What Works for Worksite Health Promotion | ANSWERED

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What Works for Worksite Health Promotion | ANSWERED

Vanessa M. Kercher, Ph.D., SSC, M.Ed., ACSM-EP, BESS |  May 28, 2020

Wroksite Health Promotion ACSM

Develop your understanding of best practice principles in worksite health programs

The first answer is: it depends!
There isn’t a golden ticket answer to the question but there are simple steps you can take to help your company approach their worksite health challenges. When it comes to having a worksite health promotion program you’ve got to think about the following:

1. What’s your program design?
2. What are your selected outcomes?
3. What evidence supports effectiveness?
4. What narrative is supported by case studies from the field? 

As you think through these questions to help promote a worksite wellness program that thrives, here’s a little support to help get your brain stewing. 

1. Program Design

Is your program comprehensive? A few comprehensive elements include health education, supportive physical and social environments and worksite screening programs. A comprehensive program is only one of nine elements in the list of best practice design principles (see Figure 1).

Worksite Health Promotion Program Design ACSM

Figure 1. Best Practice Design Principles for Worksite Health Promotion Programs

2. Effective Programs

It depends on your choice of outcomes! A few of the many outcomes to focus on include participation, productivity and performance, return on investment and community relationships. 

3. Evidence!

Show me the effectiveness. Does your program generate strong changes from baseline? A few ways to evaluate strength of effectiveness are through systematic review, randomized trials, qual-experimental studies and case studies. 

4. Field Case Studies

It’s important to investigate and look to case studies that provide insight into building and promoting a worksite health program you will have confidence in.

Take Aways

A comprehensive, well-designed, evidence-based program can save money, promote a positive work climate and culture and even improve employee health and well-being. Go get started on implementing a worksite health promotion program now by reading more about the best strategies from Nico Pronk’s article, “What Works in Worksite Health Promotion?” in the May/June 2020 issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®.

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ACSM FTJ May June 2020

Article based on:
Pronk N. What works in worksite health promotion? ACSMs Health Fit J. 2020; 24 (3): 39-42.


Vanessa Kercher 
Vanessa M. Kercher, Ph.D., SSC, M.Ed., ACSM-EP, BESS, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Department for the School of Public Health at Indiana University. Dr. Kercher's research passion focuses on helping individuals optimize their physical activity experiences to promote sustainable, positive health behaviors. She serves as the digital editor of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®. 

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