STEPS TO HEALTH: AN EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF PARTICIPATING IN THE GLOBAL CORPORATE CHALLENGE A report prepared for Nestle UK

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1 STEPS TO HEALTH: AN EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF PARTICIPATING IN THE GLOBAL CORPORATE CHALLENGE A report prepared for Nestle UK By Philip Gibbs and Professor Susan Cartwright 12/1/2009 Centre for Organizational Health & Wellbeing This is a collaborative project undertaken within the Centre for Organizational Health & Wellbeing on behalf of Nestle. This document is to be circulated for discussion purposes only and should not be quoted without authors permission. 1 P a g e

2 Contents 1. Executive Summary 3 2. Background 4 3. Global Corporate Challenge 4 4. Method 5 5. Results 7 6. Discussion 9 7. Conclusion References Appendix 12 2 P a g e

3 Executive Summary The preliminary aim of this report was to evaluate the health impacts of employees participating in the Global Corporate Challenge within Nestle UK. The GCC is a corporate wellness programme that encourages organisations and their employees to be active by walking virtually around the world over a 125 day period. Participants are required to work in teams of seven people, and are provided with pedometers to record their daily step count. Research has indicated a number of benefits for wellness type programmes which encourage employees to be active and think about their own personal health and well-being at work. Similarly the World Health Organisation has highlighted how the average white collar worker spends most their time stationary or inactive which can increase their risk of chronic disease. It hoped that after completing the GCC results will reveal a number of improvements for those that took part. All participants of the GCC within Nestle UK were sent a health and well-being measure to complete before and again after completing the GCC. This measure assessed participant s health, sources of stress and their overall quality of life. In total 248 participants successfully completed both pre and post measurements for analysis. Results indicated a number of significant improvements. The most significant impacts were identified with regards to people s health specifically in terms of enjoying normal day to day activities, concentration levels, and their overall health. Results also indicated that it did help to reduce potential sources of stress in terms of general well-being, as well as improve their quality of life in terms of their self perceptions. Importantly there was also a significant improvement in people s productivity levels at work. In conclusion the GCC appeared to have a number of positive improvements to employees within Nestle UK and can be considered on the whole a worthwhile wellness type programme for those that participated. 3 P a g e

4 BACKGROUND Nestle is considered to be the world leader in the manufacturing and marketing of packaged food products. As an organisation that prides itself of operating high ethical standards it is dedicated to deliver products which aim to improve the nutrition, health and wellness of customers across the world. Nestle recognises the importance of not just caring for its customers but also their employees. As such they are constantly seeking ways to create and sustain a positive organisational culture where employees actively think about their own health and well-being. To help enact this vision Nestle have become one of the founding members within the Centre for Organizational Health and Well-being (COHW). The Centre consists of a group of world-class academics supported by a number of recognized, knowledgeable and experienced Occupational Health and HR professionals, who collectively combine their expertise to research current health and well-being issues at work. As a member of the Centre this bespoke project was commissioned to help objectively evaluate the effectiveness of participating in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) across sites based in the UK. GLOBAL CORPORATE CHALLANGE The GCC is a wellbeing programme that encourages organisations and employees to be active. Companies and organisations from across the world are invited to partake in a global stepathon. The challenge is for participants to walk as far around the world as they can over a period of 125 days. Organisations that take part encourage their employees to enter into small teams of seven people. Each registered participant is provided with a pedometer which they are required to wear each day so they can record their steps. Every day, participants are required to log onto the GCC website and enter their daily steps. This figure is then converted into kilometres/miles, and a graphical plot of the individual s progress is provided along a world map. As well as providing an individual analysis of each participant, their team and organisation are also provided a summary and plot of their progress along the way. Similarly the GCC team provide a range of important nutritional and health information within starter packs and on their website. This GCC is underpinned by the World Health Organisations (WHO) recommendation that people should aim to walk an average of 10,000 steps a day to improve their health and wellbeing. WHO have recognised that the average white collar worker spends a significant amount of time stationary at a desk or inactive during work which can increase the risk of chronic disease. Through participating in the GCC it is hoped participants will become more active, as well as challenge their behaviours and personal habits by making people more aware of the importance of their own personal health while at work. (GCC website) 4 P a g e

