Title

Effects Of a 4-Week Worksite Wellness Program on Presenteeism in Higher Education Professionals

Author

Moira Johnson

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Department

Educational Administration

Date of Award

Fall 2014

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to determine whether an on-campus 4-week employee wellness program with self-selected modules chosen from fundamental components of physical fitness, stress management, and personal/professional development had an effect on presenteeism in faculty and staff at a university. As the human, economic, and productivity costs of an unhealthy workforce continue to rise, higher education employers are seeking preventative alternatives to keep faculty and staff healthy, present, and on task. Common minor health ailments such as back pain, insomnia, and emotional stress can result in drastically reduced productivity when workers are present but unable to focus fully and be productive, a pattern known as presenteeism. The purpose of this research was to determine whether an on-campus 4-week employee wellness program with self-selected modules chosen from fundamental components of physical fitness, stress management, and personal/professional development had an effect on presenteeism in faculty and staff at a university. Worksite wellness programs have been shown to have speedy and significant payoffs on both the individual and institutional levels. Adherence and persistence in lifestyle modification programs have been most resonant among those who choose activities that align with their personal values and preferences.This study consisted of an action research initiative in a midsized public university in Northeast Texas. A sample of 25 self-selected participants from the faculty and staff took a pretest and posttest Stanford Presenteeism Scale to assess their presenteeism on the constructs of Completing Work and Avoiding Distraction before and after participation in a 4-week worksite wellness program. Participants were given several wellness module options each week from which they could choose from the categories of physical fitness, stress management, and personal/professional development. Findings associated with the two constructs of presenteeism indicated that the wellness program significantly increased participants' ability on the Completing Work construct, but failed significantly to affect their ability to Avoid Distraction.Based on the findings of this study, several suggestions for future research in the field of presenteeism and employee wellness programming in higher education are offered.

Advisor

Joyce A Scott

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Leadership | Higher Education

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