It’s no secret that promoting health in the workplace is vital and necessary. Still, companies willing to invest in a workplace health promotion program don’t want to spend their valued resources on programs that don’t work; otherwise, their investment isn’t worth their return.

The most important return is employee health and happiness. Proven workplace health promotion program examples are what we’ll be describing in this article today.

8 Workplace Health Promotion Program Examples That Work

When workers are healthy and happy, they do the two things companies need most: show up and perform. Good business owners don’t want their companies to merely survive, they want them to thrive, and the best performing and happiest teams are the ones that make accessible health a priority.

Offering programs that promote health only works if the employees use it.

Offering programs that promote health only works if the employees use it, and starting with proven workplace health promotion program examples is a great place to start.

What Is A Workplace Health Promotion Program?

A workplace health promotion program is a systemic strategy to improve health, knowledge, attitude, skills, and behavior. These programs are designed to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities. In addition to physical health, they also incorporate healthy working conditions. These programs enable people to improve their health.

There are many programs available, many of them targeted and straightforward. The goal is to find approaches to healthcare that people will use, such as programs to quit smoking access to health facilities for routine procedures for preventative care. 

We’ve scoured the data to find the workplace health promotion examples that work, with the results to back up the efficacy. 

RELATED: 7 Ways A Virtual Wellness Program Makes Employees Healthy

Workplace Health Promotion Program Examples That Work

With the overwhelming amount of services available, it can be difficult to know which programs are sure to prove results.

So we’ve found ones with the best results.

1. Programs designed to help people quit smoking.

One of the best workplace health promotion examples that work is a program designed to help workers quit smoking. The greatest thing about this program is how many free services are available. 

helping employees quit smoking

Smokefree.gov is dedicated to helping people quit smoking. Filled with tools, tips, and online chat support, this website is filled with information and success stories for those serious about quitting.

CDC.Com is another excellent free resource for companies to help their team members who struggle with nicotine take the first step toward a healthier life to quit smoking.

Check out this alarming fact:

“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. As of 2018, about 34 million US adults smoke cigarettes, and every day, about 1,600 young people under 18 try their first cigarette. In addition, 58 million people who don’t smoke are exposed to secondhand smoke every year.” CDC.com

Tobacco use programs aren’t only designed to help people quit but, more importantly, prevent them from starting use in the first place. Additionally, they help companies reduce people’s exposure to secondhand smoke.

RELATED: 7 Simple Strategies To Integrate Health And Wellness Programs In The Workplace

2. Access to Healthy Food

The leaders of corporate wellness programs learned years ago that giving their employees access to healthy food options was one of the most effective to keep their team’s performance levels up throughout the day.

By incorporating proven approaches that make healthy living more accessible by offering access to healthy food. This might sound complex, but it doesn’t have to be.

  • Stock break rooms with healthy snacks
  • Consider providing a food delivery service as an incentive, such as Imperfect Foods or Perfectly Imperfect Produce (this will be a big hit with your millennial team members!)

“A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent weight gain, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some kinds of cancer. However, only about 1 in 10 US adults eats enough fruits or vegetables…In addition, only 54% of adults get enough aerobic physical activity, and nearly 74% have overweight or obesity.” CDC.com

healthy break room snacks for workplace health promotion program

3. Physical Activity Opportunities

A quick google search on how exercise improves brain functions results in over 33 million results. When we move, we feel better. It’s no wonder, so many of us had such a hard time when we left our recess days behind as we moved from elementary school onto junior high. 

If you’re a large corporation or a well-performing small one, you might have the ability to provide an on-site workout facility, but for the many others out there that can’t, there are plenty of alternative options.

Easy Ways To Incorporate Physical Activity Opportunities

  • Consider purchasing your employee’s gym memberships
  • Host park days when the weather is nice and bring things are likely to interact with like frisbees, hula-hoops, and basketballs
  • Create team health challenges with health-based incentives at the end like workout gear or a gift certificate for a spa day
  • Pay for mileage, foot mileage that is – why not give them an extra incentive to get their steps in during their breaks

There are plenty of ways to incorporate physical activity opportunities; the most important thing is to make it approachable and fun. If these ideas don’t sound like they’d fit for your team, start with them and find out what would make them get up and move for a few minutes.

