Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Nevil Speer (Director), Dr. Scott Lyons, Dr. Dean Adams

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


The United States is in the middle of a health epidemic that shows no signs of stopping. Obesity is a disease that carries a significant number of health-related issues. The adult population has experienced a decrease in overall wellness, where the mental and physical health of individuals is disrupted by the effects of obesity. Even more alarming is the rate of increase in childhood obesity and its impact on America’s future.

The consequences of this health epidemic are especially visible in the increased costs of health care caused by obesity-related diseases. This epidemic reaches across many aspects of life. The impaired ability to function mentally and physically has left individuals incapable of performing daily functions in their personal and professional lives. As the demand on individuals’ time has increased, there has been a noticeable decrease in health-and-wellness activities. Inactivity, demanding work environments, stress, fast food, processed groceries and meals, consumption of sugary drinks, and smoking all may contribute to obesity in the United States.

This research project attempted to determine the viability of Body Mass Index (BMI) to predict employee wellness. By using BMI as a predictor of wellness, both individuals and organizations can organize initiatives to direct employees into healthy lifestyle programs. Addressing obesity and reversing a culture of inactivity, disease, and death are fundamentally correct. The challenge is for leaders and employees to discover a path to living well.

The research addresses BMI as a predictor of wellness by determining the relationships across the factors of The Indivisible Self (Myers & Sweeney, 2005a) wellness theory. Is there a relationship between BMI and total wellness (the creative self, the coping self, the social self, the essential self, and the physical self)? The research indicates that a relationship does exist. The strengths of the relationships between BMI and factors of wellness do not offer conclusive evidence that BMI alone predicts wellness. The relationships observed, however, offer opportunities for changes in Americans’ lifestyles.


Exercise Science