5 As highlighted by Parks & Steelman (2008) there is a general belief that wellness type programmes such as these will ultimately help target and promote good healthy practices and positive work behaviours and so reduce absence rates and healthcare costs across their organizations and increase performance. Ho (1997) found that employees perceive organizations who offer wellness type programmes more positively and report higher levels of job satisfaction compared to organisations that do not. Similarly the implementation of these types of programmes can be effective of itself to demonstrate to employees that the organization is committed to, and cares about them (Zoller, 2004). Faragher, Cass and Cooper (2005) highlighted the link between job satisfaction and health. Other evidence has suggested that participating in wellness type programmes also make employees feel better physically which in turn has been linked to an increase in job satisfaction and general psychological well-being (Kirkcaldy, Cooper, Shephard, and Brown, 1994). The following study attempts to evaluate the effect on employees from Nestle UK participating within the GCC 2009, through assessing any improvements in their personal health, sources of stress, and quality of life. It hoped that after completing the GCC results will reveal a number of improvements for those that took part. METHOD Design A between subjects comparative design was adopted as data was gathered from the same participants at two separate time points; Time 1 (T1) and Time 2 (T2). The three sections of the Health & Well-being Questionnaire (HWQ) were categorised into three higher order constructs (Your Health, Sources of Stress, and Quality of Life) which were the dependent study variables, while Time constituted as the independent variable. Sample In total 710 employees returned the HWQ at time 1 while 323 were returned at time 2. Of these we were able to correctly identify and match data from 248 participants who had completed the pre and post measures, and were used in this analysis. Participation in the programme was voluntary and full informed consent was given. Of the 244 participants, 49% were male. The age of the participants ranged from 21 to 63 years with a mean age of 39 years and a standard deviation of years. Similarly 89% of employees were in fulltime employment, and the mean length of time employed within the organisation was 11 years with a standard deviation of 9.58 years. Materials Data was gathered by the means of a questionnaire. The use of questionnaires or surveys can be done either via internet or conventional paper and pencil method. Both 5 P a g e

6 methods have been shown to be reliable across large multinational organisations. As many of the participants did not have access to a computer it was decided that the conventional paper pencil method would be adopted for this study. A copy of the survey used in this study can be seen in the Appendix. The survey was called the Health and Wellbeing Questionnaire (HWQ) and has four sections. The first section labelled Your Details requires participants to provide a range of demographic details to identify themselves such as age, gender and department etc. The second section of the questionnaire labelled Your Health has a total of 15 questions and evaluates their personal health over the past few weeks. All questions were rated on a 4-point Likert-type scale and ran along a positivenegative continuum, hence a low score for this section indicates better general health question. Question items 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12 ranged from 1 - better than usual to 4 much less than usual. Question items 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11 ranged from 1 - not at all, to 4 much more than usual. Question item 13 was rated on a 4-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 - always, to 4 not usually, question 14 ranged from 1 excellent, to 4 poor, and finally question 15 ranged from 1 100% to 4 less than 80%. The third section of the questionnaire called Potential Sources of Stress has a total of 10 items which evaluate possible sources of workplace stress. All questions are rated on a 5-Point Likert-type scale where participants indicate their level of stress to each item from 1 None, to 5 Extensive, so a low score for this section indicates low in relation to levels of stress. The fourth and final section labelled Your Overall Quality of Life has a total of 14 items that evaluate participant s feelings towards their quality of life. All questions are rated on a 7- point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 Terrible, to 7 Delighted, so a high score for this section indicates better quality of life. It is important to note that both surveys for time 1 and time 2 were identical with the exception of an additional evaluative question in the Your Details section at time 2. The question simply stated Did you participate in the Global Corporate Challenge to the very end? Participants could answer either 1 Yes, 2 No, or 3 Mostly. Procedure All participants in the GCC within Nestle UK were assigned a unique identification code by Nestle Occupational Health team and posted a copy of the HWQ prior to starting the date on the 21/06/09. Results from this time point formed the baseline measure for time one (T1). After a period of 125 days the GCC finished on the 22/09/09, and the same participants who had successfully returned their questionnaire with their unique ID code at time 1, were again posted the HWQ. Results from this time point formed the measure for time 2 (T2). Data Analysis & Missing data All the data which formed the HWQ was checked for normality before using any parametric statistical techniques. All values for skew and kurtosis were fine. The data was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), Version 17. To assist with 6 P a g e

