Family Participation in Wellbeing Programs

‘A great wellbeing platform should allow family members to participate in all aspects of the program’

It is often easier to change a family’s health related behaviours than an individual within a family.

Several studies have demonstrated that we are the product of our environment. If we surround ourselves with healthy people, the likelihood is we will also be healthy. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.

Research has found that individuals were more likely to develop health risks such as obesity, stress and reduced life satisfaction if their spouse had the risk, and were less likely to eliminate those risks if the spouse shared them.

Other studies have shown that individuals are more likely to make positive behaviour change if their spouse makes the same change. For example:

  • 48 percent of men and 50 percent of women quit smoking when their spouse did, compared to 8 percent if their spouse did not quit
  • 67 percent of men and 66 percent of women became more physically active when their spouse did, compared to 26 percent and 24 percent, respectively, when their spouse stayed sedentary
  • 26 percent of men and 36 percent of women lost weight when their partner did, compared to 10 percent and 15 percent, respectively, when their partner did not lose weight

It is clear that family members’ opinions and actions influence employees’ behaviour.

Encouraging them to participate in a workplace wellbeing program has the potential to positively impact an organisation’s return on investment by improving employee engagement and productivity.

In addition to increasing the likelihood of employees adopting new behaviours, family participation in wellbeing programs gives organisations a better opportunity to promote their brand in the wider community.

For organisations wanting to attract and retain talent, encouraging family participation in wellbeing programs should be a key component of their strategy.


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