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A positive sense of well-being is key component of a healthy, productive employee. In support of total worker health, Federal agencies offer a range of worksite services from education, prevention, and screenings to Employee Assistance Programs and occupational safety and health. In addition to providing several unique advantages for health promotion, worksite wellness programs may also lower healthcare costs, increase productivity, improve recruitment and retention efforts, reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, and enhance job satisfaction.
Most Federal employees have access to comprehensive health insurance benefits that also include preventive services. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management promotes and supports balanced, effective combinations of worksite wellness programs and insurance benefits to produce the healthiest possible workforce.
Health services for Federal employees are authorized by Title 5, U.S. Code, Section7901. These services are provided to promote the physical and mental fitness of Federal employees. Several legislative initiatives have shaped guidance and implementation of health & wellness programs in the Federal Government.
The information provided below is for informative purposes only. Please seek guidance from the General Counsel’s and/or the policy-making office at your agency before making any determinations related to health promotion programs.
Agencies are currently offering a wide variety of health services. Your agency chooses the services that best meet its needs. The level of services will vary from agency to agency. Under Title 5, U.S. Code, Section7901, agencies are authorized to offer the following employee health services (as well as those under “Health Promotion and Prevention”):
Your agency's qualified medical staff may provide first response and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for emergencies as well as assessment and initial treatment/first aid to employees who are injured, or become ill during work hours.
If furnished by the employee and prescribed in writing by his/her personal physician, your agency's qualified medical staff may administer treatment/medication during working hours.
Your agency's qualified medical staff may administer properly authorized pre-placement and periodic physical examinations to assess an employee's health status. Based on the results of the exam and/or testing, medical staff may refer employees to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), private physicians, dentists, and other community health resources.
Your agency may appraise and report work environment health hazards to department management as an aid in preventing and controlling health risks.
Your agency may provide health education to encourage employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle, to understand their risk for disease, and to become aware of appropriate preventive practices. For example, your agency may provide health education through health questionnaires, health risk appraisals, health fairs, newsletters, brochures, and presentations.
Your agency may provide health intervention programs to promote and maintain physical and mental fitness and to help prevent illness and disease. Health Services/Intervention Programs encourage and enable employees to initiate healthy behavior changes. Your agency may offer group activities and classes, individual counseling, demonstrations, and self-help materials.
Specific preventive health screenings or examinations may be sponsored at the workplace to detect the presence or risk of disease. Common workplace screenings include exams for blood pressure, mammography, blood lipids, glucose, vision and hearing. Medical staff may provide employees with immunizations, such as influenza and tetanus.
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Executive Order 13266 encourages the expansion of opportunities within the Federal Government for individuals to improve their physical fitness.
Employee Access to Private Fitness Center: U.S. Comptroller General decision B-240371, dated January 18, 1991 addresses whether a Federal agency can purchase access to a private fitness center for its Federal employees.
Interagency Agreement for Providing Health Services: The Economy Act, Title 31, U.S. Code, Section 1535, gives guidance on interagency agreements for health services.
Employee Welfare and Recreation Organizations/Associations: Agency Relationships with Organizations Representing Federal Employees and Other Organizations (5 CFR part 251) provides regulations governing agency relations with managerial, supervisory, professional, and other organizations that are not labor organizations. This includes Employee Welfare and Recreation Organizations/Associations.
Dues or Fees: Title 5, U.S. Code, Section 5525 and 5 CFR part 550.311(b) address the allotment of dues for organizations.
Bicycle Commuter Transportation Subsidies (Title 26, U.S. Code, Section 132(f)) allow for pre-tax transportation subsidies to cover the cost of reasonable expenses incurred during the calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle and accessories, and for repair and storage of a bicycle that is used regularly for a substantial portion of an employee’s commute to and from the workplace.
Executive Order 13058 establishes a smoke-free environment for Federal employees and members of the public visiting or using Federal facilities.
U.S. Comptroller General decision B-231543, dated February 3, 1989 addresses the use of appropriated funds to pay for agency-sponsored tobacco cessation programs.
Executive Order 12564 requires agencies to establish a drug-free Federal workplace program.
Defibrillation Program: 41 CFR part 102-79.115 provides general guidelines for a public access defibrillation program.
