PARTICIPATION IN WELLNESS PROGRAMMES IN THE WORK PLACE: EXPLORING PERSPECTIVE OF PERCEIVED BARRIERS AND INCENTIVES AMONG EMPLOYEES OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OWERRI.
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Background: Worksite wellness programmes are a changing field that has continued to evolve over the last twenty years. However, some of the currently available programmes lack one or more of the fundamentals needed to achieve their goals. Common shortcomings include poor participation levels, inadequate incentives, lack of options for programme delivery, inability to tailor programmes to meet the needs and wants of a diverse workforce. Objectives: To determine the perceived barriers and incentives for participation in a comprehensive wellness programmes among employees of Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State. Methods: Cross-sectional descriptive research design was utilized. The study population was employees of Federal University of Technology, Owerri. A total of 362 respondents were sampled using the Stratified sampling technique. Opinions of eligible worksite health promotion participants were collected using a validated web-based questionnaire adapted from the 2009 Porter Novelli Health Styles Questionnaire. Percentages of responses were calculated by frequency counts. Fisher’s exact test was used to test for significant association between the demographic variables and perceived barriers to participation. Results: Respondents reported they would be very likely to use paid time to exercise at work (71.8%). The most frequently reported preferred programme was personalized diet or exercise counselling (33.0%). The most commonly reported barriers to using worksite wellness services were no time during the work day (46.5%) and incentives for utilizing employee wellness services were having programmes held at a convenient time (41.2%). Conclusion: Perceived barriers to the successful initiation and participation to workplace wellness programmes in FUTO are no time during the work day and no time before or after work.