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Participation in Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs Before and After Retirement

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Objectives: To evaluate wellness program participation before and after retirement. Methods: This retrospective cohort design compares 3 groups of employees: 1998-1999 retirees (N=6065), 1994-1995 retirees (N=5862), and 21, 176 employees who were still active as of 2002. Participation was compared over 2 time periods for high-intensity and low-intensity programs. Results: Significantly different participation rates were found among the 3 groups specific to program intensity. Participation before retirement is associated with higher participation after retirement regardless of program intensity (OR=3.8 for overall participation).Conclusions: Wellness programs can attract retirees, especially if they participated before retirement and are offered a variety of programs.

Keywords: program participation; retirees; worksite wellness

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, Ann Arbor, MI. 2: General Motors Corporation, Detroit, MI. 3: International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW, Detroit, MI.

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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