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The organizational benefits of investing in workplace health

Gerard I.J.M. Zwetsloot (TNO Work & Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, and Institute of Work Health and Organisations, Nottingham University, Nottingham, UK)
Arjella R. van Scheppingen (TNO Work & Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, and Body@Work, Research Center on Physical Activity, Work and Health, TNO‐VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Anja J. Dijkman (TNO Work & Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
Judith Heinrich (TNO Work & Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
Heleen den Besten (TNO Work & Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 29 June 2010




A healthy and vital workforce is an asset to any organization. Workplace health management and health promotion are therefore increasingly relevant for organizations. This paper aims to identify the organizational benefits companies strive for, and analyzes the ways companies use and manage data in order to monitor, evaluate and improve the achievement of organizational benefits through workplace health management.


A case study was carried out in four frontrunner organizations in health management in The Netherlands. The benefits the companies strived for were systematically investigated, as were the ways in which the companies used and managed their relevant data.


The organizations had many data that were potentially useful for managing and evaluating the realization of the intended health and business benefits. However, these data were only available and usable in a fragmented manner. As a result, the business impact of health interventions was neither properly evaluated nor consistently managed.

Research limitations/implications

The research was limited to four frontrunner companies in The Netherlands. The results presented are predominantly qualitative.

Practical implications

Suggestions for improving the management of organizational benefits from workplace health interventions are given here; they were formulated though an iterative process with the companies involved.


Research on the combination of health and business benefits of workplace health management has been rather limited thus far. The present paper provides a complete picture of the benefits strived for by four Dutch frontrunner organizations, as well as the data available to them, which are or could be used for guiding and improving workplace health management.



Zwetsloot, G.I.J.M., van Scheppingen, A.R., Dijkman, A.J., Heinrich, J. and den Besten, H. (2010), "The organizational benefits of investing in workplace health", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 143-159.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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