Employment Status Related to Iowan's Well-being
Healthier Workforce Bulletin

Employment Status Related to Iowan's Well-being
ACA health improvement provisions, together with the growing challenge employers and employees face in maintaining healthcare benefits, provide two powerful incentives for Iowa employers to embrace employee well-being and control health care spending. In addition, the cost to employers of sickness absenteeism and presenteeism are well known to be far greater than health care costs.
To address the need for baseline, evidence-based data on the statewide workforce, the University of Iowa Healthier Workforce Center for Excellence (HWCE) developed the Real Iowan Research Initiative. In 2010, the HWCE conducted a survey of 1271 Iowans to provide statewide employment sector estimates of health status, prevention behaviors and productivity measures by employment status (self-employed, employed by an organization or currently unemployed, but seeking employment).  Importantly, it also assessed whether measures of quality of life (QoL) and prevention behaviors were linked with sickness absenteeism and presenteeism (self-rated job performance during the last four weeks).
Results showed that higher QoL measures and having more prevention behaviors are strongly associated with lower absenteeism and higher presenteeism scores.  The results were similar for the self-employed and organizationally employed--as QoL and prevention behaviors increased, both absenteeism and presenteeism decreased in a step-wise fashion.  The unemployed showed poorer QoL and prevention behaviors and the self-employed exhibited many better QoL scores and prevention behaviors than those organizationally employed. Overall, of the multiple factors related to QoL, smoking and obesity were the most consistently reported modifiable risk factors for Iowans. These well-known risk factors for chronic diseases are also related to health insurance eligibility and employment.
The full article, Employment Status Matters—A Statewide Survey of Quality-of-Life, Prevention Behaviors, and Absenteeism and Presenteeism was recently published on July 7th in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.  A commentary on this paper by Martin Sepulveda, IBM Fellow and Vice President of Integrated Health Services for the IBM Corporation, on Multisource Data for Total Worker Health Insights is also included in the issue.

Featured Resource for Employers
A strength of this study that is especially relevant to small employers is the use of the CDC Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire. The 14-item measure is a useful tool that employers can use to assess employee well-being and quality of life.  The survey includes 3 modules (healthy days core, activity limitations, and healthy days symptoms) that when used together, comprise the full CDC HRQOL–14 Measure. The CDC “Healthy Days Measure” is free and publicly available in both English and Spanish. To learn more about health-related quality of life concepts in general, click here.

Total Worker Health Webinar: Intervening for Work Stress: Work-life stress and Total Worker Health Approaches
Tuesday, August 19, 2014; 12:00pm-1:30pm EST
Dr. Leslie Hammer and Dr. Dan Ganster will discuss the process of psychosocial stress at work and intervention approaches for alleviating it. Dan will briefly introduce psychosocial stress and practical approaches for reducing stressors in the workplace.  Leslie will discuss the concept of work-life stress; its association with health, safety, well-being and organizational outcomes; and review how comprehensive integrated solutions that are consistent with the Total Worker Health approach may help mitigate the effects of work-life stress and improve health. Click to learn more about this webinar at NIOSH Total Worker Health™ Webinar Series.

Total Worker Health Webinar: Charting the Path to Total Worker Health: A Practitioner's Guide to Getting Started
Friday, August 22, 2014; 12:00-1:00pm ET
In partnership with and HPCareer.Net, the NIOSH Office for Total Worker Health™ and the NIOSH-funded Centers of Excellence to Promote a Healthier Workforce Learn will share the latest tools and guidance for integrating health protection and health promotion. This web-based suite of resources will prepare practitioners tasked with the goal of protecting and promoting the health of their workforce and their communities with an innovative strategy for improving worker safety, health and well-being, both on and off the job. Register here.

