chronic disease prevention

Study: Implementing Health Promotion Principles Helps Manage Chronic Disease Prevention

As far back as 1986, the World Health Organization noted that “Health is created and lived by people within the settings of their everyday life; where they learn, work, play and love.”

In that context, a new study by the Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Health Promotion Research notes that “researchers in health promotion point to the importance of positively involving different relevant settings and stakeholders in the intervention target group to promote competence-based, action-oriented, sustainable health and to prevent severe health inequalities.”

The researchers seek to “develop a comprehensive and integrated approach consisting of innovative, effective and sustainable models for diabetes management and prevention, where the target population is at the center of all processes.”

To do this, they’ve identified five principles to follow — many of which are also considered as part of a well-run workplace wellness program.

In fact, as the study notes that using the workplace as a center of prevention is key: “The setting principle makes it possible to link structural prevention and the concept of ‘nudging’ to educational interventions and skills-enhancing development in the target group. For example, an approach consisting of access to a healthy range of food in the canteen at the workplace combined with the development of health-related action competence among staff members will increase the likelihood of generating synergy between the different interventions.”

The study’s five principles are:

  1. A broad and positive health concept
  2. Participation and involvement
  3. Action and action competence
  4. A settings perspective
  5. Equity in health

And as a well-run workplace wellness program encourages, integrating these five principles matters. As the study concludes: “The most important lesson from the projects is that even though the five principles can be described independently, they are in reality strongly interconnected.”