RELATED: WellSteps Physical Activity, Healthy Eating, and Emotional Health Challenges 

4. Promoting Women’s Reproductive Health

Workplace health promotion program examples that focus on women’s health are a great way to help working women take care of themselves. Studies show that chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity can put them at a higher risk of pregnancy complications and infertility. 

Linking women to quality health care providers that can work with them to prevent and control chronic conditions before and during pregnancy significantly increases a woman’s probability of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Attention also needs to be paid to their transition into menopause. From Maternal-fetal medicine to midlife services, providing services specific to women’s needs is crucial for any health promotion program. 

Women's health issues for workplace health promotion program

5. Promoting Clinical Preventative Services

People with access to quality medical care to find and treat problems early is essential for healthy living. Working with health partners and health care systems for effective delivery of clinical preventative service is a workplace health promotion program that works.

Here are a few of the best clinical preventative services workplace health promotion program examples:

  • Provide programs that access electronic health records to help them monitor their care
  • Promote Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention programs
  • Provide preventive health screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes screenings
  • Promote access to weight and nutrition management by subscribing to services like NoomWW (Formerly known as Weight Watchers), or MyFitnessPal
  • Promote Cancer Prevention and Control programs to screen for colon, breast, and cervical cancer for early detection
  • Promote Diabetes Prevention and Detection Programs

Telehealth programs are now making access to healthcare easy and less intimidating. Emphasizing employees’ health will show that you care and can often be a significant first step in helping them care better for themselves, which is the ultimate goal.

6 Strategies for Successful Wellness with Remote Workers

6. Better Sleep Programs

In the early 2000s, Franklin Covey workshops were popular among corporate giants like Starbucks to help their store managers effectively manage their time. Participants were often asked what they would do with one extra hour in their day, and the only thing they couldn’t write down was sleep.

Studies increasingly find more and more links between sleep and overall health, and let’s face it, most of us would get an extra hour of sleep each day if we could.

The problems affecting sleep patterns are far and wide, and it can be tricky to know exactly where they originate. Providing access to programs designed to help people better understand sleep and its problems will have a massive payoff in terms of employee satisfaction if they work.

Here’s something to think about:

“Adults should get at least 7 hours a night of sleep, but one-third of US adults report that they usually get less. Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.”  CDC.com

helping employees get better sleep

7. Promote and Support Lifestyle Change

The reality of a person’s overall health improvement comes down to their willingness to make healthy changes. Creating an atmosphere designed with overall health and wellbeing in mind is not only practical, but everyone benefits from the extra effort, including those helping design and implement the programs.

People that don’t have regular access to healthy food and opportunities are far more likely to develop chronic diseases. The modeling of healthy behaviors, guidance, and coaching from qualified individuals is a great workplace health promotion example that works.

Beneficial Moves Companies Might Not Be Considering

Incentivize – Make it worth their time; people love chances to earn money, but don’t forget the swag:

  • workout gear
  • fitness equipment 
  • gift cards to healthy dining options
  • glass or aluminum water bottles (let’s ditch the plastic)

Teach Them – Conduct group meetings with free talk about health, and let your team take the reins:

  • start by learning the team’s comfort levels of talking about their health in a group setting
  • if they’re not, offer one-on-one help when possible
  • provide electronic health monitors like a Fitbit
  • or show them how to use programs already on their phone 
  • learn if there’s a goal they’ve always wanted to achieve and see if they’d like to work toward
    • start small; ever watch “baby steps to the couch…
    • is it obtainable, and how can the business support their personal health goals

Feed Them – No matter how you do this, providing healthy food for employees is going to pay off. Here are a few easy ways to implement that:

  • Consider joining or creating a food co-op; these are gaining in popularity and are an excellent way for people to access healthier foods because buying in bulk saves money
  • As stated earlier, consider other options like subscriptions to food delivery services
  • Give them healthy snacks, or at least stock a vending machine full of them
  • Host healthy pot-lucks for interested team members, staying cognizant of food-sensitive employees-plus, it doubles as a team-building time.

