2010 Goal of Worksite Health Promotion Programs Doubtful

An article in the August 2008 issue of the American Journal of Public Health suggests one of the government's Healthy People 2010 goals -- to have 75 percent of worksites offering a comprehensive worksite health promotion program -- may not be met. The authors' nationally representative cross-sectional phone survey found that sites with more than 750 employees consistently offered more programs, policies, and services than smaller sites. Only 6.9 percent of responding sites offered a comprehensive program.

The authors are Laura Linnan and Mike Bowling of the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Public Health; Jennifer Childress and Garry Lindsay of the Partnership for Prevention in Washington, D.C.; Carter Blakey and Penelope Royall of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Rockville, Md.; and Stephanie Pronk and Sharon Wieker, who worked at Watson Wyatt Worldwide in Minneapolis at the time of the study. Their paper says sites with a staff person dedicated to and responsible for health promotion were significantly more likely to offer a comprehensive program. Agriculture, mining, and financial services sites were significantly less likely than those in other industry sectors to offer one.

Increasing the number, quality, and types of health promotion programs at worksites, especially smaller ones, remains an important public health goal, they concluded. The paper is published on pages 1503-1509 in Vol. 98, No. 8 of the journal. For information about the paper, contact Linnan, ScD, CHES, at School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, CB #7440, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440, or linnan@email.unc.edu.

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