Making the Workplace a More Effective Site for Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases in Adults

Journal of Environmental and Occupational Medicine (JOEM) | November 2014
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By Tryon, Katherine MA (Oxon), MBBS; Bolnick, Howard MBA, FSA; Pomeranz, Jennifer L. JD, MPH; Pronk, Nicolaas PhD; Yach, Derek MBChB, MPH


Objective: Efforts to realize the potential of disease prevention in the United States have fallen behind those of peer countries, and workplace disease prevention is a major gap. This article investigates the reasons for this gap.

Methods: Literature review and expert discussions.

Results: Obstacles to effective use of workplace disease prevention include limited leadership and advocacy, poor alignment of financial incentives, limitations in research quality and investment, regulation that does not support evidence-based practice, and a dearth of community–employer partnerships.

Conclusions: We make recommendations to address these obstacles, such as the inclusion of health metrics in corporate reporting, making the workplace a central component of the strategy to combat the effect of noncommunicable diseases, and linking prevention directly benefit businesses’ bottom lines.


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