Prevention: A Blueprint for Action. Action Steps for Employers


Working adults spend many of their waking hours at their worksite.   Thus, the worksite is an important and convenient environment in which to foster healthier habits.  Moreover, companies are beginning to recognize that the health of the individual employee is inseparable from the ‘health’ of the corporation.  Employees with chronic diseases and/or conditions, which may be prevented or attenuated by diet and exercise, often have higher rates of absenteeism and health care usage than healthy employees without chronic ailments.  Thus, worksite programs designed to promote health and prevent chronic disease are a wise investment for employers.

  • Design worksites and work schedules to provide opportunities for regular physical activity, including simple and readily available activities such as stair climbing.
  • Ensure that healthy food options are available for employees.
  • Consider creating exercise facilities at the worksite or providing incentives for employees to join local fitness centers.
  • Consider providing health promotion or wellness programs and disease management programs for employees as part of their health benefits.
  • Offer incentives to employees to adopt documentable healthy behaviors (e.g., miles walked or weight goals attained, obtaining recommended screenings, completion of a medically supervised smoking cessation treatment program).  [See Appendix F.]
  • Engage employees in a process to enhance their understanding of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Actively partner with community and other local entities/stakeholders to develop and implement community health promotion and disease prevention initiatives.
  • Examine the cost and benefits of worksite health promotion and disease prevention efforts.
  • Request health insurers to develop appropriate information for employees to enhance health literacy.
  • Include health literacy measures in quality of care and outcomes assessments.

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