Positive Workplace Support Drives Wellness Engagement, Healthy Habits

We’ve reported how a few well-placed words can go a long way: We noted a study that indicates that these well-placed words may make all the difference in driving engagement in a well-run workplace wellness program.

This key insight comes from a study titled “Let’s work out: communication in workplace wellness programs” and published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

The study notes that “people spend a lot of time communicating with their co-workers each day; however, research has yet to explore how colleagues influence each other’s health behaviors. The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between health-related communication and health behaviors among co-workers in a workplace wellness program.”

The implications? “Co-worker communication and socialization appear to be important factors in understanding individuals’ health behaviors; thus, organizations that offer workplace wellness programs should provide opportunities for socialization and co-worker communication to facilitate employees’ healthy behaviors.”

That key insight for a well-run workplace wellness program — the power of community in helping drive engagement and healthy behaviors — was amplified in a Gallup report.

The post addresses factors that are “linked to better eating habits.” A key factor: “Surround yourself with supportive and health-conscious people.”

It adds: “Research finds a strong relationship between healthy eating and three measures of social support: having someone who always encourages you to be healthy; having friends and family who give you positive energy every day; and having a relationship with a spouse, partner or close friend that is closer than ever. About two-thirds of U.S. adults who agree with these statements reported that they ate healthily the day prior to being interviewed. But among those who disagree with each of these statements, the share of U.S. adults who reported eating healthily dropped to about half.”

How can workplaces make a difference?

Gallup adds: “Workplaces can foster healthy eating with programs that focus on social connections and support, such as sharing nutritious recipes and other healthy eating tips.”