High Stress and Negative Health Behaviors: A Five-Year Wellness Center Member Cohort Study

Matthew M. Clark, Sarah M. Jenkins, Philip T. Hagen, Beth A. Riley, Caleigh A. Eriksen, Amy L. Heath, Kristin S. Vickers Douglas, Brooke L. Werneburg, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Amit Sood, Roberto P. Benzo, Kerry D. Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the association between having a high stress level and health behaviors in employees of an academic medical center. Methods: Beginning January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2013, an annual survey was completed by 676 worksite wellness members. Results: Each year, about one-sixth of members had a high stress level, high stress individuals visited the wellness center less often, and most years there was a significant relationship (P<0.05) between stress level and poor physical health behaviors (physical activity level and confidence, strength, climbing stairs), low mental health (quality of life, support, spiritual well-being and fatigue), poor nutritional habits (habits and confidence), and lower perceived overall health. Conclusions: High stress is associated with negative health behavior, and future studies, therefore, should explore strategies to effectively engage high stress employees into comprehensive wellness programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-873
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 19 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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