RELATED: How to Create Company Wellness Programs For Millennials in 5 Simple Steps

8. Helping Employees With Disease Management

As much as we try to prevent ourselves from getting chronic diseases, our DNA and other uncontrollable factors such as environmental, stress, and financial strain often inevitably lead to illnesses.

Providing support to people managing a chronic illness is not only an effective but caring and kind workplace health promotion program example.

Those who suffer from chronic conditions don’t often know how to advocate for themselves, particularly when first diagnosed. Providing access to programs designed to help them manage their health conditions will help ensure they understand how to manage their disease.

Taking part in self-management education (SME) programs are designed to teach people how to take care of themselves by managing their symptoms.

helping employees with disease management

The great thing is that by following the steps we’ve listed in this program, you’ll be able to incorporate better health promotion programs that are already designed to support disease management.

Most people with chronic illnesses learn that healthy food choices, increased physical activity, and medication management help them manage their symptoms so that they’ll hopefully be able to gain back some quality of life.

Ways To Help Employees With Disease Management

Destigmatize Disease Disabilities 

People with disabilities often don’t like to discuss what they’re going through. Loneliness, fear, and insecurities often make them afraid to let their team know the type of help they need.

Creating an approachable and open-door policy (when possible) is a great way to learn how to assist employees with their health-specific needs. While some employees might need more movement, some may require less.

That’s why choosing workplace health promotion program examples that work is crucial for people with diseases and disabilities. Although companies might not always be able to provide everything a person with a disease might need, they can learn how best to provide assistance.

Teach Stress Management 

Stress is one of the largest leading triggers of disease flare-ups, and teaching skills to manage their stress is a way to help them reduce symptoms that will keep them from performing their duties with a total capacity.

Stress reducing wellness ideas

Creating a positive work environment not only helps with productivity, but when employees aren’t stressed out by their environment, it can help increase their ability to manage the stresses associated with their specific tasks and responsibilities.

RELATED: 24 Ways Employers Can Manage Stress at Work (Use Them Today)

Practice and Encourage Mindfulness 

Modeling mindfulness behaviors is a practice increasing in popularity, but the foundation of the concept is a vital aspect to consider. 

Device-free meetings are one idea to keep the focus in the room. Meetings held in rooms with good natural lighting in soft and calming hues are a great way to keep the focus in the room where it needs to be. 

By eliminating the factors that increase stresses both professionally and personally like text messages, emails, and even the notifications on phones reminding workers of things they’re not doing, and people, they’re not with.

RELATED:  10 Tips to Implement Mindfulness in the Workplace

The 8 Workplace Health Promotion Program Examples That Work

While there are many workplace health promotion program examples that work, the most important thing to keep in mind is what your specific team needs.

Large corporations have the advantage of being able to offer a wide array of monetary-reliant programs, but there are many programs companies can have in place without exorbitant expenses; it just takes a little effort.

Ultimately, the programs with the best results will be the ones your employees will use. Using workplace health promotion programs examples that work with proven results is the best place to start creating healthy changes 

  1. Programs designed to help people quit smoking.
  2. Access to Healthy Food
  3. Physical Activity Opportunities
  4. Promoting Women’s Reproductive Health
  5. Clinical Preventative Services
  6. Better Sleep Programs
  7. Promote and Support Lifestyle Change
  8. Helping Employees With Disease Management

In these changing times where wellness is at the forefront of most of our minds, providing employees assistance to health promotion programs is a way to not only help your team but can help provide you with a company to be proud of by creating a company that cares about the people that run it.

Are you looking for more ideas on how to start a company wellness program? Explore our Wellness Program Solutions here and schedule a free demo with our team to discover how to get started.

Workplace Health Promotion Program

About The Author

Dr. Steve Aldana

Dr. Aldana is the CEO of Wellsteps, a worksite wellness solution that leads the nation in wellness program deployment and engagement. Dr. Aldana authored over 75 scientific papers and 7 books on health risk management, healthy living, and health promotion programs. He has given over 350 keynote speeches across the U.S. on the ability of good nutrition and regular exercise to prevent, arrest, and reverse many chronic diseases.