From the Workplace to Home
The Impact of an Email Intervention Targeting the Family
Background and Purpose: Improved employee health contributes to improved employer outcomes in productivity, attendance and workplace satisfaction. Wellness programs focus on the employee to improve these outcomes, but fail to offer opportunities that include the family. A focus on the employee and their child may yield greater health improvements. This pilot study explored the impact of an e-mail intervention targeting the employee and his/her child on their physical activity level, self-efficacy and social control (SC). Methods: Parent and child dyads were recruited from faculty and staff at a university and were subsequently randomized into an intervention group (family-focused activities) or a control group (employee-focused activities). Both parents and children (ndyads = 19) completed a baseline and follow-up (10 weeks later) online questionnaire that measured physical activity, self-efficacy, and SC. Results: Significant differences in parents were found in task efficacy, scheduling efficacy, and collaborative SC, where the intervention group reported higher changes for these outcomes compared to the control group (p<0.10). Changes in collaborative SC reported by children in the intervention group approached significance (p = 0.13). Conclusion: Findings provide initial support for an e-mail based wellness programs’ targeting family-based activities compared to an intervention targeting the employee alone.