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The World Health Organisation recommended a number of elements for effective personal health interventions in the workplace (Burton, 2010). Outline how each of the six recommended elements in your course material could be built into an intervention to address obesity through the workplace setting (800) words.
Workplace health initiatives around the world are growing in number and scope, as employers come to realize that addressing employee health and wellness is linked to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism, and that the return on this strategic investment and overall health cost savings are high.
The dramatic global increase in chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in recent years is also playing a part in the spread of these initiatives. Between them, the four major NCDs – cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke), cancer, type 2 diabetes, and chronic lung disease – account for over 60% of deaths in the world, double the number of deaths from all infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria), maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies combined.
The majority – up to 80% – of premature deaths from these diseases could be prevented by tackling just three risk factors: poor diet (including the harmful use of alcohol), tobacco use and lack of physical activity.
This report is a resource that highlights evidence-based workplace health initiatives from around the world. It does not, however, review the many toolkits that various governmental and non-governmental organizations have created in order to meet these challenges. The references and web resources listed at the end of this report include toolkits and practical tips for those wishing to implement a workplace health program.
Each workplace health initiative exists in a unique organizational and cultural setting, so lessons learned from elsewhere must be reviewed in the light of the specific risk factors and culture of each workplace, and adapted for local implementation. Inevitably, not all programs result in positive outcomes, but the evidence suggests how to improve the likelihood of success:
Workplace health initiatives are found everywhere, although they vary greatly according to the political, economic and cultural features of each country and workplace. Other variations are attributable to the size of the workplace, and whether health services are provided through government-funded programs or through employer benefits and insurance packages. Programs have many different components, including primary prevention for employees at low risk; secondary prevention for employees considered at risk due to their way of life and/or biometric measures; and tertiary or disease-management programs for employees suffering from both non-communicable and infectious diseases, and sometimes their families.