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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 8 (2006) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4909


Title: Using Sequential Email Messages to Promote Health Behaviors: Evidence of Feasibility and Reach in a Worksite Sample
Authors: Franklin, Patricia D
Rosenbaum, Paula F
Carey, Michael P
Roizen, Michael F
Keywords: Health promotion
employee wellness
information technology in health care
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2006
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Franklin PD, Rosenbaum PF, Carey MP, Roizen MF. Using Sequential Email Messages to Promote Health Behaviors: Evidence of Feasibility and Reach in a Worksite Sample. J Med Internet Res 2006;8(1):e3. <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2006/1/e3/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2006/1/e3/]Background: US adults report suboptimal physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake. Innovative strategies to promote healthy behaviors are needed. Employee health promotion programs have been associated with reductions in health risks but are labor-intensive and costly to implement. Email and Web-based worksite programs have the potential to reach a broad adult population and to provide a cost-effective approach to employee wellness programming. Objective: To assess the feasibility of using sequential email messages to promote physical activity and increase fruit and vegetable intake among employed adults. Methods: Employees at one worksite of a large insurance company in New York State were invited to participate. Interested workers provided written consent. After completing a baseline survey, participants received daily emails, Monday through Friday, for 26 weeks. The emails provided (a) succinct strategies to encourage physical activity or increase fruit and vegetable intake and (b) links to detailed Web-based information and tools. Program reach was assessed by the number of emails opened, measures of sustained participation over 6 months, and the number of health-related Web-links clicked. Results: Of 960 employees, 388 (40%) consented to participate; of these, 345 (89%) completed the baseline health survey. After 6 months, 70% of the 345 participants had opened 50% or more of the daily emails. In addition, 75% of participants continued to open at least one email a week through week 26 of the study. Email opening rates did not vary by gender, age, income, education, ethnicity, or baseline health behavior. Conclusions: The rate of enrollment and sustained participation document the feasibility, broad reach, employee acceptance, and potential value of using electronic communications for health promotion in the workplace.
Description: Reviewer: Abroms, L
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4909
ISSN: 1438-8871
Other Identifiers: doi:10.2196/jmir.8.1.e3
Rights: Copyright (cc) Retained by author(s) under a Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Appears in Collections:Volume 8 (2006)

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