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Rural Health Information Hub

Workplace Model for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Rural workplaces can benefit from health promotion and disease prevention programs, often referred to as worksite wellness programs. Wellness is a process of actively making decisions that contribute to positive health behaviors and outcomes.

Research demonstrates that worksite wellness programs improve overall workforce through improved employee wellness, increased productivity, improved employee retention, and decreased absenteeism. They are also shown to reduce the costs associated with injury and illness. Workplace models are also used in rural communities to integrate health and human services. More information is available in the Rural Services Integration Toolkit.

Implementation Considerations

When planning a worksite wellness program it is important to know the organizational setting where the program will be implemented as well as information on layoffs, company commitment, limitations, and facilitators for policy changes and allocation of staff time. Prior to program implementation, baseline information should be collected on staff retention, absenteeism, and other company interests, in order to demonstrate the program impacts and discuss and establish how sustainability will be achieved.

Resources to Learn More

From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness that Works
Presents recommendations regarding worksite wellness and health promotion programs, to facilitate the design, implementation, and evaluation of these programs.
Organization(s): Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Transamerica Center for Health Studies
Date: 9/2015

Workplace Health Model
Presents a multiphase process for identifying the program elements, policies, benefits, and environmental supports necessary for workplace program success.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Workplace Wellness Programs Study
Presents the key characteristics of workplace wellness initiatives and programs, including the role of incentives and their impact on health and costs, and the facilitators for success.
Author(s): Mattke, S., Liu, H., Caloyeras, J.P., Huang, C.Y., Van Busum, K.R., Khodyakov, D., & Shier, V.
Organization(s): RAND Corporation
Date: 2013

Strides to a Healthier Worksite Wellness Challenge Tool Kit
Promotes the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for South Dakotans, and assists in developing a plan to encourage worksites to support healthier lifestyles for their employees.
Organization(s): South Dakota Department of Health