Guidelines for Public Access Defibrillation Programs in Federal Facilities provides a basis of knowledge for Federal agencies as they implement a PAD program.
Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers (including Federal agencies) to provide employees who are breastfeeding with a reasonable break time and location.
For more guidance on the implementation of this policy, please review OPM’s Nursing Mothers in Federal Employment.
The Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service establishes design standards and criteria for new buildings, major and minor alterations, and work in historic structures for GSA owned or leased buildings. You can follow this link for more information on bicycle racks, locker rooms and fitness centers, outdoor eating areas, walkways, and drinking fountains.
The GSA Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations translate the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans into clear and definitive standards that food service operators can follow to make their operations healthier and more sustainable.
For more guidance on creating space for nursing mothers in Federal buildings, please review OPM’s Nursing Mothers in Federal Employment.
41 CFR part 102–79 governs the basic assignment and utilization of space within an Executive agency. Portions relevant to health promotion are:
Rates and Fees: For information regarding rates and fees for fitness centers inside Executive agencies, go to Title 40, U.S. Code, Section 490(k) and Title 31, U.S. Code, Section 3302.
The following are laws and rulings that give guidance on incentives. Refer to your agency's General Counsel and policies before implementing an incentives program.
Title 31, U.S. Code, Section 1301(a) specifies that Federal agencies may only use appropriated funds for authorized purposes.
66 Comp. Gen. 356, 359 (1987) applies the “necessary expense” rule and states that agencies have reasonable discretion to determine which expenses are "necessary" as a management tool.
5 CFR parts 451.102 - 451.106 provides guidance for giving awards or incentives to Federal employees.
Executive Order 13589 highlights the importance of selecting appropriate incentive items and understanding the effective use of incentives in health promotion.
Tax Implications: In general, incentives that hold a value low enough so that reporting them for tax purposes would be unreasonable or administratively impractical may be classified as De Minimis Fringe Benefits (Internal Revenue Code (Title 26, U.S. Code, Section 132(e)); 26 CFR part 1.132-6).
The Federal personnel system gives employees considerable flexibility in scheduling their hours of work and taking time off for routine medical examinations and preventive screenings. Agencies should review policies and make maximum use of existing work schedules to encourage employees to take advantage of preventive health services. The following are some examples of the work and leave flexibilities available to employees:
Flexible Work Schedules: Agency officials should encourage employees to use flexible work schedules (non-duty time) to participate in health promotion activities. To the extent possible, agencies should offer health promotion activities before, during and after lunch or in the early mornings or late afternoon/evening to minimize the impact on work.
Leave and other Paid Time Off: Employees may request annual leave, leave without pay, or sick leave (as appropriate) to participate in health promotion programs not sponsored or administered by Federal agencies.
Excused Absence: In limited circumstances, agency officials may provide short periods of excused absence for health promotion programs and activities officially sponsored and administered by the agency.
Employees are reminded that the decision to grant excused absence (time) is a matter of agency discretion and approval, based on business conditions at the time. Requests for excused absence must be coordinated with and approved by the agency official in advance. Agency officials must balance the needs of the organization to fulfill their missions when providing employees with appropriate opportunities to participate in health and wellness programs.
For more information on the leave options available to Federal employees, please visit OPM's Leave Administration page.
Growing evidence suggests that coordinated or integrated approaches that address risks from work (occupational hazards) and individual risk factors (such as smoking and diet) are more effective in promoting and improving worker health than traditional isolated programs. A holistic approach in developing and implementing worksite health promotion programs that incorporate a full complement of worksite health policies and practices is, therefore, desirable. Healthy People 2010 (HP 2010) introduced a framework for comprehensive worksite health promotion programs. Healthy People 2020 (HP 2020) continues to pursue the overarching goal of improving the health of all Americans with specific objectives for worksite health promotion programs. Five elements provide the framework for a comprehensive worksite health promotion program:
Guidance, methods, and goals for a holistic approach covered on this page include:
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The availability of resources, number of employees, location, and nature of work define the type of worksite health & wellness programs an agency offers and the most efficient and effective delivery mechanism that should be used. Programs may be:
When considering possible funding sources and fee structures, consider:
Depending on its size and mission, an agency must determine whether to create its own program or share services with other agencies. While successful programs run on small budgets, sometimes it is more cost effective to share worksite health promotion services and facilities with other agencies in the same building or geographic location. Delivery mechanisms for such programs include interagency agreements, consortia, employee welfare and recreation organizations, and Federal Occupational Health (FOH).
