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Workplace Health Promotion Implementation, Readiness, and Capacity Among Midsize Employers in Low-Wage Industries: A National Survey

Hannon, Peggy A. PhD; Garson, Gayle EdD; Harris, Jeffrey R. MD; Hammerback, Kristen MA; Sopher, Carrie J. MPH; Clegg-Thorp, Catherine MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 11 - p 1337–1343
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182717cf2
Original Articles

Objective: To describe workplace health promotion (WHP) implementation, readiness, and capacity among midsize employers in low-wage industries in the United States.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of a national sample of midsize employers (100 to 4999 employees) representing five low-wage industries.

Results: Employers' WHP implementation for both employees and employees' spouses and partners was low. Readiness scales showed that employers believe WHP would benefit their employees and their companies, but they were less likely to believe that WHP was feasible for their companies. Employers' capacity to implement WHP was very low; nearly half the sample reported no capacity.

Conclusion: Midsize employers in low-wage industries implement few WHP programs; their responses to readiness and capacity measures indicate that low capacity may be one of the principal barriers to WHP implementation.

From the Health Promotion Research Center, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research Center at the University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA. Dr Garson is now at the Northwest Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and Ms Sopher is now at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.

Address correspondence to: Peggy A. Hannon, PhD, Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, 1107 NE 45th St, Ste 200, Seattle, WA 98105 (

This research was supported by grant R21CA136435 from the National Cancer Institute. Additional research support was provided by the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC), one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research centers (HPRC cooperative agreement number U48 DP001911–01).

Authors Hannon, Garson, Harris, Hammerback, Sopher, and Clegg-Thorp have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine