The call for participants for the WOLP study has finished.

HEC would like to thank the hundreds of people who took part in this study.

WOLP, developed by HEC, is the first wellness on-line program aimed at changing people's behaviours via the internet.

A Monash University study tested WOLP in 2003-2004 to see how effective it is.

The data are currently being analysed. Preliminary findings suggest that WOLP was successful in
changing our participant's behaviours via the internet towards a more 'wellness' promoting lifestyle. We will report the full results in a future newsletter.

If you enrol for WOLP, we will notify you via email when WOLP becomes available in 2005.

INTRODUCTION

Congratulations! You have commenced your journey into 'wellness discovery' by thinking about joining WOLP.

Monash University PhD student (Azizah Omar) is conducting research on whether it is possible to improve "wellness" via the internet. By enrolling in this study you will help her find out whether the internet can be used as a medium and you will also find out how to improve your diet, exercise regimen and other factors affecting wellness. To thank you for taking part in the study you will receive 1 FREE video at the beginning of the 6 week program. To motivate you to complete the program you will get free on-line access to the book "Food Facts" in week 6. The wellness program has been developed in conjunction with HEC's Professor Wahlqvist and Dr Kouris.

Please note: the video is supplied for completing WOLP in its entirety. Should you be unable to complete the 6 weeks program the video must be returned to us or paid for ($25).


Background

Through his experience as a physician and understanding of the scientific literature, Professor Wahlqvist has identified small, but significant, dietary and lifestyle changes that one can make
simultaneously in order to improve sense of 'wellness' and minimise disease risk. He has called this "lifestyle synergy" consisting of "small synergistic steps".

A PhD student from Monash University, Azizah Omar, is testing the wellness on-line program (WOLP), developed by the Healthy Eating Club (HEC). She is under the supervision of HECs Professor Mark Wahlqvist and HECs Dr Antigone Kouris who are also affiliated with the Asia Pacific Health and Nutrition Centre of the Monash Asia Institute, Monash University in Melbourne, Clayton, Victoria Australia.

This novel 6 week on-line wellness program, developed by HEC, is the first of its kind on the web. Unlike other programs, this program is more about motivating people to make positive changes to various aspects of their life rather than just giving them information to read and leaving
them to their own devices.

The Aim of WOLP

The aim of the Wellness program is to bring to your attention aspects of your life which may be contributing to feelings of 'unwellness' and to encourage the pursuit of wellness as a
lifelong behaviour pattern.


WOLP is designed to help the individual assessment taker become aware of different areas of their life and to help him or her identify the areas that need improvement.

So what do we mean by "wellness"?

Our lives today are very complex thus making it more difficult to achieve an overall feeling of "wellness". The definition for wellness includes many dimensions of our lives. To maintain health, all
dimensions of our lives need attention. If we invest too much of our energies in one or two of these dimensions, the others will suffer, resulting in a decrease of our overall wellness. All dimensions relate to and affect each other. For example, what happens at home often affects what happens at work and vice versa.
A popular model adopted by some university, corporate, and public health programs encompasses 6 dimensions:
1. Social
2. Occupational
3. Spiritual
4. Physical (diet & physical activity)
5. Intellectual
6. Emotional

To read more about this click here.

This six-dimensional model emphasizes the importance of creating a balance in the many different areas which make up your life. Each of these affects each other and determines your overall wellness status. The goal of a wellness lifestyle is to continually strive for both a
balance between the dimensions as well as a high level of wellness in each dimension.

WOLP - who is it for and how much does it cost

If you are aged 18 and above and are not pregnant then you are eligible to join the program at no extra cost at all. To motivate you to stick to and complete the 6 week program, you
will receive:
a FREE copy of the exercise video "ageACTIVE" in week 1 because you will need to refer to it for your weekly exercises.
FREE on-line access to the book "Food Facts" at the end of the 6 week program

How does WOLP work ?

WOLP runs for 6 weeks.
Every week you will be asked to perform TWO 'synergistic steps' from the 'Physical' domain.
Every week you will also be asked to perform ONE 'synergistic step' from the other domains so that all 6 domains are covered by the end of the 6 week program. This will help you:
increase your level of physical activity
improve your diet
become aware of other aspects of your lifestyle which may be
affecting your feelings of 'wellness'

SUMMARY

1. As a New User you need to read and agree to our WOLP Term and conditions before you participate in any of the wellness activities. (once you have agreed you will be taken automatically to the enrollment page)
2. You need to Enrol (WOLP is free - but you need to enrol to give us your preferred username and password to access WOLP on-line and so that we can email you a "reminder" once a week to motivate you and to mail the "ageActive" video to you).
You will receive a FREE copy of the video "ageACTIVE" in the mail when your enrollment has been processed.
Please note: the video is supplied for completing WOLP in its entirety - should you be unable to complete the 6 weeks the video must be returned to us or paid for (~$30).

3. To assess the efficacy of WOLP and to monitor your progress we would kindly ask you to complete an on-line research questionnaire on week 1, week 3 and week 6. These are short and should not take more than 10 minutes each to complete

4. In week 1 and week 6, you will also be asked to:
complete the TESTWELL questionaire on the website 'testwell.org'. We would like you to tell us the scores for the different wellness domains by entering them in the boxes provided in the research questionnaire.This will enable us to measure any changes in your 'feelings of wellness' as a result of being on the 6 week program.
assess your diet using our novel on-line program "Food Web"
assess your physical activity with our quiz

5. You will then be asked to perform 3 activities per week. TWO activities will be from the 'Physical domain' each week to improve your diet and physical fitness and ONE activity will be from another "wellness" domain. You must start with week 1 and work through each week in consecutive order.
6. Each week will be assessed by asking you to complete a brief quiz at the end of each week.
7. After completing the six-week program you will get Free
on-line access to the book "Food Facts".

The activities are simple, easy to follow and would take around 30-45 minutes of your time. Some of the activities include listening to music, walking short distances, phoning and chatting to a friend
and eating more fruit. These activities will be assessed/monitored by an on-line quiz at the d end of the week.
WOLP will also provide the resources, 'reminders' and incentives (free CDs) to help you stick to the weekly recommended lifestyle activities. HEC will provide regular prompts of encouragment/reminders via emails to gently "nudge" you into changing your behaviour.


In summary - each week consists of:
1. 1 short on-line quiz at the end of the week to map your progress with the lifestyle activity and to motivate you; the frequency that you performed the activities across the week (comapred to other participants) will be displayed in a bar chart when the 'end of week' quiz is completed

2. 3 synergistic steps e.g on week 1 you may choose to walk 30 min daily, eat an extra piece of fruit daily, and to listen to music daily); for some activities, it will be recommended that they are
performed daily to have an impact on your feelings of 'wellness', but if you can't that's OK. You will have the opportunity to write in a 'text box' at then end of the week what stopped you from performing the activity more often; you will be asked to perform different activities each week; ideally we would like you to continue activities from previous week(s)

3. practical tips on how to incorporate the activity into your lifestyle

In week 1, 3 and 6 we will ask you to complete the short on-line research questionnaires which include an assessment of wellness using an on-line instrument called TESTWELL. In week 1 and 6 you will be asked to assess your diet and physical activity level using our novel on-line program "Food Web" and physical activity quiz.