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What Can You Achieve in Eight Years? A Case Study on Participation, Effectiveness, and Overall Impact of a Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion Program

Äikäs, Antti Hermanni MSc; Absetz, Pilvikki PhD; Hirvensalo, Mirja Hannele PhD; Pronk, Nicolaas P. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 28, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001699
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective: To investigate participation and effectiveness of a multiyear comprehensive workplace health promotion (WHP) program.

Methods: Participation and effectiveness data came from employer and vendor systems. Health data came from health risk assessments (HRA) and biometric screenings. Participation and effectiveness were analyzed using descriptive analyses, T-tests and Mann-Whitney U tests where appropriate. Overall impact was assessed using the PIPE Impact Metric.

Results: 86% of employees completed the HRA and 80% the biometrical screenings. Annual participation rate was 24%, and total reach was 58%. The portion of successful participants was 23% in 2010–2013 and 18% in 2014–2017. PIPE Impact scores were 18% for 2010–2013 and 14% for the 2014–2017 study periods.

Conclusion: Despite modest annual participation rates, overall eight year reach was considered reasonable. Conservatively, we consider the overall program impact to be moderate.

Doctoral Student, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä (Äikäs), Research Director, University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Head of Research and Development, Provention Ltd. (Hermanni), Professor, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä (Hirvensalo), President, HealthPartners Institute and Chief Science Officer, HealthPartners, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Pronk).

Address correspondence to: Antti Hermanni Äikäs, MSc, Institute: Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, Hauskankatu 1b, 50100 Mikkeli, Finland (

The conflicts of interest

Corresponding author (AÄ) is an employee of 4event Ltd, which designed and implemented the study's worksite health promotion program.

Author Pilvikki Absetz has kept two single team workshops for 4event Ltd during 2013–2015, the participants (10–20 persons) were employee of Stora Enso Metsä.

Other authors: None declared

Consultant Jouni Lahti PhD, Adjunct Professor in the University of Helsinki: None declared


Metsämiesten säätiö, Finland, supported financially the manuscript writing process.

Urheiluopistosäätiö, Finland, supported financially the data collection and analysis.

Supplemental digital contents are available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Clinical Significance: High participation rates (≥80%) can be achieved in health risk assessments also without incentives. Eightyear worksite health promotion program (WHP) achieved reasonable total reach and moderate health impact, despite modest annual participation. Study's findings agree with earlier literature suggeting that comprehensive WHP programs can promote lifestyle changes and health improvements.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine