The Role of Targeted E-Mail Messaging at the Worksite

The Role of Targeted E-Mail Messaging at the Worksite

Betsy B. Aumiller (Penn State College of Medicine, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-068-2.ch037
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Abstract

Employers are vested in pursuing educational strategies that work to improve employee health and decrease health care utilization. The use of e-mail for health promotion efforts at the worksite presents the freedom to deliver messages outside the boundaries of time and location; preliminary studies suggest that it is an effective way to encourage health behavior. This chapter explores health behavior change, adult learning theory, and media effects research regarding targeted e-mail messaging at the worksite to offer insight into how people perceive and interact with different forms of messages and what kinds of visual enhancements may positively impact perception of the message itself. Results of a qualitative study investigating employees’ interpretations of message meaning, perceptions of visual e-mail enhancements and associated health behavior change will be discussed as promising research in worksite health promotion.
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Background

This study concerns itself with the meaning and interpretation associated with receiving health-related e-mail messages at the workplace. What is it about how people perceive e-mail messaging at the worksite that brings certain meanings or concepts into their conscious awareness regarding their own health or health behavior? With the growing presence and effectiveness of worksite health promotion efforts, the characteristics and instructional uses of electronic mail technology offers possible solutions to workplace health promoters the success of electronic mail as a message delivery and instructional tool brings a new dimension to how people might receive or seek information to increase health behavior knowledge or change.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Health Behavior Change: “…refers to the actions of individuals, groups, and organizations as well as their determinants, correlates, and consequences, including social change, policy development and implementation, improved coping skills, and enhanced quality of life” (Parkerson, 1993).

Health Prevention: An action taken to decrease the chance of getting a disease or condition (National Institutes of Health, 2006).

Health Education: “A broad and varied set of strategies to influence both individuals and their social environments, to improve health behavior, and to enhance health and quality of life” (Glanz, Rimer, & Lewis, 2002, p.10).

Health: A dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease of infirmity (World Health Organization, 1998).

Transformational Learning: “… the process by which we transform our taken-for-granted frames of reference to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflective so that they may generate beliefs and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide action” (Mezirow & Associates, 2000, p. 7).

Electronic Messaging (E-Mail): Electronic mail is an interactive, computer-driven technology that facilitates two-way interpersonal communication among individuals or groups, and is fast becoming a pervasive communication medium across the globe (Williams, 1998).

Workplace: The environment (as place, tools, social connections, physical well being) enabling work to be done (PDK High Performance Workplaces, 2006).

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