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Workplace health promotion programs are increasing in the United States, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and RTI International. Nearly half of all workplaces in the nation offer some level of health promotion or wellness programs, and 17 percent of workplaces with 50 or more employees offer comprehensive workplace health promotion programs.

Laura Linnan, ScD, professor in the Gillings School’s Department of Health Behavior and founding director of the Carolina Collaborative for Research on Work and Health (CCRWH), is lead author of the paper, “Results of the Workplace Health in America Survey,” published online April 22 by the American Journal of Health PromotionMaija Leff, MPH, project director for the CCRWH, is a co-author on the paper.

The 2017 Workplace Health in America (WHA) Survey is the most recent national survey of workplace health promotion programs, and the first of its kind in 13 years. The survey assessed the current status of employer-based health promotion programs (addressing nutrition, stress, physical activity, alcohol and substance abuse, sleep and a variety of other health topics), as well as health screenings, disease management, the use of incentives to encourage participation and health changes, work-life policies, implementation barriers and occupational safety and health.

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Originally published Apr. 22, 2019.


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