To share services, Federal agencies may enter into an interagency agreement on a reimbursable basis. This process offers a convenient alternative to contracting and is often quicker and less cumbersome than the contracting process. Agencies may choose to use one interagency agreement to provide either all of its worksite health promotion services or specific services such as periodic physical examinations for those employees with physical examinations as a condition of employment.
When no single agency can serve as a worksite wellness service provider for similarly situated agencies, the combined employee population may pool resources and establish a worksite health promotion consortium. A lead agency enters into a contract or agreement with a service provider. An interagency agreement links participating agencies to the contract and the combined employee population enjoys access to worksite health promotion services. The lead agency must have authority to provide the services to other agencies.
An employee welfare and recreation organization (employee organization) is comprised of interested employees who deliver organized activities and programs for their colleagues in a structured format formally recognized by agency management. All activities sponsored by employee organizations must be open to participation by all qualified employees without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. An employee organization may hire its own staff or use vendors to provide services. The organization collects fees from participating employees/members to cover the costs of operating certain entities and activities, such as sundry shops, fitness centers, and snack bars. An agency may provide Government resources to support employee organizations in accordance with appropriate General Services Administration regulations contained in title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations. When certain conditions are met, an agency may pay for the rent and maintenance of space, equipment, janitorial services, and the start-up costs of facilities managed by employee organizations. Dues may be collected directly by the organization during non-duty hours, or employee members may set up individual financial allotments to a financial institution. Arrangements for such allotments must be made directly between the employee member and his/her servicing personnel office using a Direct Deposit Sign Up Form, SF 1199A.
FOH is a service unit organization within the Department of Health and Human Services' Program Support Center. FOH works in partnership with Federal agencies nationally and internationally to design and deliver comprehensive solutions to meet their occupational health, wellness and fitness needs. Services are provided on a reimbursable basis through interagency agreements. For example, FOH can staff and operate onsite health units, employee assistance programs (EAPs), and fitness facilities.
Agencies have a variety of staffing options. Options include agency personnel, contractors, and volunteers. Each agency must ensure that personnel delivering health services are fully qualified and trained specifically to the duties assigned. Agency wellness councils or committees should work closely with selected wellness staff to ensure delivery of services that best meet the needs of an agency.
Agencies may hire employees or use existing agency personnel to develop, manage, and deliver programs. The staff may be employed either full-time or part-time, or may be assigned the duties on an “as needed” basis. Many agencies organize worksite health promotion staff and programs under one component for more efficient coordination.
Contracted personnel can manage a comprehensive program or provide specific services, such as exercise classes or an annual health fair. Following appropriate procurement procedures, agency contracting officers may identify qualified vendors through:
There are only very limited circumstances under which agencies may accept volunteer (gratuitous) services. Agencies should consult their General Counsel when considering this option. Agencies may provide many health activities through volunteer or no-cost arrangements while ensuring that volunteers have the skills, qualifications, and knowledge to deliver health activities. For example, a trained volunteer might give a presentation on desktop ergonomics. An intern from a local university may conduct fitness evaluations. A volunteer wellness committee may organize a lunchtime walking club. A non-profit health organization may provide free speakers for a wellness education series. Many of these local organizations provide free materials such as pamphlets, videos, and posters, especially if they tie into a national health campaign, such as the Great American Smokeout.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthier Worksite Initiative (HWI) includes information on ways to provide staffing resources for workforce health promotion programs. The HWI considers an agency’s size and budget and provides information on staffing, continuing education opportunities for worksite health promotion personnel and tips for selecting a worksite health promotion contractor.
Health education focuses on skill development and behavior change, in addition to information dissemination and increasing awareness of the importance of good health, preferably tailored to employees’ interests and needs. A key element of health education is to motivate individuals to take action to improve their own health by developing a sense of responsibility for themselves and as members of work and social populations. Agencies may provide health education to encourage employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle, to understand their risk for disease, and to become aware of appropriate preventive practices. Important considerations include accessibility to health education and engagement opportunities for those individuals with disabilities, in accordance with the each agency’s requirements under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (similar to accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disability Act), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, and section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Health education and engagement opportunities include:
Consider using healthfinder.gov as a health tool for employees. This Federal website offers quick guides to healthy living, personalized health advice, current health news, and tips and tools that streamline searches. Web syndication is available and may be linked with an agency’s website so employees have ready access to reliable health information.
