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Public Health Rep. 2009 Jul-Aug;124 Suppl 1:16-25.

A conceptual framework for integrating workplace health promotion and occupational ergonomics programs.

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Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace, University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854, USA.


Musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and mental health are all associated with the physical and psychosocial conditions of work, as well as with individual health behaviors. An integrated approach to workplace health-promotion programs should include attention to the work environment, especially in light of recent findings that work organization influences so-called lifestyle or health behaviors. Macroergonomics provides a framework to improve both physical and organizational features of work and, in the process, to empower individual workers. The Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW) is a research-to-practice effort examining the effectiveness of worksite programs that combine occupational safety and health--especially ergonomics--with health promotion, emphasizing the contribution of work organization to both. Two intervention studies are underway in three different sectors: health care, corrections, and manufacturing. Each study features participatory structures to facilitate employee input into health goal-setting, program design and development, and evaluation, with the goal of enhanced effectiveness and longer-term sustainability.

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