Does your worksite need a health and wellness facelift?

MSU Extension offers a program that is designed to train employers how to improve the health of their workers and their families using science-based prevention and wellness strategies.

Worksite health program assessments can identify and interpret the health needs and interests of your employees. With the availability of different assessments, which one or ones is appropriate for your worksite?

First, it is important to align the assessment that you plan to collect with the goals and objectives of your worksite. Second, it is imperative that you collect aggregated data and always communicate that assessment data will be kept private and only used for program planning and evaluation purposes. There are a variety of assessments available.

Four types of assessments include:

  1. Individual: Needs, interests, attitudes/beliefs, impact and health behavior of your employees.
  2. Organizational: Composite picture of how health, safety and productivity-related factors impact your worksite and employees.
  3. Environmental: How a worksite supports a healthy and safe work environment and helps employees make the healthy choices the easy choices.
  4. Interpersonal: Health related data sources such as medical/pharmacy claims data or productivity-related data sources such as illness related absenteeism, disability, workers’ compensation claims, worksite sponsored health screenings, and biometrics/health assessments.

Health assessments are often a starting point and can assist employers in establishing a baseline on their employees. They also can measure the effectiveness of different interventions. Needs and interest surveys help in providing responses to satisfaction, utilization, readiness and attitudes.

The Centers for Disease Control Worksite Health Scorecard is a basic benchmarking tool that provides a simple way to identify strategies for multiple health issues not currently in place at your worksite. This tool can allow your worksite to focus on areas that have been shown to have the highest impact based on the need of your worksite. The scorecard focuses on these key areas:

  • Organizational supports
  • Tobacco control
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Weight management
  • Stress management
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke, and emergency response to heart attack and stroke.

The following topics were validated and recently added: Lactation support, occupational health and safety, vaccine-preventable diseases and community resources.

As an employer or an employee, your worksite can take advantage of changing the culture of health at your worksite with the assistance of Michigan State University Extension. MSU Extension can assist you in assessing your worksite.

More information please contact the worksite wellness coordinator, Dawn Earnesty at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/worksite_wellness and http://mihealthmatters.msu.edu/ for programs and educational opportunities.

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