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J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Sep;56(9):927-34. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000276.

Do workplace health promotion (wellness) programs work?

Author information

From Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (Dr Goetzel) and Truven Health Analytics (Drs Goetzel and Tabrizi), Bethesda, Md; Truven Health Analytics (Dr Henke), Cambridge, Mass; University of Arizona School of Medicine and University of California San Francisco School of Medicine (Dr Pelletier); US Preventive Medicine (Dr Loeppke), Jacksonville, Fla; American Psychological Association (Dr Ballard), Washington, DC; StayWell (Drs Grossmeier and Anderson), St Paul, Minn; The Vitality Institute (Dr Yach), New York, NY; The University of Alabama (Dr Kelly), Tuscaloosa; Mercer (Dr McCalister), Austin, Tex; Optum (Dr Serxner), San Francisco, Calif; Population Health Alliance (Dr Selecky), Washington, DC; Exxon Mobil Corporation (Dr Shallenberger), Houston, Tex; Stanford University School of Medicine (Dr Fries), Palo Alto, Calif; The Dow Chemical Company (Dr Baase), Midland, Mich; Johnson & Johnson (Dr Isaac), New Brunswick; Prudential Financial (Dr Crighton), Newark, NJ; USAA (Dr Wald), San Antonio, Tex; IBM Corporation (Ms Exum), Somers, NY; Cummins, Inc (Dr Shurney), Columbus, Ind; and American Specialty Health (Dr Metz), San Diego, Calif.



To respond to the question, "Do workplace health promotion programs work?"


A compilation of the evidence on workplace programs' effectiveness coupled with recommendations for critical review of outcome studies. Also, reviewed are recent studies questioning the value of workplace programs.


Evidence accumulated over the past three decades shows that well-designed and well-executed programs that are founded on evidence-based principles can achieve positive health and financial outcomes.


Employers seeking a program that "works" are urged to consider their goals and whether they have an organizational culture that can facilitate success. Employers who choose to adopt a health promotion program should use best and promising practices to maximize the likelihood of achieving positive results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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