Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace

2012 Pilot Grant Projects

The 2012 grant projects are wrapping up. The project researchers below will present their results on October 17 at the conference “Health, Workplace, and Environment: Cultivating Connections” at the University of Connecticut. 

Treadmills at Work 

Principal Investigator: Manuel Cifuentes, M.D., Sc.D., UMass Lowell, Work Environment Department 

To get office employees who typically sit all day moving, Manuel Cifuentes tested the use of treadmills and sit-to-stand electric desks with five UMass Lowell office employees. He conducted focus groups and found that most of the volunteers are using the standing desks, but not the treadmills. Some design changes are needed to make the treadmill safer for employees and integrate more seamlessly into work spaces. Cifuentes recently presented the study results to insurance companies, furniture and treadmill manufacturers and educational institutions at a conference hosted by Jaymil Ergo and Office Solutions. 

Read the article.

View the video of employees on treadmills.

Greater Fall River Small Worksite Wellness Project (ppt)

Principal Investigator: David S. Weed, Psy.D., Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc., Fall River, MA. 

David Weed invited organizations and businesses with between five and twenty-five employees in the Greater Fall River Area to survey their employees’ needs and interests in health promotion. Employers then invited employees to participate in a variety of community-based activities outside of regular work time. The activities included fitness programs, nutrition education opportunities, smoking cessation, substance abuse prevention, stress management, occupational health and safety and other specific interventions designed to reduce illness or injury both on and off the job. The project measured and evaluated ten program elements – employer response to the invitation and reasons for and against participation, employee engagement and participation, and the helpfulness and effectiveness of using community-based resources to engage employees in smaller organizations in worksite health promotion. 

Read CPH-New's and Views Issue #34: Very small businesses: Increasing wellness program resources for more information on this project.

Work-Family Conflict and Workplace Support: Knowledge of and Barriers to Services (ppt)

Principal Investigator: Mira Grice Sheff, Ph.D., M.S., SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY. 

Mira Grice Sheff gathered feedback from nurses and nurse managers employed at SUNY Downstate University Hospital of Brooklyn using focus groups, interviews and surveys. The goal was to uncover the nurses’ experiences and perceptions on balancing work and family and assess awareness of available worksite health promotion programs. The results can help guide planning, design and implementation of interventions necessary to improve the work-life balance of employees.

Read CPH-New's and Views Issue #35: Work-family conflict and caregiving among nurses: Can self-scheduling ease the burden? for more information on this project.