Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Program

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Healthy Work Design and Well-Being (HWD) Program works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia to accomplish its goals. Current priorities include:

  • Improve the organization of work to promote safe and healthy work design and well-being.
  • Advance the safety and health of workers in non-standard work arrangements.
  • Address negative health and safety consequences of shift work, long work schedules, and other factors that contribute to work-related fatigue.
What do we do?
  • Explore the safety and health effects of work organization and non-work factors (including societal, technological, environmental, economic, and political) that influence work organization.
  • Identify the economic factors that affect worker safety, health, and well-being.
  • Design surveys that track changes in the organization of work and the resulting effects on worker health, safety, and well-being.
  • Conduct research on the association between work arrangements and worker stress, health, and health-related quality of life (HRQL).
  • Identify cost-effective interventions that organizations can use to reduce the negative impacts of work-related stressors including non-standard work arrangements.
  • Promote evidence-based, comprehensive approaches to advance worker well-being, including Total Worker Health® (TWH).
What have we accomplished?
What’s next?
  • Implement objectives from the HWD national occupational research agenda with industry and academic partners.
  • Co-host the 3rd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health® to be held October 11-14, 2022, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Publish special issue on fatigue in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
  • Guest-edit a special issue on telework for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The NIOSH Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Program seeks to improve the design of work, work environments, management practices, and organizational policies to advance worker safety, health, and well-being. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming work.

Worker well-being framework
Graphic of the 5 domains of worker well-being: work evaluation and experience; workplace policies and culture; workplace physical environment and safety climate; health status; and home, community, and society OR Bar graph showing the 5 domains or worker well-being as identified by NIOSH and the RAND Corporation.

Source: Worker Well-Being Questionnaire (WellBQ) | NIOSH | CDC

Percentage of health care workers (by type) reporting burnout (feeling used up at the end of the day) at work (General Social Survey, 2002-2018)
Bar graph showing the percentage of health care workers reporting burnout at work. Most doctors and aides report burnout sometimes while nurses report burnout very often.

Source: GSS General Social Survey | NORC

Percentage of US adults (by employment status) reporting 14 or more days of physical & mental health distress in the past 30 days (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data, 2018-2019)
Bar graph showing the percentage of US adults reporting 14 or more days of physical and mental health distress in the past 30 days.

Source: Silver, Li, Quay (2021)- BRFSS Analysis

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September 2022

Page last reviewed: September 1, 2022