The Benefits of Health Promotion in the Workplace
When researching the phrase “health promotion in the workplace”, millions of results are returned. Of those many results, one can observe that many people have different meanings of what a “healthy” workplace should be and what types of programs can help with promoting healthy activities. This paper explores the benefits of health promotion in the workplace while focusing on the definition of what health promotion is, how the health of employees is as important as their safety, and what the advantages are of health promotion in the workplace. It is also intended to examine the literature found on healthy workplaces, the interrelationships between physical and mental health of workers, and the benefits of implementing such programs. The findings on this topic suggest that promoting these programs and methods in the workplace will be very advantageous because it is able to generate savings by keeping and maintaining employees healthy. Healthy employees mean productivity will be at a high. The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) believes that research has shown that “these programs can change employees’ behavior, improve their biometric risk profile and work productivity, reduce use of and spending for health care services, and achieve a positive return on investment” (Schoenman, 2011). Keywords: health promotion, workplace health, benefits of health promotion, wellness programs
The Benefits of Health Promotion in the Workplace
Over many years, researchers have demonstrated that workplace health promotion has increased its importance as a contributing factor of Americans improving their health. Healthy employees mean a healthy workforce which then equals to higher productivity. Besides protecting the safety and well being of employees, companies should begin promoting employee health and wellness by giving opportunities for continuing good health and enhanced quality of life. This paper examines how health promotion in the workplace positively influences the health of employees, the use of the medical services that are provided, and addresses the following questions: 1. What is Health Promotion?
2. How Does Work Affect the Health of Employees?
3. What Are the Advantages of Health Promotion in the Workplace? 4. How to Promote Health in the Workplace?
This paper, on the benefits of health promotion in the workplace, focuses on these four questions. What is Health Promotion?
Mathis and Jackson explain that “health promotion is a supportive approach of facilitating and encouraging healthy actions and lifestyles among employees” (p. 489). These actions typically include wellness programs, immunizations, and health risk assessments. The term “health promotion in the workplace” takes on two viewpoints; the first point is seeing health as mostly the product of individual behavior and individual responsibility, like joining a gym or eating healthier and secondly seeing health as something being influenced by outside forces that an individual cannot control, like a genetic disease or external stresses. These behaviors and forces also fall into primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention efforts. Goetzel and Ozminkowski list examples of primary prevention which include “programs that encourage exercise and fitness, healthy eating, weight management, stress management, use of safety belts in cars, moderate alcohol consumption, recommended adults immunizations, and safe sex” (2008). Primary prevention is often observed as being able to prevent the occurrence of disease and recognizing the progression of disease at an early stage. Next is the secondary prevention efforts and those include “hypertension screenings and management programs, smoking cessation telephone quit lines, weight loss classes, and reduction or elimination of financial barriers to obtaining prescribed lipid-lowering medications” (Goetzel...
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Goetzel, Ron Z. and Ozminkowski, Ronald J. (2008). The Health and Cost Benefits of Work Site Health-Promotion Programs. The Annual Review of Public Health 29, 303-23.
Heubeck, Elizabeth. Workplace Stress and Your Health: Experts explain the dangers of work-related stress and provide solutions. Retrieved from http://men.webmd.com/features/work-stress
Lastowka, Lauren. (2011, January 11). 8 Ways to Promote Wellness in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/guides/2011/01/8-ways-to-promote-wellness-in-the-workplace.html
Mathis, R.L., & Jackson J. H. (2011). Human Resource Management. (13th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Schoenman, Julie A. (2011). Building a Stronger Evidence Base for Employee Wellness Programs. The National Institue for Health Care Management Research and educational Foundation.
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