Comprehensive health promotion interventions at the workplace: experiences with health circles in Germany

J Occup Health Psychol. 2004 Jul;9(3):258-70. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.9.3.258.


Health circles, the central element of a comprehensive health promotion approach that has been developed in Germany in recent years, emphasize organizational and psychosocial factors while actively involving employees in the process. Through an extensive review the authors identified 11 studies, presenting the results of 81 health circles. The scientific quality of the data is limited: only 3 studies used (nonrandomized) control groups, whereas the remaining studies are based on retrospective before-and-after comparison. Nonetheless, the available data suggest that health circles are an effective tool for the improvement of physical and psychosocial working conditions and have a favorable effect on workers' health, well-being, and sickness absence. More rigorous studies are needed to confirm these results.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Benefit Plans, Employee*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Innovation*
  • Workplace*