SuperTracker provides users with a practical, personalized web-based application and the “how‐tos” for making healthy food and activity choices in line with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. SuperTracker includes tools that easily identify personal nutritional and physical activity recommendations, the ability to compare personal food choices to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the means to assess personal physical activities based on the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The report and graphic functions of SuperTracker enables users to measure their progress over specific periods.
Social and environmental supports establish an environment that encourages an active and healthy lifestyle. These programs, policies, and initiatives relay a powerful message to employees about the agency’s support of healthy behaviors, which results in a positive culture for health. There are many options for both social and physical environmental supports of health and wellness. Agencies should implement supports that are most appropriate and will have the greatest positive impact for your workforce and agency.
An on-site health unit or occupational health center (OHC) is a convenient place to provide and coordinate comprehensive health and wellness services to Federal employees. Providing services at or near the worksite minimizes employees' time away from work and enhances productivity. Consider establishing an OHC or using the services of an existing OHC when developing a worksite health promotion program.
Depending on the size of the population and needs of the employees, an agency may provide full- or part-time health center services. Smaller agencies within a building or geographic locality may consider sharing a health center and/or services or provide employees with access to a nearby off-site health center. The on-site health unit may assist employees in complying with physician-directed condition management programs.
Designs and plans for new or renovated health units or occupational health centers can be coordinated with General Services Administration (GSA) regional offices (for GSA owned or leased space) or Federal Occupational Health (FOH). FOH can help review space, supplies, and equipment needs based on an agency's population and services. FOH can also provide staff that can work with agencies to develop a comprehensive occupational health program.
An agency or agency vendor may manage the ongoing operations of the OHC, staffed with contracted health professionals. An occupational health registered nurse is recommended; however, occupational health physicians, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, health promotion specialists and trained technicians may all be appropriate, depending on the size, scope, and complexity of the services an agency is considering providing. The OHC staff should work in conjunction with an agency's on-site fitness facility, employee assistance counselors, human resources, and health and safety professionals wherever possible. The OHC and its staff can play a pivotal role in the effectiveness and integration of an agency's worksite health promotion program.
A strong worksite nutrition and weight management program often pays dividends outside of the worksite as behaviors transfer outside of the worksite and into the family and leisure environment. Coupled with physical activity, sound nutrition is a strong component of health.
Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations
The General Services Administration (GSA) developed the Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations guidelines in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services; they represent the best practices in nutrition science for improving health and reducing impact to the environment. These new guidelines translate the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans into clear and definitive standards that food service operators can follow to make their operations healthier and more sustainable. The guidelines are designed to make healthy choices more accessible, more appealing, and more affordable. They are not designed to restrict choices. The Health and Sustainability Guidelines are applicable to all food service concession operations and vending machines managed by HHS and GSA.
Garden Initiatives & Farmers Markets
One way to improve the worksite nutrition environment and provide access is to operate a garden market at the worksite, so employees can conveniently shop for fruits and vegetables. A garden market may also reduce price barriers if it provides fresh produce at prices that are competitive with other sources. The CDC created the “Garden Market” demonstration project in 2004. The Garden Market was so successful that it was adopted at other CDC locations. The availability of these types of markets continues to increase throughout Federal agencies.
Additional approaches to building a supportive nutritional environment should be explored by the employer when designing a comprehensive health and wellness program including:
Additionally, the People’s Garden Initiative began in 2009 as an effort to challenge employees to create gardens at USDA facilities. It has since grown into a collaborative effort that includes local and national organizations all working together to establish community and school gardens across the country. To be part of the initiative, a garden must meet three goals: sustainability, community involvement and public service. People’s Gardens promote health and wellness by increasing availability and access to fresh fruits and vegetables and encouraging consumption. Gardening provides a low-impact exercise for people within a large range of physical ability. People’s Gardens also enable social and cultural connections by providing a gathering place for social interaction and educational opportunities. Gardens in general promote sustainable practices and improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitats.
