The objective of this study was to look at wellbeing and compare European enterprises in relation to workplace health promotion interventions (WHPI).
Method and findings
An exploratory and descriptive study was carried out. More than 45,000 organisations were interviewed. Results suggest differences between countries in terms of the intensity and type of WHPI. The reasons include a captive audience, the ability to follow up on the effectiveness of interventions longitudinally, the follow-up of workers and a supportive environment. All are important to creating a successful health promotion programme and may well positively impact occupational health status.
Factors that could help explain the differences between countries could be, on one hand, sociocultural context (different rates of addictions, sedentary lifestyles or problems of obesity) and, on the other, work environment. The literature lacks the long-term exploration to demonstrate the impact of promotional activities.
It opens the option for future research and the need to explore the role of non-health professionals, such as the safety practitioner, in health promotion activities.
The number of OSH professionals interviewed (a quarter of the respondents) clearly reiterates their importance in health promotion. Less than 9% of the organisations represented were large in size, again reiterating the need to address OSH in SMEs.
Implications for practice – IOSH’s take
We really like this one – especially when you consider this area was the base of IOSH’s Catch the Wave campaign.
This research has the potential to really influence OSH professionals in driving much-needed change; not just implementing something and leaving the workers to it. It’s more of a conversation. For example: ‘We’ve installed this machine to help you – what are your thoughts? How could we improve things even more for you?’
To read the study in full, go to bit.ly/SS-wellbeing-promotion
World Health Organization, International Labour Organization. (2021) WHO/ILO joint estimates of the work-related burden of disease and injury, 2000-2016. (accessed 30 January 2023).