Most people probably draw a division in their minds between their work lives and their health. Sure, stress at work might be affecting our mental health, and the repetitive movements at the office may be slowly contributing to carpel tunnel syndrome or some other long-term musculoskeletal disorder. When we need to treat those issues, we either look for a psychologist or a physical therapist on our day off.
Health promotion, however, requires us to rethink these divisions and separations between our health and the rest of our lives. Below, we briefly explain what is health promotion, and how (and why) businesses and workplaces like yours can incorporate health promotion programs into their company culture.
WHO Definition of Health Promotion
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions.”
In this sense, health promotion is one of the core functions and tenets of any public health endeavor. Health promotion supports governments, communities and individuals to cope with and address the health challenges that emerge. The design and implementation of healthy public policies, the creation of supportive environments that stimulate healthfulness, and the strengthening of community action and personal skills all contribute to greater health promotion.
Examples of Health Promotion
There are dozens of examples of how health promotion is integral to overall public health and wellbeing in society. For example, health promotion professionals may work in some of the following programs to help improve health indicators across certain sectors of society:
- Promoting breastfeeding as a way to improve infant health
- Promoting better nutrition programs in schools and daycare centers
- SIDS prevention and education with young parents
- Injury prevention in the workplace
- Promoting physical activity in different sectors of the population to reduce obesity levels and improve heart health
- Smoking cessation programs
In the workplace, health promotion activities can also play an important role in improving the overall wellbeing of employees. The European Network for Workplace Health Promotion defines workplace health promotion (WHP) as “the combined efforts of employers, employees and society to improve the health and well-being of people at work.”
Depending on the specific industry and nature of the business, workplace health promotion may be focused on:
- improving the safety of the work environment
- advancing the organization of the workplace environment
- promoting active participation of workers in the different health and wellness programs that are available to them
- organizing workplace programs that encourage personal development of your workforce
A health promotion professional can help companies develop the best strategies to improve the health of their workforce. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), “the total cost of work injuries in 2019 was $171.0 billion. This figure includes wage and productivity losses of $53.9 billion, medical expenses of $35.5 billion, and administrative expenses of $59.7 billion. ... The cost per worker in 2019 was $1,100.” Certainly, then, a greater focus on the health and wellbeing of your workers can also help to reduce economic losses due to workers’ compensation payments and time lost due to injury and illness.
A focus on health promotion will establish comprehensive communication strategies between employers and their workforce, and also involve employees in the decision making processes. A health promotion professional may organize work tasks and processes so that they contribute to, rather than damage employee health. The combined efforts of a company’s health promotion professional can therefore also help businesses develop a stronger company culture. Lastly, health promotion professionals can also support businesses in the design and implementation of best policies and practices which enhance employee health by making the healthy choices the easy choices.
Bring Health Promotion to Your Workplace With Work-Fit
If you agree that a health promotion professional might be able to help your workers improve their quality of life, improve their productivity levels, and also reduce absenteeism from the workplace, give Work-Fit a call. Work-Fit is a leading onsite and telehealth injury prevention and wellness management service for your workforce.
Our company has years of experience in helping businesses from all different industries to create and implement holistic injury prevention and wellness programs. Our injury prevention and injury management programs are great resources for helping to improve the health and wellness of your workforce. We have a team of exercise physiologists, health and fitness professionals, and athletic trainers that are all trained in the top safety standards for dozens of industries, and can help you protect your workers and your bottom line from all different sorts of workplace injuries and illnesses.
Contact Work-Fit today see how our team of health promotion professionals can help your company develop the best health outcomes for your workforce.