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Health-related Policies

It is important for the overall workplace health program to contain a combination of individual and organizational level strategies and interventions to influence health, including:

  • Health-related Policies – are formal or informal written statements that are designed to protect or promote employee health. Supportive workplace health policies affect large groups of workers simultaneously and make adopting healthy behaviors much easier. They can also create and foster a company culture of health

Examples of health-related policies include:

  • Policies prohibiting tobacco and alcohol use at the workplace
  • Policies requiring healthy foods to be served at company meetings and events
  • Policies allowing for flextime to exercise or attend health programs

Policies that are not specifically health-related may have health impacts on employees. Human resources policies such as those related to work hours, leave (i.e., vacation time), flexible scheduling, work organization, and supervisory style should be developed with desired health goals in mind.

Workplace health programs are not add-on benefits but basic investments in human capital, similar to training, mentoring, and other employee development programs.

Regardless of which interventions are selected, the program should strive to:

  • Use multiple interventions, such as combining a policy and a health benefit intervention, for a single health issue.  Combinations are more effective than any one intervention alone
  • Use interventions that address multiple health issues at the same time, which is more effective than addressing each single health issue separately
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