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Prevalence of Workplace Health Promotion Programs Low

Proportion of programs increased from 2004 to 2017, but only 17.1 percent had comprehensive programs in 2017

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MONDAY, April 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Across U.S. worksites, the prevalence of workplace health promotion (WHP) programs has increased but still remains low, according to a study published online April 22 in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Laura A. Linnan, Sc.D., from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and colleagues examined WHP and protection practices across U.S. worksites in a cross-sectional self-report Workplace Health in America Survey. Overall, 10.1 percent (3,109) of the eligible worksites with 10 or more employees responded and 2,843 were retained in the final sample.

The researchers found that 46.1 percent of the eligible worksites included offered some type of WHP program. From 2004 to 2017, there was an increase in the proportion of comparable worksites with comprehensive programs (as defined in Healthy People 2010), from 6.9 to 17.1 percent. Compared with WHP programs, occupational health and safety programs were more prevalent; 83.5 percent of all worksites had an individual responsible for employee safety, compared with only 72.2 percent of those with a WHP program. The likelihood of offering most programs was lower for smaller versus larger worksites.

"Current and accurate data are also essential to identify needs and set priorities for research and practice; therefore, repeat administrations of the national survey on a regular interval would establish longitudinal data and allow for trend comparisons over time," the authors write.

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