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 Program seeks to improve the design of work, work environments, and management practices in order to advance worker safety, health, and well-being. The program works with partners in industry, labor, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia to accomplish its goals. Current priorities include:

  • Improving the organization of work in order to reduce job stress.
  • Advancing the safety and health of workers in non-standard work arrangements, such as temporary agency, contract, and gig arrangements.
  • Protecting workers from the 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 the external factors (including legal, technological, and economic) that influence how work is organized.
  • Identify the economic factors that affect worker safety, health, and well-being.
  • Design workplace interventions that reduce the harmful physical and emotional impacts that happen when job demands cannot be met (also known as job stress).
  • Focus 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 stressors related to work arrangements.
  • Promote evidence-based, comprehensive approaches to advance worker well-being, including Total Worker Health®.
What have we accomplished?
  • Published edited Volume, Total Worker Health®, a new textbook dedicated to an emerging field of research and practice devoted to comprehensively protecting workers and improving their well-being. It is currently being used as a textbook in a number of degree and certificate programs in the U.S.
  • Presentedexternal icon at the XXIV International Symposium on Shiftwork and Working Time. Afterwards, convened a NIOSH Forum which focused on research gaps and needs around working hours, sleep, and fatigue that are specific to seven U.S. industry sectors.
What’s next?
  • Develop and release a free assessment tool to measure the well-being status of workers.
  • Publish a Federal Register Noticeexternal icon to request stakeholder input to develop resources and recommendations on Workplace Supported Recovery that will assist workers and employers facing the opioid and other drug crises in their communities.

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

At-A-Glance

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

Average overall well-being score across perceived job satisfaction
Average overall well-being score across perceived job satisfaction

Source: NIOSH Quality of WorkLife survey, 2018

Sources of payment for opioid prescription expenses by percent (MEPS, 2007-2016)
Sources of payment for opioid prescription expenses by percent (MEPS, 2007-2016)
Percent of US Workers on Shift Work from American Time Use Survey Supplement 2017-18*
Percent of US Workers on Shift Work from American Time Use Survey Supplement 2017-18*

To learn more, visit
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/hwd/
December 2020

Page last reviewed: November 18, 2020