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Workplace health promotion and mental health: three-year findings from partnering Healthy@Work


Jarman, L and Martin, A and Venn, A and Otahal, P and Blizzard, L and Teale, B and Sanderson, K, Workplace health promotion and mental health: three-year findings from partnering Healthy@Work, PLoS ONE, 11, (8) Article e0156791. ISSN 1932-6203 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Jarman et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156791


This study aimed to investigate the association between mental health and comprehensive workplace health promotion (WHP) delivered to an entire state public service workforce (~28,000 employees) over a three-year period. Government departments in a state public service were supported to design and deliver a comprehensive, multi-component health promotion program, Healthy@Work, which targeted modifiable health risks including unhealthy lifestyles and stress. Repeated cross-sectional surveys compared self-reported psychological distress (Kessler-10; K10) at commencement (N = 3406) and after 3 years (N = 3228). WHP availability and participation over time was assessed, and associations between the K10 and exposure to programs estimated. Analyses were repeated for a cohort subgroup (N = 580). Data were weighted for non-response. Participation in any mental health and lifestyle programs approximately doubled after 3 years. Both male and female employees with poorer mental health participated more often over time. Women's psychological distress decreased over time but this change was only partially attributable to participation in WHP, and only to lifestyle interventions. Average psychological distress did not change over time for men. Unexpectedly, program components directly targeting mental health were not associated with distress for either men or women. Cohort results corroborated findings. Healthy@Work was successful in increasing participation across a range of program types, including for men and women with poorer mental health. A small positive association of participation in lifestyle programs with mental health was observed for women but not men. The lack of association of mental health programs may have reflected program quality, its universality of application or other contextual factors.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Occupational health
UTAS Author:Jarman, L (Ms Lisa Jarman)
UTAS Author:Martin, A (Professor Angela Martin)
UTAS Author:Venn, A (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Otahal, P (Mr Petr Otahal)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Sanderson, K (Associate Professor Kristy Sanderson)
ID Code:110835
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2016-08-17
Last Modified:2021-07-06
Downloads:190 View Download Statistics

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