Is health and wellness within your reach? You better believe it. According to a survey from The Ohio State University, respondents who believed in their ability to engage in a healthy lifestyle participated in more healthy behaviors. The results could have implications for workplace health and wellness programs.
“Implementing programs that can strengthen faculty and staff’s beliefs about engaging in wellness and improve their ability to engage in healthy behaviors will impact what they actually do in terms of leading a healthy lifestyle,” explained Bernadette Melnyk, Ohio State’s chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing, who led the study.
Results from this survey, as well as an earlier one conducted at more than 90 academic institutions across the nation, suggest that while many academic institutions have taken important steps to foster a more healthful work environment, some obstacles hinder broader faculty and staff engagement in wellness activities – including a lack of workplace flexibility and perceived low leader support.
In particular, respondents from the two surveys reported, on average, that it is “somewhat” easy to engage in health and wellness activities and indicated that colleges or units were “somewhat” supportive of employee participation in wellness events. Staff and faculty also reported, on average, that they believe university leader engagement in promoting and role-modeling health and wellness fell between “somewhat” and “moderate” levels.
When asked what one thing would help with participation in wellness activities at their institutions, the most common responses included:
- Flexibility in work schedules/time to participate
- A culture that encourages wellness
- Good communication about available programs and activities
- Leaders/administrators being fully engaged and supporting wellness
- Convenient locations and improved access to wellness resources
When It Comes to Being Healthy at Work, You Gotta Believe