Worksite Health Promotion

Nell H. Gottlieb

in Public Health

ISBN: 9780199756797
Published online July 2012 | | DOI:
Worksite Health Promotion

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Worksite health promotion is a relatively young field, with employee fitness programs in the United States emerging in the 1960s and expanding in the 1980s to include other risk factors and wellness topics. The focus in this development was on personal lifestyle, and a primary driver was the rapid increase in employee health-care costs. In Europe, where health-care costs are not borne by employers, worksite health promotion began with a concern about the organization of work and how this influenced the worker. With the approach of the 21st century, these two threads began to come together in the social ecological model of health promotion in the United States and the settings approach of the World Health Organization, amid increasing concerns about productivity in the global economy. From a public health perspective, the workplace is an ideal setting for improving the health status of the population of workers, with spillover to their families. Social and organizational supports can facilitate well-being, healthful behaviors, and disease detection. The evidence base for worksite health promotion is strong and growing, and there is a deep experience base among large companies. The literature in health promotion reflects these roots, appearing both in scientific and professional journals and in corporate organization reports, such as those of the National Business Group on Health (which may not be generally available). The practice of health promotion has matured with a professional focus, a theoretical base, and planning and managerial frameworks. Worksite health promotion is an interdisciplinary endeavor grounded in health and behavioral science, public health, organizational change, and general management.

Article.  7146 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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