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Study of Finnish company’s health promotion program finds moderate success

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Jyväskylä, Finland — A comprehensive workplace health promotion program can have a “moderate” effect on workers’ health even when participation rates are relatively low, results of a recent case study out of Finland suggest.

Evaluating the workplace health promotion program at a wood supply company with more than 100 offices throughout Finland between 2010 and 2017, researchers from the University of Jyväskylä looked at initial and annual participation rates and total reach. The program provided health risk appraisals and biometric screenings to participants. Employee health assessments were measured at three different times: 2010 to 2011, 2013 to 2014 and 2016 to 2017.

Initially, 86% of the workers participated in health risk appraisals and 80% completed a health screening without incentives. The rates of annual participation, including annual workplace health promotion events and targeted services, however, averaged 24%. Targeted services included access to a wellness coach, stress analysis, hiking and a sleep well camp.

 

In total, 58% of the company’s workers participated at least once, according to a Dec. 17 press release from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The researchers called the program “successful” because it led to about 1 out of 5 participants making suggested lifestyle changes and achieving improved results on screening tests.

The study was published online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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