Behavioral journalism newsletters to increase employee participation in a free worksite wellness center

Julie M Griffith, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Providing an worksite fitness center for employees is an effective setting to increase an adult’s levels of physical activity, demonstrably reducing health care costs and elevating employee productivity. Increasing compliance and adherence among employees to consistently utilize an onsite facility remains a challenge. Purpose. To illustrate if two electronic behavioral journalism newsletters can increase employee participation in a free worksite wellness center. Design. A randomized control trial was implemented. Setting. A large petroleum-producing corporation located in Houston, Texas Subjects.70 full or part time employees that had checked into visited the wellness center during September, October, and November 2009. Intervention. Two behavioral journalism newsletters were created based on authentic community member role model interviews. Newsletters were distributed to intervention group participants via company email. Intervention and control group participant’s visits to the wellness center were monitored via a key card check in system at the facility for two weeks following the newsletter intervention. Analysis. Count variable statistics were used to identify rate differences between the intervention and control group wellness center visits. A binomial test for equality of proportions was used to identify differences between participants that had at least one visit to the wellness center compared with those with none. Results. Both intervention and control groups had a baseline of zero wellness center visits. The control group had a mean visit rate 0.441 and the intervention group had 0.857. A 0.416, almost one half more visits were found among the intervention group. Conclusion. This study indicates that behavioral journalism newsletters featuring a role model from within the worksite population can be a cost effective communication method to improve participation in an onsite wellness center.

Subject Area

Journalism|Public health|Kinesiology

Recommended Citation

Griffith, Julie M, "Behavioral journalism newsletters to increase employee participation in a free worksite wellness center" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1479839.