7 interpretation, descriptive statistics are reported in their raw form. Any missing values were treated by adopting the pairwise cases exclusion technique. RESULTS In order to statistically test differences between the Time 1 and Time 2 a between-subjects multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed for each of the three sections of the HWQ. Time was entered as the independent variable while scores from each of the study variables (question items) within Your Health, Potential Sources of Stress, and Overall Quality of Life sections were entered as dependent variables. The Levene s test was nonsignificant for all dependent variables indicating that homogeneity of variance had been met. Your Health The descriptive and univariate statistics for each of the Your Health variables are shown in Table 1 which highlights the differences in scores between time one and time two. The results revealed a number of significant multivariate effects over time. In total, 11 of the 15 study variables had a significant improvement this included; Item 1. Been able to concentrate on what you are doing, F(1, 485) = , p <.001; Item 2. Lost much sleep over worry, F(1, 485) = 4.970, p <.05; Item 3 Felt that you are playing a useful part in things, F(1, 485) = 8.252, p <.01; Item 4 Felt capable of making decisions about things, F(1, 485) = , p <.01; Item 5 Felt constantly under strain, F(1, 485) = , p <.01; Item 7 Been able to enjoy your normal day to day activities, F(1, 485) = , p <.001; Item 10 Been losing confidence in yourself, F(1, 485) = 4.371, p <.05; Item 12 Been feeling reasonably happy all things considered, F(1, 485) = 9.202, p <.01; Item 14 Over the last three months how would you rate your overall health, F(1, 485) = , p <.001; and finally item 15 Over the last three months roughly how productive have you felt in your job, F(1, 485) = 4.126, p <.05. There were no significant multivariate effects over time for items 6 Felt you couldn't overcome your difficulties, 9 Been feeling unhappy or depressed, and 13 Do you take planned exercise, however in all cases the mean scores had improved. The intercorrelations for these variables can be seen in Table 4 within the appendix. Table 1 Descriptive and Univariate Statistics for the Your Health Study Variables (Time 1 vs. Time 2) Note: All scales are on a 5 point Likert-type scale with low scores indicating better general health Your Health Variables Time 1 (n = 248) Time 2 (n = 248) F-ratio Mean SD Mean SD F(1, 485) 1. Been able to concentrate on what you are doing? *** 2. Lost much sleep over worry? * 7 P a g e

8 3. Felt that you are playing a useful part in things? ** 4. Felt capable of making decisions about things? ** 5. Felt constantly under strain? ** 6. Felt you couldn't overcome your difficulties? Been able to enjoy your normal day to day activities? *** 8. Been able to face your problems? ** 9. Been feeling unhappy or depressed? Been losing confidence in yourself? * 11. Been thinking of yourself as a worthless person? Been feeling reasonably happy all things considered? ** 13. Do you take planned exercise? Over the last three months how would you rate your *** overall health? 15. Over the last three months roughly how productive * have you felt in your job? *p <.05. ** p <.01. *** p <.001. Potential Sources of Stress The descriptive and univariate statistics for each of the Potential Sources of Stress variables between time one and time two are shown in Table 2. Results indicate that only one variable, item 23. General Well-being, had a significant multivariate effects over time F(1, 397) = 6.559, p <.05. All of the other stress variables mean scores had improved, with the exception of item 17 Finances, and item 25 Coping With Daily Problems, which had increased slightly but none were significant. The inter-correlations for these variables can be seen in Table 5 within the appendix. Table 2 Descriptive and Univariate Statistics for the Potential Sources of Stress Study Variables (Time 1 vs. Time 2) Note: All scales are on a 5 point Likert-type scale with low scores indicating lower sources of stress Time 1 Time 2 F-ratio Potential Sources of Stress Study Variables (n = 205) Mean SD (n = 205) Mean SD F(1, 397) 16. Family Significant Relationship Health Finances Sex Life Work School / Studies General Well-being * 24. Emotional Well-being Coping With Daily Problems *p <.05. ** p <.01. *** p < P a g e

