A systematic review of the effectiveness of health promotion interventions in the workplace

Occup Med (Lond). 1999 Nov;49(8):540-8. doi: 10.1093/occmed/49.8.540.


The aim of this study was to identify and critically review evaluations of the effectiveness of health promotion programmes in the workplace. In line with guidelines for 'good practice' within the literature on workplace health promotion, this study aimed to assess the extent to which evaluated interventions considered employees' expressed needs or involved employee-employer partnerships. Overall, 110 outcome evaluations were located. Only a quarter of these reported that interventions were implemented in response to the explicit needs and/or views of the employees and very few involved partnerships. Most of the programmes targeted individual behaviour and supportive organizational change was limited. The majority of the outcome evaluations were not sufficiently rigorous to make a strong case for the effectiveness of workplace health promotion. However, some pointers to success were identified. It was concluded that there seems to be a wide disparity between what counts as 'good practice' within workplace health promotion and what is reported in the evaluation of effectiveness literature. This is not to say that 'good practice' does not exist, but that either such programmes are not rigorously evaluated for their effectiveness and/or that many of the evaluation findings remain outside the public domain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Needs Assessment
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Prognosis
  • Program Evaluation
  • United Kingdom