Wellness Corner: Attitude and Actual Participation in Wellness Survey

This is the third part of the Employees’ Wellness and Well-being Survey conducted in 2016. This article will present the University employees’ (1) Attitude and Degree of Participation towards Physical and (2) Attitude and Extent of Spiritual Wellness. Included in the 2016 survey were 135 regular and full-time faculty, formators, and staff of the colleges and professional schools.

The result of the survey showed that about 1/3 of the respondents have Somewhat Positive (40%) and Positive Attitude (33%) towards Physical Wellness. However, 26 out of 135 respondents (about 20%) have Negative Attitude towards physical wellness. The respondents expressed the top three reasons for having a positive attitude towards physical wellness: they find it enjoyable; relaxing; and helping them get away from the pressure of daily living. 

An important consideration, therefore, to increase participation in any physical wellness is that activities should be enjoyable. The result confirms the study conducted by Larsen and Buss (2002) which showed that optimism of a positive attitude, in general, is predictive of good health. The authors (Larsen and Buss, 2002) added that optimism correlates with positive health behaviors, like exercising regularly, avoiding fatty food, and drinking moderately.

Attitude towards Physical Wellness



Somewhat Positive

[ 1.90-2.79 ]




[ 2.80-3.69 ]




[ 1.00-1.89 ]




Degree of Participation in Physical Wellness



Poorly Participative




Fairly Participative




Satisfactorily Participative




Aside from asking the respondents about their attitude towards wellness, they were also asked to rate their actual participation in both physical and spiritual wellness activities.

The result showed that about 41% (55 out of 135) of the respondents described themselves as Less Active or Poorly Participative, meaning they participate in physical wellness activities only twice or even once a week. The participants also clarified that they were not as active at present as they were five years ago, or they are not as physically active as they should be. This supports numerous studies which showed that fewer people engaged in a regular leisure-time physical activity (Harrington, 2013; Ferkel et al, 2014; Sycip et al, 2000; Downey, 1996).

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that correlates physical activity and health (Bezner, 1999), due to “lack of time” (Downey 1996), and advances in technology (Hoeger & Hoeger, 2014), physical activity is no longer seen as a necessity or part of daily living.

Bezner (2015) added that although exercise does influence well-being and health-related quality of life, this has not been translated to increase participation or attendance in physical activity.

In terms of spiritual wellness, the result showed that about half (67 out of 135) of the respondents have a Positive Attitude, followed by 26% (35 out of 135) and 21% (29 out of 135) of the respondents who have a very positive and somewhat positive attitude towards spiritual wellness, respectively. The respondents explained that they have a positive and very positive attitude towards spiritual wellness because it gives them a sense of purpose and through it, they learn to have a better perspective on life.

Attitude towards Spiritual Wellness







Very Positive




Somewhat Positive





Extent of Spiritual Wellness



Very Active




Moderately Active




Less Active




On the other hand, when asked about the extent of their spiritual wellness, the result showed that almost 46% (62 out of 135) of the respondents, described themselves as Moderately Active, followed by 27% and about 15% of the respondents who considered themselves Less Active and Very Active, respectively. 

The study revealed that more than half of the respondents are Moderately Active to Very Active, in terms of their participation in spiritual wellness. Declaring the annual University Retreat as a study holiday allows employees to participate in it. This suggests that the University values spiritual formation for employees, which also motivates employees to put a premium on their spirituality.

The celebration of daily masses enables members of the community who are Catholics to renew their spiritual life. Despite being a Catholic university, employees who belonged to other faiths are welcome and respective to practice their own spirituality, thereby, promoting the sense of community, amidst diversity in faiths.

Although the study showed that more than half of the employees consider themselves Active Spiritually, about 40% consider themselves Less Active (27%) and Not Active (12%). This showed that despite the effort of the University to provide a venue for its employees to be engaged spiritually, there are those who still consider themselves as spiritually inactive. This supports the study of Sycip et al (2000) which found that non-material dimensions, such as spirituality and social relationships, especially within the family are at the core of the Filipinos’ sense of well-being.

The result showed that although the participants have a positive attitude towards wellness, their actual participation is less than what is expected. Lack of participation, particularly in physical wellness activities can be attributed to a lot of factors, including lack of time, “unattractive” activities, unfavorable schedule, and lack of motivation, among others. This confirms the result of a study presented by Harrington (2013) and Sycip et al (2000) which showed that more than half of adults do not engage in physical activity or are considered inactive.

Although the study showed that the participants have a positive attitude towards wellness in general, the degree of their participation, particularly in physical wellness, still needs to be improved. The challenge is how to make these wellness activities relevant and enjoyable.

What is alarming is that despite the fact that many of the participants in the University study were either obese or overweight, many of them do not consider themselves “unfit” or “unhealthy.” The overall result of the study showed a disconnect between the attitude of the participants about wellness and their actual participation.∎ 

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