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Working Hard or Hardly Working?: A Multi-site Evaluation of Worksite Wellness Committees At a Large Multi-national Corporation

Felter, Elizabeth Madison (2009) Working Hard or Hardly Working?: A Multi-site Evaluation of Worksite Wellness Committees At a Large Multi-national Corporation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background: In 2005, 63% of the US population was employed, representing over 142 million people over the age of 16 in the United States. Because so many Americans spend so much time at work, the workplace has become a natural setting for public health interventions. The field of worksite health promotion (WHP) offers many opportunities to improve the health of the US population and achieve Healthy People 2010 objectives.WHP programs often contain a participatory component in the form of worksite wellness committees (WWC). Despite their popularity, little is known about how wellness committees organize, assess, plan, implement and evaluate programs. This project sought to understand how WWCs functioned at PPG Industries, a Fortune 500 manufacturing company,Methods: To evaluate the WWCs, two survey tools were developed. The first gathered information about WHP program offerings; the second assessed the organizational processes by which the committees operated. The tools were deployed by email to approximately 100 worksites. The data were analyzed, along with pre-existing HRA data, to see if worksite demographics or organizational functioning were significantly related to the health of employees and if there was a relationship between the processes by which the WWCs operated and the quality of the WHP offered.Results: Larger, US-based, and older worksites did have significantly more resources and activities in the areas of blood pressure, lipid, and overweight/obesity control, and cancer and depression screenings. In general, worksites in the US had slightly more mature organizational processes than those internationally. However, there were no significant differences were found in the location, size, or age of employees on organizational maturity. Higher functioning worksites did also have significantly higher scores on the Program Inventory in all areas except nutrition and physical activity categories. HRA data revealed that many preventative health behaviors were significantly associated. However, few significant relationships were found between organizational functioning and employee health.Public Health Significance: WWC need increased attention from researchers and evaluators. Organizational maturity is related to program outcomes, but not necessarily to employee health. Improving organizational functioning may lead to improved WHP programming.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Felter, Elizabeth
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAlbert, Steven Msmalbert@pitt.eduSMALBERT
Committee MemberNolan,
Committee MemberRicci, Edemricci@pitt.eduEMRICCI
Committee MemberMarx, Johnjmarx@pitt.eduJMARX
Committee MemberJarros, Kenkjaros@pitt.eduKJAROS
Date: 30 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 20 March 2008
Approval Date: 30 June 2009
Submission Date: 3 April 2009
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: DrPH - Doctor of Public Health
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Evaluation; Worksite Health Promotion; Worksite Wellness Committees
Other ID:, etd-04032009-094734
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:33
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


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