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The World in Medicine
August 12, 1998

Wellness at Work

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JAMA. 1998;280(6):503. doi:10.1001/jama.280.6.503-JWM80005-5-1

Researchers in the Netherlands have taken a somewhat different tack in designing a worksite wellness program that produces positive results. Instead of emphasizing lifestyle changes to reduce health risks and absenteeism, the Dutch program has focused on improving the work environment.

Implementation of the program at a Dutch company that manufactures household goods began in 1990. For the next 3 years, researchers from Leiden University tracked results from interventions that included reorganization of a production line, the addition of leadership training, and an increased team approach in the production process. Some more traditional interventions also were used: health education sessions, healthier foods served in the company cafeteria, and an on-site exercise facility. The study included 134 employees in the intervention group and 130 controls.

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