Co-design of a digital workplace wellness intervention in Malaysia
Background: Malaysia is currently experiencing high, and growing, rates of chronic disease. Lifestyle risk factors, such as obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking, and poor diet all contribute to the onset of these conditions and to worse outcomes. Previous studies suggest that workplace wellness initiatives can benefit both individuals and employers (e.g., through lower healthcare costs and reductions in absenteeism).
Aims: This abstract outlines phase one of the study, which aims to co-design a socially-driven digital health intervention to promote healthy behavior in a workplace in Malaysia.
Methods: In this co-design phase, a total of 12 interviews were completed with employees to understand the barriers and facilitators to healthy behaviors in the workplace, including social factors (drawing on social cognitive theory and other social influence theories). Next, co-design workshops were developed, based on the findings from the interviews, and conducted with employees to design workplace wellness activities that fit the company culture and constraints.
Results: The employee interviews uncovered barriers to healthy behaviors, such as limited availability of healthy food options, and facilitators, such as co-workers participating together in activities. Co-design workshops explored how these factors could be leveraged or addressed in the design of wellness activities for the company. While not an initial focus of the study, an additional theme that emerged from both interviews and co-design workshops was the need for more mental health support for employees.
Conclusions: The co-design process uncovered important barriers, facilitators, and ideas while designing a culturally-relevant digital workplace wellness intervention in Malaysia.