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How healthy is your workplace? Testing the effectiveness of occupational health programs: insights from Germany

Jasmin Afrahi (Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 26 April 2024

Issue publication date: 28 May 2024




Companies are increasingly struggling with the costs of absenteeism due to their employees’ physical and increasing psychological illnesses. At the same time, employers should recognize the value of healthy employees in terms of greater productivity and the development of positive organizational attitudes. Many organizations have implemented workplace health promotion (WHP) programs; however, we still have limited knowledge about the effectiveness of various measures. The present study is an examination of 18 WHP activities and their effect on employees’ perceived health support and actual absence rates.


I organized 112 German companies into four groups based on their subjective (employee perception of health promotion) and objective (absence rate) performance. Applying multinomial regression analysis, I assessed a company’s likelihood of falling into one of the four clusters if a specific measure was not implemented in it.


I identified five measures that significantly differ between company clusters: healthy food offerings, sports offerings, having fitness rooms, systematically evaluating WHP programs and smoking cessation courses. Investing in occupational health management can be a strategic asset for organizations. The study results give companies recommendations on how to address WHP and how to implement these concrete measures.


The study’s originality lies in the incorporation of 18 concrete WHP measures and the comparison of their effects in objective and subjective terms. It shows that employers can enhance employee well-being by using simple WHP activities.



Afrahi, J. (2024), "How healthy is your workplace? Testing the effectiveness of occupational health programs: insights from Germany", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 123-138.



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