Online Program

Educating business leaders on designing a “Healthy-Workplace” environment to promote health, safety and well-being

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Michelle Haan, MPH, Center for Health, Work and Environment, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Americans spend an average of 47 hours at work per week. That’s more time than we spend at home with our family or eating and sleeping.  The priorities of any business tend to focus on how to increase the bottom line no matter what it takes. Today’s employees face demands that often lead to unhealthy lifestyles and chronic disease risks. Business leaders are in the perfect position to change how organizations think. The workplace is yet another ‘built environment’ for public health to help prevent disease and promote health, safety and well-being. Health Links, a nonprofit initiative within the Colorado School of Public Health, aims to advise and certify businesses on adopting an evidence-based framework to design and build healthy workplaces and create an environment where employees can thrive. Through one-on-one educational sessions, expert advisors work with a business to conduct assessments, identify solutions and create action plans. Health Links uses an online workplace assessment tool adopted and developed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to recognize and certify businesses that have made a positive change in their environment and are shifting the way they do business to focus on health. Health Links has engaged 150 companies and conducted 60 advising sessions. 74% of companies have adopted healthy nutrition policies and programs. 72% promote workplace physical activity and 50% have created stress management programs. Through these advising sessions we are able to see a cultural shift toward greater health and safety one business at a time.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of educating business leaders to build an organizational structure in the workplace that promotes health, safety and well-being. Describe the tools, frameworks and methods used to train business leaders around evidence-based practices for designing workplace solutions. Explain how creating collaborative environments allows business leaders, community members, and health and safety providers work together to focus on the health of employees and organizations.

Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Organizational Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the project manager for the Health Links program since its inception in 2013. I have supervised the work that has been done with all 150 businesses we are currently working with across the state. My interests in research include health promotion, program planning and implementation in order to improve health, safety and well-being in the workplace and developed the educational component of this program for health educators to use in their community.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.