Workplace Health Strategies

Among the leading physical and mental health conditions in terms of direct medical costs and lost productivity to US employers are several chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease), depression, and musculoskeletal disorders (e.g., back pain). With workers in America today spending more than one-third of their day on the job, employers are in a unique position to promote the health and safety of their employees. The use of effective workplace health programs and policies can reduce health risks and improve the quality of life for 138 million workers in the United States.

The workplace provides many opportunities for promoting health and emotional well-being and preventing disease and injury. Workplace health programs can:

  • Influence social norms.
  • Establish health-promoting policies.
  • Increase healthy behaviors such as dietary and physical activity changes.
  • Improve employees’ health knowledge and skills.
  • Help employees get necessary health screenings, immunizations, and follow-up care.
  • Reduce employees’ on-the-job exposure to substances and hazards that can cause diseases and injury.

Click on the following health conditions and behaviors to find out which workplace health strategies are most effective.


1.  Goetzel RZ, Ozminkowski RJ, Meneades L, et al. Pharmaceuticals—cost or investment: an employer’s perspective. J Occup Environ Med. 2000;43:338–351.

2.  Goetzel RZ, Hawkins K, Ozminkowski RJ, et al. The health and productivity cost burden of the ‘top-10_ physical and mental health conditions affecting six large US employers in 1999. J Occup Environ Med. 2003;45:5–14.