Effects of an Intervention to Improve Workplace Flexibility on Employee Biomarkers of Inflammation

Emily O'Donnell, Harvard University
Laura Kubzansky, Harvard University
Jessica Marden, Harvard University
Orfeu Buxton, Harvard University
Lisa Berkman, Harvard University

Introduction: This study examines the effects of a workplace intervention on employee markers of inflammation (CRP, IL-6 and IL-1 ß). Methods: We estimated multilevel linear regression models that account for multiple measures per employee as well as the nesting of employees within worksites. Changes in inflammation from baseline to 12 months were assessed, and models were stratified by parental status, foreign born status and age to understand possible subgroup specific-effects. Results: The workplace program did not significantly affect changes in employee markers of inflammation from baseline to 12 months. We detected some differences in treatment effects based on foreign born status. Conclusion: This study marks the first randomized field experiment to assess the effects of a workplace program on employee markers of inflammation. While we did not detect any treatment effects, we recommend that future research clarify the mechanisms by which workplace policies and practices may benefit employee well-being.

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Presented in Session 97: Psychosocial Factors and Health