NIOSH Research Programs

Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Program

Key points

  • The Healthy Work Design and Well-Being (HWD) Program aims to improve the design of work, management practices, and the physical and psychosocial work environment.
  • The Program’s holistic perspective focuses on how work affects overall health and well-being.


collage of photos including workers collaborating in office, healthcare and manufacturing.
Helping workers improve their wellbeing.

The HWD program accomplishes its mission through surveillance, intervention, and translation research related to systems, programs, policies, and practices that improve the health and lives of workers. This is to help enable them to thrive and contribute productively at work, at home, and in society.

Current focal areas include, working hours and fatigue, non-standard work arrangements, and occupational stress. HWD seeks to promote evidence-based, comprehensive approaches to advance worker well-being, including Total Worker Health®.

Program priorities

The HWD Program has selected research priorities on the basis of burden, need, and impact and collaborated with other NIOSH research programs to write the research goals in the NIOSH Strategic Plan for FYs 2019-2026. Priority areas include (but are not limited to)

  • 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 safety and health consequences of shift-work, long work hours and work schedules, and other factors that contribute to work-related fatigue.

What we've accomplished

In 2022-2023, the Program

What's ahead

In the future, the Program aims to

  • Organize and co-host Work, Stress, and Health 2023 with the American Psychological Association and Society for Occupational Health Psychology on November 8-11
  • Guide the development of the HERO Well-being Questionnaire Clearinghouse to get data from WellBQ use.
  • Introduce a new strategic roadmap for the third decade of the Total Worker Health Program (2023-2033).


Contact the HWD Program at


The NIOSH Science Blog provides an opportunity to learn about various workplace safety and health topics and exchange ideas with leading researchers from NIOSH. Check out NIOSH Science Blogs about Healthy Work Design and Well-Being.

National Occupational Research Agenda Council (NORA)

The HWD Program helps lead the NORA Healthy Work Design and Well-Being Cross-Sector Council, which brings together individuals and organizations to share information, form partnerships, and promote adoption and dissemination of solutions that work. The council seeks to facilitate the most important research, understand the most effective intervention strategies, and learn how to implement those strategies to achieve sustained improvements in workplace practice.