Center for Workforce Health

Improving the Health and Productivity of Today's Workforce

Approach

What We Do

The Center for Workforce Health (CWH) is dedicated to bringing the latest in web-based health and productivity programs to the workplace. The CWH’s suite of online multimedia health promotion programs is fully audio-narrated, with ample video and dynamic graphics. The CWH programs are science based (created by leading health scientists) with proven effectiveness through rigorous evaluation research in a broad range of workplaces. Our media-rich online programs cover a wide range of topics, including the following:

  • Stress management
  • Fitness
  • Smoking cessation
  • Nutrition
  • Weight management
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Prescription drug use
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental health
  • Disease management
  • Healthy aging
  • Relapse prevention

To learn more about our products, see Programs. To discuss our services and programs in more detail, please Contact Us.

Why Should Companies Turn to the Center for Workforce Health?

We believe that the Center for Workforce Health is but one of many competent, skilled organizations that offer health promotion programs to workplaces. Like the better organizations in the field, we are staffed by highly experienced professionals, steeped in the science and practice of health behavior change, and accustomed to working with a broad variety of organizations. At the same time, we offer a unique combination of products and services, perhaps best exemplified by our state-of-the-art web-based programs. For the organization that is seeking online workplace health promotion programs—either as an addition to traditional programs or as the central approach to health promotion—our programs offer distinct advantages. Some of their unique features are described below:

  • Multimedia content built for the broadband. The content of CWH products is media-rich, including full audio narration, videos of people describing their health practices, and video scenarios that depict people struggling through a change and finding success. These audio/video segments not only make the program vivid and appealing, but also support behavior change by boosting confidence and illustrating how change can occur. Most health products on the Internet are heavily text-based, designed mainly to help people gather information by reading. Although CWH programs contain some text material, it is only a small proportion of the program, intended mainly to supplement the audio-visual, interactive segments.
  • Interactive and individualized. Shortly after entering a CWH program, users are presented with choices for tailoring the experience to their own needs (see discussion of “stages of change” below). Typically the user engages in a self-assessment and is pointed toward particular program segments based on the assessment. The CWH programs also have a variety of interactive exercises designed to raise awareness and interest. The result is an engaged user, actively shaping the program experience to their own needs, at their own pace. The program may be accessed at any time and virtually any place, and the user can recycle through segments as desired.
  • Empirically tested in workplaces. All CWH programs and products are created and tested through a rigorous process that begins with focus groups and experts shaping prototypes, and ending in rigorous field experiments (typically randomized trials) conducted in workplaces across the U.S. Virtually all of our programs are developed with NIH support that permits program development to be imbedded in a rigorous R&D process.
  • Based on accepted theories of behavior change. The CWH products are rooted in the two major theories of health behavior change—social-cognitive theory (SCT) and stages-of-change theory. Both of these theories have several “principles” that, when applied, maximize the likelihood of lasting behavior change. There is now ample evidence that health programs adhering to the central SCT principles (such as self-efficacy, social support, and self-regulation) provide a foundation for successful behavior change; therefore these elements are found throughout our programs. Similarly, a sizable body of evidence supports the main concept underlying stages-of-change theory that program material must match the individual’s particular stage of change; consequently our programs tailor the material to the user’s particular stage—as well as other user needs and characteristics.
  • Guided by a conceptual model that pulls in all the relevant principles of behavior change. The conceptual model articulated by Cook and Youngblood—and evolving for more than 20 years—draws on the above theories and other relevant literature to provide a roadmap for building health improvement programs. The model basically states that an effective program must contain components designed to increase skills and motivation as well as knowledge. Most health products on the web are aimed only at increasing knowledge—and only through reading text. But knowledge about a particular health practice or condition is only the first step in changing behavior; people also need to have the skills to change and the motivation to change. For example, simply knowing that certain dietary practices result in weight gain is useful—even essential—but not sufficient to make lasting improvements in weight management. People must also acquire the appropriate skills (food shopping and cooking, portion control, etc.), and they must become confident that they can change their dietary practices. The CWH programs are designed “from the ground up” to provide ample amounts of skills and motivation as well as knowledge.

At CWH, we believe that anyone with access to the Internet—whether by computer, tablet or smartphone—should be taking advantage of the unique capabilities that online programs provide for presenting health improvement programs with the powerful qualities described above.