An investigation into the status of wellness interventions in the South African business context.

Laubscher, Liesl (2002-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Wellness is the desired optimum level of existence an individual can experience and is conceptualized to be the balance among six dimensions, namely physical, emotional, social, vocational, spiritual and intellectual. An imbalance may be created through various factors that could affect the individual adversely and disturb the balance or wellness aspiring for. This study was prompted by the significant influence of unhealthy behaviours on the South African population and its concomitant effects on the workplace. The wellness of the individual is gaining new interest in times where human beings are plagued by increased levels of stress, disease as well as constant and unpredictable change. Wellness programmes are at the forefront of restoring the balance of the working population and the strive towards excellence presents advantages to both the employer and employee. There appears to be an increase in the emergence of wellness interventions since its initial origin in the mining industry of South Africa. There is, however, a lack of research conducted on these programmes to support the development and future improvement and expansion of this vital intervention. This study aimed to investigate the extent of wellness programmes in South African organisations as well as the sophisticated conceptualization of these programmes within this context. The study further extended to the formulation of a model presenting the system of wellness as well as its practical application. In order to investigate and explore these factors, a research questionnaire was developed and presented to a sample of 58 respondents for completion. The results indicate that there are various sophisticated methods applied in the structure and maintenance of wellness programmes in those organisations with such programmes implemented. A tendency towards appreciating the concept of wellness was further identified among respondents. It was however, also ascertained that specific guidance and information about the field of wellness programmes could be advantageous to the future development and frequency of such interventions in the South African business framework.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: "Wellness" is die begeerde optimum vlak van bestaan wat 'n individu kan ervaar en word voorgehou as die balans tussen ses dimensies naamlik die fisieke, emosionele, sosiale, beroepsgerig, sowel as geestesingesteldheid en intellektualiteit. 'n Wanbelans kan geskep word deur verskillende faktore wat die individu nadelig kan raak en die balans versteur of die "wellness" waarna hy streefbenadeel. Hierdie studie is aangespoor deur die belangrike invloed van ongesonde gedrag op die Suid Afrikaanse bevolking en gepaardgaande invloed by die werkplek. Die "wellness" van die individu wek nuwe belangstelling in tye waar mense se lewens al meer versuur word deur verhoogde stresvlakke, siektes sowel as voortdurende en onvoorspelbare verandering. "Wellness" programme is aan die voorpunt om die balans van die werkende bevolking te herstel en die strewe na perfeksie verteenwoordig 'n tweeledige voordeel vir sowel die wergewer as die wernemer. Dit kom voor asof daar 'n vermeerdering is in die toetrede tot die "wellness" programme se bestaansvlak sedert die aansprong daarvan sy beslag gekry het in die mynwese van Suid Afrika. Daar is egter 'n gebrek aan navorsing wat gedoen is aangaande hierdie programme om die ontwikkeling daarvan te ondersteun asook die toekomstige verbetering en uitbreiding van hierdie lewensbelangrike intervensie in die individu se lewe. Met hierdie studiestuk is daar beoog om die omvang van "wellness" programme in Suid Afrikaanse organisasies te ondersoek sowel as die gesofistikeerde begrip van hierdie programme in konteks te plaas. Die studie is verder verbreed tot die ontwikkeling van 'n model wat die stelsel van "wellness" en sy praktiese toepassing uitbeeld. Om hierdie faktore te ondersoek is 'n navorsingsvraelys ontwikkel en voorgelê aan 58 respondente vir voltooiing. Die resultate dui aan dat daar verskeie gesofistikeerde metodes aangewend word in die samestelling en onderhoud van "wellness" programme in daardie organisasies wat wel sulke programme ingestel het. 'n Tendens is waargeneem dat die konsep van "wellness" meer en meer na waarde geskat word soos aangedui deur die resultate behaal. Diesnieteenstaande is daar ook vasgestel dat spesifieke leiding en inligting omtrent hierdie veld van "welIness" voordeling kan wees vir die toekomstige ontwikkeling en behaling van sulke intervensies in die Suid Afrikaanse besigheidskonteks.

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