9 Overall Quality of Life The descriptive and univariate statistics for each of the Overall Quality of Life variables between time one and time two can be seen in Table 3. Results again indicated that only one variable, item 35 Your self, had a significant multivariate effects over time F(1, 432) = 4.212, p <.05. All of the other stress variables mean scores had improved, with the exception of item 29 Your job, which stayed the same, and item 30 Your co-workers / fellow students, which marginally decreased but none were significant.. The inter-correlations for these variables can be seen in Table 6 within the appendix. Table 3 Descriptive and Univariate Statistics for the Overall Quality of Life Study Variables (Time 1 vs. Time 2) Note: All scales are on a 7 point Likert-type scale with high scores indicating better quality of life Time 1 Time 2 F-ratio Overall Quality of Life (n = 218) (n = 218) Study Variables Mean SD Mean SD F(1, 432) 26. Your personal life Your wife / husband or significant other Your romantic life Your job Your co-workers / fellow students The actual work you do The handling of problems in your life What you are actually accomplishing in your life Your physical appearance - the way you look to others Your self * 36. Your ability to adjust to change in your life Your life as a whole Overall contentment with your life The extent to which your life has been as you want it *p <.05. ** p <.01. *** p <.001. DISCUSSION The initial aim of this empirical investigation was to evaluate the effect of Nestle UK participating in the Global Corporate Challenge over a period of 125 days on their general 9 P a g e

10 health, stress levels and quality of life. The results of the two time conditions showed that a number of significant improvements had been made over this period, which shall now be discussed in more depth. Your Health This section of the HWQ indicated the most significant improvements for participants after completing the GCC. The most significant improvements were concerned with people being able to enjoy their day to day activities, better concentration, and their overall health. Participants also reported that they felt happier, more useful, more capable of making decisions, less strain and more able to face their problems. Similarly participants reported that they were less likely to lose sleep over worry, and lose confidence in themselves. Perhaps most interestingly there was also a significant improvement in people s subjective productivity levels, with participants indicating that over the last three months they felt more productive in their job. Potential Sources of Stress Overall reported sources of stress were fairly low, with the highest reported sources coming from participants work and finances. These are not so surprising when you consider the current economic climate which has brought about more uncertainty and job insecurity. However after participating in the GCC participants reported a significant improvement in their stress levels relating to their general wellbeing. Overall Quality of Life Participant s feelings towards their overall quality of life on the whole were fairly positive with people reporting they were mostly satisfied with their overall quality of life. The lowest scores were concerned with feelings towards their job, and also their physical appearance to others. These scores remained fairly consistent over time. As research has often highlighted gender differences for physical appearance an independent t test was performed for time 1 and time 2. As suspected, at time 1 on average Female participants experienced more concern over their physical appearance (M= 4.28, SE = 0.11), than Male participants (M = 4.79, SE =.10) and was significant t(235) = 3.48, p <.01. Again, this was reflected at time 2, where on average Female participants experienced more concern over their physical appearance (M = 4.57, SE = 0.10), than Male participants (M = 4.84, SE = 0.10), and was also significant t(235) = 1.98, p <.05. However it is important to note that there was a significant improvement with regards to how employees felt about themselves after completing the GCC, perhaps indicating a sense of accomplishment and self worth. 10 P a g e

11 CONCLUSION Overall the evaluation provided some sound empirical support that participating in the Global Corporate challenge did significantly improve people s health and help to reduce potential sources of stress in terms of general well-being, as well as improving their quality of life in terms of perceptions of self. The most significant impacts were identified with regards to people s health specifically in terms of enjoying normal day to day activities, concentration levels, and their overall health. Importantly there was also a significant improvement in people s productivity levels at work. Therefore in conclusion the GCC can be considered to have made a number of positive impacts on the employees that participated. Cautionary Note Although it appears the programme did have a positive impact upon employee health it is important to note that there may have been other factors during this period which were not part of the programme and presented within this analysis that could account for these changes. Similarly all findings only apply to participants that were analysed within this study so care should be taken when making generalisations. REFERENCES Faragher, E. B., Cass, M., & Cooper, C. L. (2005). The relationship between job satisfaction and health: A meta-analysis. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 62, Ho, J. T. S. (1997). Corporate wellness programmes in Singapore: Effect on stress, satisfaction, and absenteeism. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 12, Kirkcaldy, B. D., Cooper, C. L., Shephard, R. J., & Brown, J. S. (1994). Exercise, job satisfaction and well-being among superintendent police officers. European Review of Applied Psychology, 44, Parks, K. M., & Steelman, A. A., (2008). Organizational Wellness Programs: A Meta- Analysis. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 13(1), Zoller, H. M. (2004). Manufacturing health: Employee perspectives on problematic outcomes in a workplace health promotion initiative. Western Journal of Communications, 68, P a g e

12 Appendix THE IMPACT OF THE GLOBAL CORPORATE CHALLENGE ON INDIVIDUAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING Dear Colleague In participating in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) you are committing to increase your daily activity levels. We are interested in understanding the extent to which your participation in the GCC improves your health and general well being and have asked the Centre for Organizational Health and Well Being, at Lancaster University to conduct a research project. The project will involve all Nestle GCC entrants in completing two short questionnaires. The first one is to be completed prior to the start of the challenge and the other after the challenge is completed. Individual details will remain confidential to the research team at Lancaster University. Nestle will only receive a summary of the results. In order to compare your levels of personal health and well being, you will be given an identifier number, but no names will be recorded against the data to ensure anonymity. Questionnaires will be provided by your GCC Team Leader and we ask that when you have completed it you will place it in the envelope provided and send to OH Solutions who will collate the sealed replies and send to Lancaster no individual questionnaire will be seen by any Nestle employee We are sure that you will enjoy taking part in the GCC and that you will also contribute to the evaluation study and complete the enclosed questionnaire which will only take you about 10 minutes. Thank you for your co-operation Dr David Batman - Head of Employee Wellness 12 P a g e

13 THE IMPACT OF THE GLOBAL CORPORATE CHALLENGE HEALTH AND WELL BEING QUESIONNAIRE 1. YOUR DETAILS EMPLOYEE NUMBER:... GENDER: MALE/FEMALE (delete as appropriate) AGE (IN YEARS):... LENGTH OF TIME WITH THE ORGANIZATION:... YOUR DEPARTMENT? PRODUCTION HR/PERSONNEL FINANCE IT CUSTOMER SERVICES SALES AND MARKETING LOGISTICS R&D OTHER OTHER, please specify... JOB ROLE:... LOCATION:... Do you work? FULL TIME / PART TIME (delete as appropriate) Did you participate in the Global Corporate Challenge to the very end? (Please circle) Yes No Mostly 13 P a g e

14 2. YOUR HEALTH We want to know how your health has been in general over the last few weeks. Please read the questions below and each of the four possible answers. Circle the response that best applies to you. Have you recently: 1. been able to concentrate on what you re doing? better than usual same as usual less than usual much less than usual 2. lost much sleep over worry? not at all no more than usual rather more than usual much more than usual 3. felt that you are playing a useful part in things? more so than usual same as usual less so than usual much less than usual 4. felt capable of making decisions about things? more so than usual same as usual less so than usual much less than usual 5. felt constantly under strain? not at all no more than usual rather more than usual much more than usual 6. felt you couldn t overcome your difficulties? not at all no more than usual rather more than usual much more than usual 7. been able to enjoy your normal day to day activities? more so than usual same as usual less so than usual much less than usual 8. been able to face up to your problems? more so than usual same as usual less so than usual much less than usual 9. been feeling unhappy or depressed? not at all no more than usual rather more than usual much more than usual 10. been losing confidence in yourself? not at all no more than usual rather more than usual much more than usual 11. been thinking of yourself as a worthless person? not at all no more than usual rather more than usual much more than usual 14 P a g e

15 12. been feeling reasonably happy, all things considered? more so than usual same as usual less so than usual much less than usual 13. Do you take planned exercise? always usually when possible not usually 14. Over the last three months, how would you rate your overall health? excellent good alright poor 15. Over the last three months, roughly how productive have you felt in your job? 100% productive 90-99% productive 80-89% productive less than 80% productive 15 P a g e

16 3. POTENTIAL SOURCES OF STRESS Answer each of the questions below by putting a circle around the number that best represents you at this time. Evaluate your stress levels relative to the following: None Slight Moderate Pronounced Extensive 16. Family Significant relationship Health Finances Sex life Work School/Studies General well-being Emotional well-being Coping with daily problems YOUR OVERALL QUALITY OF LIFE Evaluate your feelings relative to the quality of life: Mostly dissatisfied Mostly satisfied Terrible Unhappy Mixed Pleased Delighted 26. Your personal life Your wife/husband or significant other Your romantic life Your job Your co-workers/fellow students The actual work you do The handling of problems in your life What you are actually accomplishing in your life Your physical appearance the way you look to others Your self Your ability to adjust to change in your life Your life as a whole Overall contentment with your life The extent to which your life has been as you want it Many thanks for taking part in the questionnaire and please be assured of your complete confidentiality and anonymity. 16 P a g e

17 1. Been able to concentrate on what you are doing? 2. Lost much sleep over worry?.14** 1 3. Felt that you are playing a useful part in things? 4. Felt capable of making decisions about things? Table 4 - Inter-correlations of Your Health Study Variables (Time 2) **.21** 1.16**.17*.35** 1 5. Felt constantly under strain?.26**.45**.22**.16** 1 6. Felt you couldn't overcome your difficulties? 7. Been able to enjoy your normal day to day activities?.15**.45**.19**.27**.49** 1.36**.27**.29**.26**.27**.30** 1 8. Been able to face your problems?.27**.24**.21**.32**.15**.29**.37** 1 9. Been feeling unhappy or depressed?.15**.39**.19**.22**.36**.52**.29**.23** Been losing confidence in yourself?.09**.37**.19**.23**.32**.51**.26**.26**.63** Been thinking of yourself as a worthless person? 12. Been feeling reasonably happy all things considered?.14*.36**.33**.27**.31**.43**.36**.37**.56**.62** 1.33**.26**.35**.31**.32**.31**.41**.38**.35**.28**.37** Do you take planned exercise? * Over the last three months how would you rate your overall health? 15. Over the last three months roughly how productive have you felt in your job? *p <.05. ** p < **.24** **.21**.19**.08.21**.20**.14*.12*.50** 1.23**.14*.14*.04.20**.17**.13**.06.30**.24**.30**.20**.04.21** 1 17 P a g e

18 Table 5 - Inter-correlations of Stressor Variables Time Family Significant Relationship.56** Health.31**.26** Finances.24**.27*.28** Sex Life.30**.49*.14*.16** Work.16**.23*.20**.17**.18** School / Studies.15**.22**.24** * General Well-being.36**.38**.64**.32**.30**.40**.18** Emotional Well-being.41**.55**.38**.37**.44**.37**.13*.69** Coping With Daily Problems.35**.46**.39**.30**.29**.57**.06.61**.64** 1 *p <.05. ** p < P a g e

19 Table 6 - Inter-correlations of Quality of Life Variables (Time 2) 26. Your personal life Your wife / husband or significant other.73** Your romantic life.68**.85** Your job.26**.08.14* Your co-workers / fellow students.19** ** The actual work you do.23**.10.12*.73**.48** The handling of problems in your life.55**.42**.42**.44**.38**.45** What you are actually accomplishing in your life.48**.40**.47**.45**.26**.48**.58** Your physical appearance - the way you look to others.34**.32**.38**.15**.08.20**.40**.51** Your self.50**.37**.41**.31**.24**.31**.52**.57**.69** Your ability to adjust to change in your life.45**.34**.34**.37**.34**.35**.60**.57**.47**.61** Your life as a whole.68**.54**.49**.36**.23**.34**.62**.58**.45**.63**.60** Overall contentment with your life.69**.53**.50**.39**.26**.37**.64**.61**.45**.66**.59**.89** The extent to which your life has been as you want it.64**.50**.49**.28**.18**.32**.54**.60**.44**.52**.50**.73**.77** 1 19 P a g e

20 *p <.05. ** p < P a g e

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