Health promotion received immense attention and gained prominence during the last few decades of the last century. It has now acquired great importance with numerous studies and investigations completed on the topic. One important aspect of health promotion pertains to the workplace and health. The important question is whether health promotion in the workplace is effective or not.
A lot of material has appeared in the press and scientific literature on the impact that health promotion has in the workplace. Various studies suggest that health promotion programs in the workplace that are well designed help improve health. They are conducive to helping people quit smoking, avoiding alcohol consumption, improving eating habits, managing blood pressure and cholesterol and increasing physical activity. Several studies have also indicated that such physical exercise has help reduce the risk of developing bowel and breast cancer.
These conclusions however have been derived on the basis of systematic reviews of literature in which the methodological quality of each study has been judged upon. The body of literature was later judged.
However, despite the result of these studies, critics have not been far away from criticising what the results show. They point out that regardless of the success of hundreds of health promotion programs; they do not have an impact on improving health or in saving money. In fact, they state that health promotion programs based on education are also not effective. They reject the notion that health promotion programs based on education to raise awareness about the risks associated with smoking, excess alcohol, obesity, the advantages of nutritious diet and exercise do not work. These programs have been failing for decades.
Many critics have pointed out that health promotion programs tend to be successful if along with education, they are accompanied by strategies for motivating the people to get involved. The people need to be engaged in programs for building skills and need to be provided with opportunities for practising a healthy lifestyle.
Hence, employing strategies along with education is the need of hour for achieving success in health promotion program in workplaces.