Health Programs for the Workplace

In the business world, health programs are designed to help employees improve their physical and mental well-being in order to increase productivity at work. They can take many forms, from encouraging employees to get more exercise to offering flexible work schedules. Often, health programs are a part of larger corporate wellness initiatives that aim to improve overall employee happiness and satisfaction with the company.

Ideally, health programs focus on prevention rather than treatment. This allows individuals, employers, families, insurance companies, medical facilities, communities and governments to avoid paying for the costs associated with illnesses and injuries. It also cuts down on the amount of time and money that is spent on caring for patients.

In its broadest sense, public health is the effort to ensure that people have access to the resources and information they need to lead healthy lives. This includes preventing the spread of disease and providing access to quality medical care. It also includes the protection of public health infrastructure, such as water, sanitation and waste management systems. In addition to disease prevention, public health programs are responsible for promoting community action and self-sufficiency.

To be successful, a health program must address 6 key areas: Innovation to develop the evidence base for action; a technical package of a limited number of high-priority, evidence-based interventions that will have a major impact; effective management, especially rigorous, real-time monitoring, evaluation and continuous improvement; partnerships and coalitions with private- and public-sector organizations; communication of accurate and compelling information to influence behavior change and engage civil society; and political commitment to obtain resources and support for implementation. Programs such as smallpox eradication, tuberculosis control and tobacco control have achieved success by addressing these 6 elements.

The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) offers a free, downloadable guide on the essentials of workplace health and safety. The manual covers everything from basic workplace safety guidelines to tips on how to create a culture of health and safety at your organization.

A health program can be as simple as stocking the breakroom with healthy food options and ensuring that everyone gets a full night’s sleep at least once per week. More involved programs can involve a workplace wellness competition or even a smoking cessation initiative. The NCIPC also has a number of online tools that can be used to promote wellness in the workplace, such as an online tool for assessing risk factors for obesity and another for measuring employee stress.

A Community Health Education degree teaches students to positively influence the health behavior of groups and communities. Graduates can work in health education on college campuses, in hospitals and community-based organizations, in fitness centers or in the area of public health. They can also write grants, conduct research and manage health research projects. The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing certifies health educators as Certified Health Education Specialists.

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