Worksite Health Promotion Program: Choosing Realistic Goals
Goal-oriented worksite health promotion programs need an approximate time specific directive to guide the application of the wellness program components.
Generally speaking, the overall goal of a worksite health promotion program is to improve employee health.
A better goal would take into consideration a priority list of particular health risks pertaining to the company and gear a selection of these particulars to a time within the first 3 years of a wellness program introduction.
Another goal could be to achieve a participation rate of eighty percent by the end of three years.
Choosing goals gives the program a gauge by which to measure success and make adjustments to the worksite health promotion program.
Selecting Worksite Health Promotion Program Objectives
Objectives are more concise than goals and often divide the goals into more easily observable, measurable steps. Worksite Health Promotion programs have two categories which objectives fall into: process and outcome. Process objectives are a description of events that need to take place in order to reach a specific outcome.
If the outcome objective is for 10 employees to lose some significant body weight, the process objectives for this would be for 10 overweight employees to participate in a health screen, provide documentation of a follow-up visit with their physician, participate in a worksite health promotion program initiative, and/or to become involved in regular physical activity and education classes to learn healthy food choices. The outcome objective for this group would be 10 employees who lost body fat/body weight.
Health Screening Tools
The foundation for every effective worksite health promotion program is a health screening tool that accurately measures the health risks present in the employee population it is supposed to measure.
This tool will show the percentage of healthy employees that can be kept healthy and the percentage of employees who are at risk for serious problems or are presently costing themselves and the company extra in health care.
Balancing the budget should include a good quality health screening tool if possible. If resources are scarce, there are adequate tools available at no charge from Wellness Proposals and from Infinite Wellness Solutions.
If funds are available, a trained health care professional can administer the screening test and have personal, private results ready and entered into a database within a few minutes of the testing.
These quick totals can be used to provide immediate employee feedback, determine which educational resources are required and refer the participant for follow-up consultation. Additionally, these results are used to customize worksite health promotion programs to the particular health risks present in the employee population and used as baseline data to compare success of the wellness program when the health screen is repeated.
Health screening tools should be equally accessible to all shifts of employees (not just the day shift). They should be observable for hesitant employees who may have questions and doubts and provide for recruiting windows when the health screen administrators are not busy, if you have one on staff.
An average participation rate in well organized health screening initiatives is 60 to 100 percent, a great start for implementation of a worksite health promotion program.
Because heart disease is so prevalent in the United States, a heart health screen is the most popular screening tool used. This includes cholesterol testing, blood pressure measurement, weight and height ratios, blood sugar assessment and any resulting consultation to do with smoking, nutrition and physical exercise.
What is a Health Risk Appraisal?
Health Risk Appraisals involve more details than a health screen which usually only isolates blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, heart rate and body weight measurements for the purpose of determining risks to health.
The Health Risk Appraisal further investigates family history, current health issues, lifestyle and predispositions to less obvious risks (such as seatbelt use) to health. It gives a probability outcome for each individual’s predicted health risk rating.
Health Risk Appraisals also provide recommendations for reducing certain risks and practical suggestions for changing the predicted outcome. Other points of interest offered are a health age which is based on lifestyle, not chronology.
Health Risk Assessments are the single most valuable tool within a worksite health promotion program. They streamline program objectives and provide a base for scientific measurement and program evaluation.
Writer Bio: John Bates is a leading wellness industry consultant and prolific writer about all aspects of health and wellness programs. His work can be found on numerous wellness websites.