Health Promotion Introduction
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS REFERENCE DATABASE IS OUTDATED AND DOES NOT REFLECT INFORMATION GATHERED ON VALUE BASED PURCHASING IN 2015.
This chapter provides an overview for employers and describes wellness and health promotion strategies supported by evidence-based research, as well as tools and resources for program development and implementation. Case studies of five employers using innovative programs are also included.
Health promotion is considered both art and science and includes activities that help people discover the synergies between their core passions and optimal health, enhance their motivation to strive for optimal health, and support them in changing their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health. A wellness program, by definition, is designed to help individuals maintain/improve their health and well-being by identifying health risks, increasing awareness, enabling greater personal responsibility for health, preventing or delaying the onset of disease, and promoting healthful lifestyles and general well-being.
The body of evidence in support of worksite wellness and health promotion efforts continues to grow. Current research offers insight into core program components and provides financial and clinical evidence of outcomes that support the feasibility of such programs.
Wellness and health promotion programs include a variety of components, for example health risk appraisals, biometric screening, and programs addressing weight loss or smoking cessation. They can be sorted into three categories:
- programs that address specific risk factors including prevention,
- programs that focus on specific interventions such as weight reduction, and
- programs that are comprehensive and offer interventions for all people in a population.
Employers will find guidance on the appropriate steps for program design and implementation. These steps include identification of data sources; assessment of the population; and program design, implementation and evaluation. Further, the Tools and Resources section (which can be found in “Getting Started”) provides a sample list of assessment tools, Web sites, and organizations that provide a myriad of services ranging from software and health information technology to full-service population health management programs.
According to NBCH’s four pillars of value-based purchasing, the fourth pillar is engaging consumers in informed decision-making. As previously defined, one objective of wellness and health promotion efforts is to equip individuals with information and activities that will promote responsibility for personal health and motivation to strive for optimal health. These programs can be designed a number of ways, but all strive to support the consumer by providing tools and resources that encourage healthful behaviors.
 O’Donell MP. Definition of health promotion 2.0: embracing passion, enhancing motivation, recognizing dynamic balance, and creating opportunities. Am J Health Promot. 2009 Sept-Oct;24(1): iv.
 Care Continuum Alliance. Outcomes Guidelines Report. Vol. 5. Washington, DC: Care Continuum Alliance. 2010.