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South African Family Practice

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An integrated approach to the prevention and promotion of health in the workplace: a review from international experience

LI Zungu, KG Setswe

Abstract


This paper reports the results of a review of health promotion programmes in the workplace. The aim of this review was to ascertain evidence of success in health promotion in the workplace. Workplace health promotion (WHP) programmes help to improve employee health by optimising an organisation’s overall economic, structural and cultural environment. It also tends to reach the healthy workers at the best companies, which are employing the healthier individuals in the formal sectors of the economy. The workplace is viewed as an effective setting for health promotion in order to achieve the goal of “Health for All”, and for other benefits such as reducing and controlling healthcare costs as a result of the growing epidemics of communicable and  non-communicable diseases. Strategies to facilitate workplace health promotion include health education, behaviour-directed prevention, and incorporating the organisation’s development strategy into human resources policies to make prevention the essential part of the entire corporate strategy. A healthy, motivated and contented workforce is fundamental to the future social and economic wellbeing of any nation. The protection of employees against exposure to various occupational hazards can be achieved through implementing integrated programmes to improve employees’ wellness and promoting a health- and safety-oriented culture in the workplace.



http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20786204.2007.10873564
AJOL African Journals Online