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About NHWP

Program Overview [PDF - 301KB]

The National Healthy Worksite Program is designed to assist employers in implementing science and practice-based prevention and wellness strategies that will lead to specific, measureable health outcomes to reduce chronic disease rates. For most employers, chronic diseases—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, arthritis and diabetes—are among the most prevalent, costly, and preventable of all health problems. The National Healthy Worksite Program seeks to promote good health through prevention, reduce chronic illness and disability, and improve productivity outcomes that contribute to employers’ competitiveness.

Program Details

Faced with high health care costs, many employers are turning to worksite health programs to help employees adopt healthier lifestyles and lower their risk of developing costly chronic diseases while improving worker productivity. In October 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began the National Healthy Worksite Program (NHWP). The NHWP is designed to assist employers in implementing health protection and promotion strategies that will lead to specific, measureable health outcomes to reduce chronic disease rates.

Employers can create healthy work environments that make it easier for employers to make healthy choices. Maintaining a healthier workforce can lower direct costs such as insurance premiums and worker’s compensation claims, and positively impact many indirect costs such as absenteeism and worker productivity.1-4

The NHWP will assist up to 100 small, mid‐sized and large employers in establishing comprehensive workplace health programs. Each program participant will receive intensive support and expertise putting in place a combination of program, policy and environmental interventions to support physical activity, good nutrition and tobacco-use cessation. In addition, community participants will receive training and technical assistance as well as mentoring through peer relationships.

On‐going evaluation of the worksite health promotion programs will track changes in employee knowledge, behavior and productivity, as well as changes in employer health and safety culture. Evaluation efforts will also capture best practices for implementing core workplace health programs, and document unique challenges experienced by employers and strategies to overcome them.

Through technical assistance, case studies, success stories and information forums, the information gathered throughout the program will be shared broadly with participating employers, as well as other employers and organizations nationwide interested in creating or expanding their own healthy worksite programs.


1. Baicker K, Cutler D, Song Z. Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings. Health Affairs. 2010; 29(2): 1-8.

2. Chapman LS. Meta‐evaluation of worksite health promotion economic return studies: 2005 update. Am Health Promot. 2005 Jul‐Aug;19(6):1‐11.

3. Pelletier KR. A review and analysis of the clinical and cost‐effectiveness studies of comprehensive health promotion and disease management programs at the worksite: update VII 2004‐2008. J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Jul;51(7):822‐37.

4. Mills PR, Kessler RC, Cooper J, Sullivan S. Impact of a health promotion program on employee health risks and work productivity. Am J Health Promot. 2007 Sep‐Oct;22(1):45‐53.

View the Program Overview Presentation:

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