Registration now open for 1st International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health
Together with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Office for Total Worker Health and 14 other prestigious partners, we are excited to announce that registration is NOW OPEN for the 1st International Symposium to Advance TOTAL WORKER HEALTH™. The symposium will be held October 6–8 on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Join more than 500 scientists and practitioners from around the world and learn the state of the science and practice using a coordinated approach that integrates health protection and health promotion. To register and learn more about the Symposium, visit

Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars for Small Businesses
The Small Business Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services and Small Business Majority are helping small business owners understand the facts of the Affordable Care Act so they can make informed decisions about providing health insurance for their employees. Other topics discussed include insurance reforms, the small business health care tax credit, and employer shared responsibility provisions.  The Affordable Care Act 101 takes place every Thursday at 1 PM CT. Below is the registration links for upcoming presentations.      
                *Thursday, July 31 at 1:00 PM CT: Click to Register
                *Thursday, August 7 at 1:00 PM CT: Click to Register
                *Thursday, August 14 at 1:00 PM CT: Click to Register
                *Thursday, August 21 at 1:00 PM CT: Click to Register

Employer Tip of the Week
Tips related to employee safety, health and wellness will be shared weekly through Facebook, Twitter and the HWCE website.  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to automatically receive tips each week.

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*Join the NIOSH Total Worker Health Group on LinkedIn

Upcoming Events
A more detailed listing with registration links is available through our online calendar of events.

Corridor Business Journal Breakfast Series
The Business of Wellness: From Wellness to Well-being
Wednesday, August 13, 2014; 7:30-9:30am at the Coralville Marriott
Agenda and registration information available here.

Total Worker Health Webinar: Intervening for Work Stress: Work-life stress and Total Worker Health Approaches
Tuesday, August 19, 2014; 12:00pm-1:30pm EST
Click to learn more about the NIOSH Total Worker Health™ Webinar Series.
Total Worker Health Webinar: Charting the Path to Total Worker Health™: A Practitioner's Guide to Getting Started
Friday, August 22, 2014; 12:00-1:00pm ET; Register and learn more here.
5th National HealthCare Ergonomics Conference
September 8-11, 2014 in Portland, OR
Learn about current evidence-based and best practices related to health care worker and patient safety ergonomics. Network with colleagues and try the latest technology in ergonomics and safe patient handling.  Click here for more information.
Live Healthy Iowa Next Step Challenge
September 8-October 17, 2014; Registration opens August 11th
Teams of 2-10 compete in web-based competition tracking number of steps taken each week. $10.00 per participant- Cost includes pedometer, weekly email with tips, personal tracking page, unlimited access to recipes, videos, workouts and health information, and opportunities for prizes. More information here.
Live Healthy Iowa Healthy Families Challenge
September 22-October 31, 2014; Registration opens August 18th
New! Family teams of 2-10 compete in 6-week challenge to empower Iowa families to improve their nutrition and physical activity habits. $25.00 per team. More information here.

2014 HERO Forum for Employee Health Management Solutions “From Return on Investment to Value on Investment”
September 30-October 2, 2014 at the Westin San Diego, CA
A leading venue for the latest in best practices, research and innovation in the field of health management. More information available here.

1st International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health™
October 6-8, 2014 in Bethesda, MD; The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health™ Program is currently accepting abstracts. Click here for more information on the conference and the call for proposals.

Wellness Council of Iowa Wellness Huddle
November 5, 2014 in Cedar Rapids on Wellness Program Structure & Planning
Event details available here.

National Sleep Foundation Sleep Health & Safety Conference
November 7, 2014 in Washington DC
Registration information here

2015 Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference: What’s Next in Health Promotion?
April 1-3, 2015 in San Diego, CA
Dr. Jenny Hall, HWCE Associate Director for Outreach, will be presenting two breakout sessions on Total Worker Health: An Integrated Approach to Improve Employee Well-being both On and Off the Job. More information available here.
Work, Stress and Health 2015: Sustainable Work, Sustainable Health, Sustainable Organizations
May 6-9, 2015 in Atlanta, GA
Proposals now being accepted. This conference covers numerous topics of interest to labor, management, practitioners and researchers, such as work and family issues, new forms of work organization, changing worker demographics, best practices for preventing stress and improving the health of workers and their organizations. More information here    

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Please note that the “links” to other informational sources are provided for your professional development. The HWCE does not take responsibility for information contained beyond the files administered by the Center and does not represent the endorsement of commercial products.

  The Healthier Workforce Center for Excellence (HWCE) is one of four TWH™ Centers of Excellence funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Our mission is to improve the health of workers in Iowa and nationally through integrated health promotion and health protection research, collaboration with peer institutions, and dissemination of successful interventions.
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