Health Promotion in Small Workplaces in the United States.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Annual review of public health (2014)


2014, January 2014, Public Health Sciences Division


Most American workplaces are smaller, with fewer than 1,000 employees. Many of these employees are low-wage earners and at increased risk for chronic diseases. Owing to the challenges smaller workplaces face to offering health-promotion programs, their employees often lack access to health-promotion opportunities available at larger workplaces. Many smaller employers do not offer health insurance, which is currently the major funding vehicle for health-promotion services. They also have few health-promotion vendors to serve them and low internal capacity for, and commitment to, delivery of on-site programs. The programs they offer, whether aimed at health promotion alone or integrated with health protection, are rarely comprehensive and are understudied. Research priorities for health promotion in smaller workplaces include developing programs feasible for the smallest workplaces with fewer than 20 employees. Policy priorities include incentives for smaller workplaces to implement comprehensive programs and an ongoing system for monitoring and evaluation. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Public Health Volume 35 is March 18, 2014. Please see for revised estimates.