Merck Canada Inc., Kirkland, Quebec, Canada (Ms Berberian); and Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Dr Joseph).

Address correspondence to: Ilka Lowensteyn, PhD, 430 rue Saint Pierre, Montreal, QC H2Y 2M5, Canada (Ilka.lowensteyn@mcgill.ca).

This program was funded by Merck Canada Inc.

Drs Lowensteyn and Grover are part-time employees of Clinemetrica Inc., which owns the rights to the web-based platform used in this study. Dr Grover is also a shareholder in Clinemetrica Inc.

Authors Lowensteyn, Berberian, Belisle, DaCosta, Joseph, and Grover have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine