Given the large number of obesity-focused studies conducted in schools, there is a surprising lack of data regarding teacher workplace health behaviors in the United States.
To determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an onsite fitness facility with a structured integrative wellness program to improve health-related outcomes among teachers and staff at an urban elementary/middle school.
A 2-year mixed-methods analysis using Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) measures and qualitative interviews included 39 teachers and staff employed at an urban elementary/middle school in Baltimore, Maryland. The fitness facility was dedicated exclusively to teachers and staff and the integrative wellness program included group exercise classes, yoga, mindfulness, and nutrition competitions. T tests were used to compare quantitative outcomes at baseline, the end of year 1, and the end of year 2.
Compared to baseline, at year 1, there was a significant improvement in the PROMIS Sleep Disturbance score. From baseline to end of year 2, there were significant increases in the PROMIS Global Physical Health as well as significant decreases in Sleep Disturbances, Fatigue, and Social Isolation. Qualitative interviews conducted at the end of year 1 indicated that teachers who used the facility felt that it improved their mood, increased their energy, motivated them to eat healthily, and gave them opportunities to socialize with their colleagues in new ways. This impact was further enhanced in year 2.
An onsite fitness facility with an integrative wellness program may improve health-related outcomes among urban elementary school teachers and staff, with the greatest benefits seen after 2 years of implementation.
Author: Parker, E. A., McArdle, P. F., Gioia, D., Trilling, A., Bahr-Robertson, M., Costa, N., . . . D’Adamo, C. R. (2019).
Source: Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6734600/