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Worksite Health and Productivity Promotion

The Worksite Health and Productivity Promotion project in the Alaska Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion works with small Alaska businesses interested in being a healthy worksite. Most employed adult Alaskans work for a business that has fewer than 200 employees.

Worksites that support healthy behaviors can make a huge difference in improving their employees’ health. The Alaska Worksite Health and Productivity Promotion project offers worksite health program expertise, Alaska small business-specific materials and training opportunities to help small businesses get started on the road to worksite health.

Businesses benefit from a healthy workforce

Business success depends on employee productivity. Healthy employees are more productive than their less healthy co-workers. Being healthy means practicing these behaviors:

  • Being physically active
  • Being tobacco free
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Limiting alcohol use
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Handling stress appropriately
  • Following workplace safety practices
  • Using ergonomics to avoid repetitive stress injuries
  • Keeping up-to-date with health screenings (blood tests, blood pressure checks, exams, etc.

Healthy employees:

  1. Have fewer absences due to illness and injury,
  2. Spend less time feeling unwell at work, and
  3. Have substantially lower health care costs, which may help reduce company insurance premiums.

It makes good financial sense for businesses to help employees keep or adopt healthy habits. Worksite health promotion programs can effectively increase physical activity levels, improve dietary habits, reduce tobacco use and encourage better self-care among employees. One study found that businesses averaged $5.07 in savings for every $1 invested in a worksite health promotion program.

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The Alaska workforce could be healthier

Two-thirds (67%) of adult Alaskans have at least one ongoing health problem. They:

  • Use tobacco, or
  • Are physically inactive, or
  • Are very overweight, or
  • Have diabetes, or
  • Have high blood pressure, and/or
  • Have high cholesterol.
One third (34%) have two or more of the health problems on this list. At least one unhealthy habit is directly related to the high financial costs of these problems.

Generally, Alaskans with a health problem know they could be healthier. And they know that their behavior is connected to their health problem(s). But habits are hard to change, and getting support at work, at home and from friends can make all the difference in becoming healthier.

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Alaska-Specific Materials

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Worksite health promotion information from other states:

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