h2. Spotlight on article published in

h2. "+Journal of Occupational Health Psychology+":http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/ocp/13/1/58/

_IBI Spotlights call attention to important health and productivity findings from peer-reviewed work by external researchers. Unless otherwise stated, the authors are not affiliated with IBI, nor was the research executed on IBI’s behalf. IBI members are encouraged to obtain the original articles from the copyright holder._

h2. What is the Issue?

The authors note that, “organizations frequently implement wellness programs to reduce organizational costs and improve morale … [but] … rarely evaluate the effectiveness of the programs in meeting these goals.” At the same time the research literature on wellness initiatives and two outcomes – absenteeism and employee satisfaction – has produced mixed or only general results (e.g., without detail on different components of wellness programs).

h2. What are the findings/solutions?

* Participants in wellness programs have fewer absences and higher job satisfaction than non-participants.
* It could not be determined comprehensive programs produced different results than fitness-only programs.

h2. Journal Citation

Parks, K.M. and Steelman, L.A. (2008) Occupational Therapy and Return to Work: a Systematic Literature Review. _Journal of Occupational Health Psychology_, 13(1), 58-68.

h2. Objectives

Examine the effects of participation in an organizational wellness program (fitness or comprehensive) on absenteeism and job satisfaction.

h2. Method

A meta-analysis of 17 studies of 7,705 individuals with absenteeism data and 2,480 individuals with job satisfaction data. These studies covered multiple industries. Each study included a wellness participant and non-participant group. Wellness programs examined were either fitness-only (on- or off-site membership to health clubs) or comprehensive (a fitness component combined with other programs such as health education, nutrition, or stress reduction).

h2. Results

Compared to non-participants, employees who participate in wellness programs have fewer absences. The strength of the relationship is low to moderate. Whether the relationship was moderated by the inclusion of comprehensive wellness components (as opposed to fitness-only) could not be determined from the results. Participants in wellness programs also have moderately higher job satisfaction.

h2. Conclusion

The review concludes that the results support the use of wellness programs in organizations as a means of reducing absence and improving job satisfaction.

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