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A 6-Week Worksite Positivity Program Leads to Greater Life Satisfaction, Decreased Inflammation, and a Greater Number of Employees With A1C Levels in Range

Lord, Darcy, PhD; Deem, Angela, BSN, RN; Pitchford, Polly, BFA; Bray-Richardson, Eileen; Drennon, Michael, MSPH, MPA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 5 - p 357–372
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001527

Objective: To determine whether a 6-week Positivity Program could impact employee cardiovascular inflammation, blood sugars, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and/or life satisfaction.

Methods: Pre- and post-study blood draw and life satisfaction questionnaire tracked changes in 10 cardiovascular and inflammatory biomarkers for 63 employees who participated in a 6-week Positivity Program comprised of three interventions: gratitude, HeartMath's Heart Lock-In, and yoga stretches with guided imagery.

Results: Improvements were recorded in life satisfaction as well as in seven of 10 cardiovascular and inflammatory biomarkers, including high sensitivity C-reactive protein (HsCRP) (−27%), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (−1%), glucose (−2%), myeloperoxidase (MPO) (−5%), lipoprotein-associated phospholipase-A2 (Lp-PLA2) (−9%), apolipoprotein B (ApoB) (−6%), and DHEA (1%). No improvements were recorded in cortisol (11%), small-dense LDL (sdLDL) (0%), or oxidized LDL (OxLDL) (7%).

Conclusions: Data suggest that engaging in 6 weeks of a workplace Positivity Program may improve employee life satisfaction, blood sugar levels, and some markers of cardiovascular inflammation.

Employee Health & Benefits, Sarasota County Government, Sarasota (Dr Lord, Ms Deem, Ms Bray-Richarson); Aetna Inc., Tampa (Ms Pitchford); Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (Mr Drennon), Sarasota, Florida.

Address correspondence to: Darcy Lord, PhD, Sarasota County Government, Employee Health & Benefits, 1660 Ringling Blvd, Wellness, 4th Floor, Sarasota, FL 34236 (

Funding: Sarasota County Government implemented the 6-week worksite positivity study. Aetna, the medical insurance carrier for Sarasota County Government, provided funding for the laboratory services of the 6-week worksite positivity study through Cleveland HeartLab (an offsite lab). Sarasota County Government derives no immediate financial benefit from Aetna's payment to Cleveland HeartLab.

Conflicts of Interest: As stated above, Sarasota County Government derives no immediate financial benefit, from Aetna's payment to Cleveland HeartLab. One of the authors, Ms Pitchford, is employed by Aetna as onsite Health Promotion Specialist. Aetna provided funding for the study as seen above under “Funding.” Though employed by Aetna, Ms Pitchford works onsite at Sarasota County Government. Other than her regular salary, Ms Pitchford derives no immediate financial benefit from having participated in the 6-week Worksite Positivity Study. For all other authors (Dr Lord, Ms Deem, Ms Bray-Richardson, and Mr Drennon) regarding conflicts of interest: none declared.

Lord, Deem, Pitchford, Bray-Richardson, and Drennon 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 © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine