Development and Implementation of Worksite Health and Wellness Programs: A Focus on Non-Communicable Disease

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Jul-Aug;58(1):94-101. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2015.04.001. Epub 2015 May 1.


The development and implementation of worksite health and wellness programs (WHWPs) in the United States (US) hold promise as a means to improve population health and reverse current trends in non-communicable disease incidence and prevalence. However, WHWPs face organizational, economic, systematic, legal, and logistical challenges which have combined to impact program availability and expansion. Even so, there is a burgeoning body of evidence indicating WHWPs can significantly improve the health profile of participating employees in a cost effective manner. This foundation of scientific knowledge justifies further research inquiry to elucidate optimal WHWP models. It is clear that the development, implementation and operation of WHWPs require a strong commitment from organizational leadership, a pervasive culture of health and availability of necessary resources and infrastructure. Since organizations vary significantly, there is a need to have flexibility in creating a customized, effective health and wellness program. Furthermore, several key legal issues must be addressed to facilitate employer and employee needs and responsibilities; the US Affordable Care Act will play a major role moving forward. The purposes of this review are to: 1) examine currently available health and wellness program models and considerations for the future; 2) highlight key legal issues associated with WHWP development and implementation; and 3) identify challenges and solutions for the development and implementation of as well as adherence to WHWPs.

Keywords: Access; Employee; Employer; Healthcare; Insurance; Law; Lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Employer Health Costs
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Benefit Plans, Employee / organization & administration
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Policy
  • Health Promotion / economics
  • Health Promotion / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Occupational Health Services / economics
  • Occupational Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Occupational Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Occupational Health* / economics
  • Occupational Health* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Program Development
  • Workplace / economics
  • Workplace / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Workplace / organization & administration*