Frequent health risk appraisal can improve employee health status
To examine the association between employees' repeated participation in health risk appraisals (HRA) and changes in their health status.
Data were taken from 3,384 employees who completed a HRA between 1997 to 2004. Most of the employees worked in manufacturing and were male (83%) with an average age of 50 years.
An HRA was offered to the employees that assessed a range of health risks including: alcohol use, blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol, cigarette smoking, health perception, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, illness days, life satisfaction, major medical conditions, physical activity, safety belt use and stress. The number of times an individual took a HRA was monitored and compared against any change in their health status. Employees' health risks were assessed from the HRA data and classified as either low, medium or high. A group who were identified as taking the assessment 3-5 times were classified as 'repeat HRAs', compared to those who took it 1-2 times.
- Employees who took the HRA more than once were more likely to have a beneficial change in health status.
- Repeat HRA employees had an 8.5% increase in the low-risk group compared with a 3.2% increase for the one-time HRA employees.
- 41.4% of employees in the HRA repeat group improved their status and 26% got worse compared with 38.1% in the one-time group improving their status and 31% getting worse.
What does this mean?
Repeatedly taking health risk assessments can help provide employees with continued engagement in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.