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Health Promoting Workplaces: Opportunities

3 years 8 months ago - 3 years 7 months ago #100 by lwilson

Health Promoting Workplaces: What does the Future Hold for Health Promotion Practitioners?
by Yong Zhao

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to take control over the determinants of health and thereby improve their own health. Workplace health promotion (WHP) is defined as the application of the concepts, principles and strategies enshrined in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion to both the community of employees and managers, and to the organizational and environmental aspects of the workplace itself (WHO, 1991).

Workplaces have potential for lifestyle interventions because it is where employees spend more than one-third of their waking hours (Verdonk P,2010). The workplace, along with the school, hospital, city, island, and marketplace, has been established as one of the priority settings for health promotion into the 21st century (WHO 2010a). The concept of the health promoting workplace (HPW) is becoming increasingly relevant as more private and public organisations recognize that future success in a globalizing marketplace can only be achieved with a healthy, qualified and motivated workforce (WHO, Workplace health promotion).

Studies have addressed environmental influences on health behaviours in the community (Ball K, 2006; Duncan MJ, 2005) and in work settings (Koelen MA, 2005). Because health can hardly be detached from the setting in which it is created (WHO,1986), it is important that personnel responsible for workplace health promotion such as health and safety personnel and occupational health services collaborate with stakeholders primarily concerned with the economic and organizational outcomes of enterprises (Torp S,2013).

Public health strategies place increasing emphasis on opportunities to promote healthy behaviours within the workplace setting. Workplaces may implement physical programs in hopes of keeping workers healthy and reducing healthcare costs (Golaszewski T.2000). Health Promoting Workplaces (HPW) help in the prevention of work-related disease and injury in addition to promoting positive healthy lifestyle behaviours on the part of the entire workforce and their families.

A HPW can ensure a flexible and dynamic balance between customer expectations and organisational targets on the one hand and employees’ skills and health needs on the other, which can assist companies and organisations to compete in the marketplace. For nations, the development of HPW will be a pre-requisite for sustainable social and economic development. Through workplace health promotion, workers learn how to deal with public health emergencies.

1. How can we better assess and manage health risks in the workplace?
2. How can we better develop and enforce regulations and a basic set of occupational health standards?
3. How can we improve capacities for the primary prevention of occupational hazards, diseases and injuries?
4. How can HP practitioners and professionals seize and optimize the economic opportunities available?


Ball K, Timperio AF, Crawford DA. (2006) Understanding environmental influences on nutrition and physical activity behaviors: where should we look and what should we count? Int J Behav Nutr PhysAct
Duncan MJ, Spence JC, Mummery WK. (2005) Perceived environment and physical activity: a meta-analysis of selected environmental characteristics. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
Koelen MA, Lindstrom B. (2005) Making healthy choices easy choices: the role of empowerment. Eur J Clin Nutr
WHO Regional Office for Europe. (1986) Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. WHO Regional Office forEurope, Copenhagen
Torp S, Grimsmo A, Hagen S, Duran A, Gudbergsson SB.(2013) Work engagement: a practical measure for workplace health promotion? Health Promot Int
Verdonk P, Seesing H, de Rijk A. (2010) Doing masculinity, not doing health? A qualitative study among Dutch male employees about health beliefs and workplace physical activity. BMC Public Health
WHO, Supportive Environments for Health (1991) The Sundsvall Statement. Health Education and Health -Promotion Unit, WHO, Geneva.
Golaszewski T. (2000) The limitations and promise of health education in managed care. Health Educ Behav
World Health Organization (2010a). Workplace health promotion: the workplace: a priority setting for health promotion. Retrieved from: www.who.int/occupational_health/topics/workplace/en/

Lianne Wilson
Last Edit: 3 years 7 months ago by lwilson.

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3 years 7 months ago #111 by yong_zhao

Thank you very much! I wish more Health Promotion Practitioners share their views on the topic.

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3 years 6 months ago #113 by xianglongxu

Worksite health promotion programs benefit both employers and employees.To make workplace health protection and health promotion programs become long-term and sustainable is very important.

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