The Healthy Workplace Project: results of a hygiene-based approach to employee wellness.


PURPOSE An employee wellness program was evaluated to assess changes in germ transmission, absenteeism, and cost of infection-related illness among office-based employees. DESIGN One-group pretest-posttest design, with intervention delivered for 90 days and measurement conducted over 1 year. SETTING Employees of a large office space in Georgia. SUBJECTS One thousand six hundred forty-five employees. INTERVENTION The Healthy Workplace Project is a 90-day wellness program aimed to increase health and productivity of employees through educational and engagement activities focusing on improving awareness, recognizing infection-related illnesses, and reducing the spread of germs in the workplace. MEASURES Three types of data were collected: (1) bacterial audits through use of adenosine triphosphate monitoring of various work spaces; (2) self-report absenteeism data using the World Health Organization's Health and Work Performance Questionnaire; and (3) participant employees' medical claims/costs of infection-related minor illnesses. ANALYSIS Frequencies and bacterial audit data; Wilcoxon signed ranks tests to determine changes in rates on absenteeism and health care costs. RESULTS Bacterial audits demonstrated a reduction in contamination levels of 33% across all measured spaces. Absenteeism rates were reduced by 13%. Medical service utilization costs were not significantly reduced for individual employees over the project year. CONCLUSION Educational strategies and individual monitoring of germ transmission appears effective in improving employees' health and decreasing absenteeism.

DOI: 10.4278/ajhp.130830-ARB-459

Cite this paper

@article{Thompson2015TheHW, title={The Healthy Workplace Project: results of a hygiene-based approach to employee wellness.}, author={Sanna J. Thompson and Lynn Rew}, journal={American journal of health promotion : AJHP}, year={2015}, volume={29 5}, pages={339-41} }