Marketing Wellness and Prevention
The study conducted by Healey et al (2006), was a survey in a manufacturing unit in Luzerne County Pennsylvania in January 2003 to determine the presence of high risk behaviors to health that may be present in the employees. The study was important with relation to employees as healthy employees are more productive than unhealthy employees, and unhealthy employees require more medical services including health insurance. Hence, identification and reduction of the risk factors was vital in reducing the costs of healthcare and improving the productivity of the employees.
One of the modes of reducing the employer’s expenditure on health insurance would be to have greater participation, interest and development of the employees in wellness programs; although currently such programs have been popular with the employees (greater participation was required). In some of the previous studies, it has been found that employees may not be very interested in wellness programs and only up to 20 % of the employees may actively participate in them. Hence, to improve employee participation in such programs, it is necessary to have a marketing strategy that influences the employee to participate in wellness programs.
Wellness programs can be considered to be a part of the health promotion activities. In certain instances it was found that when the employee actually began the program they were interested in it, but with the course of time, they gradually lose interest. Hence, it is very important that the employees actively understand the need for the program and the identification of health-related problems in them. In the health survey conducted by Healey et al, about 406 out of the 800 employee from the manufacturing unit responded to the helath survey, which included 65 % male employees. About 54.
4 % were under the age of 45 years, 60 % did not have college-level education and 48. 9 % had an annual income less than 40000 dollars. Several factors that affected health including general factors, lifestyle factors (such as diet, tobacco, habits, alcohol, exercises, etc), need to access health information, etc, and were sought. The survey also asked several queries regarding the employees need for greater helath information, readiness to participate in wellness programs, the type of health promotion activities that they preferred and the ability to make use of screening activities.
At least 30 % of the employees were interested in obtaining information on health topics. The higher educated employees and women were more interested in obtaining information regarding health topics on nutrition, physical activity and weight management. About 34. 4 % of the employees agreed to participate in health promotion activities, whereas 48. 1 % said that they may be interested, and 17. 5 % said that they were not interested. Most of the employees who agreed to participate had a greater education level than those who were not interested.
With relation to the list of the health promotion activities that the employees selected, the most popular included reading pamphlets on helath information, undergoing health screening, performing exercises, attending health talks, watching health-related programs (on tapes), etc. The type of the screening tests that the employees were more interested in included blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol check, blood glucose determination, fitness assessment, hearing tests, and body fat analysis.