USDA employees work in their gardens early in the morning before work, after work, during their lunch breaks and even on the weekends. Employees who work on the garden often do not know each other before they start volunteering. This initiative is an excellent example of a supportive social and physical environment that encourages active and healthy lifestyles, community engagement, and a positive workplace culture.
Healthy Meetings, Conferences, and Events
Worksite health promotion leaders should encourage employees to make every effort to offer healthier options at meetings and work-related social gatherings. If food and beverages are brought in by employees as a part of the event, refer them to CDC’s guide: Choosing foods and beverages for healthy meetings, conferences, and events.
Physical activity programs should be an integral part of an agency's worksite health promotion program. Agencies may operate on-site fitness facilities, use the services of a private facility, or even subsidize memberships. Fitness activities can also be provided without any special facilities. The built environment may encourage physical activity just as readily as access to a formal exercise facility. Managers may use discretion to allow other opportunities for increasing employee physical activity, such as conducting walking meetings and installing mobile work stations.
On-site Federal Fitness Facilities
An agency’s on-site fitness facility may serve as a hub of health promotion activities and services. Safety is the primary principle in any fitness facility design. The majority of accidents can be prevented through adequate supervision, staff training, appropriate screening procedures, and proper facility and equipment maintenance.
Off-Site Commercial Fitness Facilities
Providing health and fitness activities via a private facility may be part of an agency's bona fide preventive program authorized under 5 U.S.C. 7901. Agencies, in exercising this authority to purchase access to private health and fitness facilities, should use the following criteria in making the determination:
The private health and fitness facility should provide preventive health programs and services that fall within the purview of 5 U.S.C. 7901. Reasonable measures should be taken to ensure the private fitness facility is the most appropriate, convenient, and cost-effective choice, and that it provides reasonable accommodations (accessibility).
When purchasing memberships:
Use of Stairwells Promotion
In support of section 607 of Public Law 109-115 and the Joint Explanatory Statement for the FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, GSA is undertaking a stronger effort to promote the use of stairs in Federal buildings. Promoting the use of stairwells requires a multi-faceted approach. First, the physical and aesthetic characteristics of the stairwell should be improved to enhance the attractiveness of the space. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), many employees do not take the stairs at work because they perceive them as unattractive or unsafe. However, a CDC study revealed that physical changes to the staircases can increase stairwell use among building occupants. Internal communications that encourage employees to choose the stairs regularly also are necessary to foster a shift from elevator to stairwell utilization. GSA plays an important role in advancing both of these approaches. The key message is that promoting the use of stairwells can aid in improving employee health and contribute to a reduction in energy costs. Benefits of stairwell use include:
When promoting stairwell use, consider implementing these options:
Agencies can support healthy lifestyles and increased physical activity by creating environments that support safe and convenient commuting to work by bicycling or walking. Such environments can be created by improving the transportation network around the worksite, ensuring appropriate facilities are located within the worksite, and providing programs that support and promote active commuting:
Tobacco use can lead to nicotine dependence and serious health problems. Cessation can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from smoking-related diseases. Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that often requires repeated interventions, but effective treatments and helpful resources exist. The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide several resources for tobacco control and cessation available on our Tool & Resources page.
A tobacco-free campus initiative includes a policy and comprehensive cessation services for employees designed not only to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke but also to encourage employees to improve their health by quitting the use of tobacco products. Tobacco-free campuses create work environments in which tobacco users find it easier to reduce their consumption or quit altogether. Tobacco-free campuses enjoy additional benefits of reduced cleaning and maintenance costs, improved fire safety, and improved worker productivity. More information can be found in the CDC’s Implementing a Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative in Your Workplace toolkit. Specific social and physical supports to consider include:
Consider alternative meeting strategies to incorporate health promotion activities and concepts throughout the workday. Research shows that brief physical activity breaks during a long meeting increase energy levels, attention spans, and participation, and reduce fatigue, all of which can lead to a more productive meeting. Employees who sit at a desk for 6 or more hours a day increase their risk of heart disease by 64 percent, along with the risk of contracting certain types of cancer, additional weight gain and increased cholesterol. Alternative meeting strategies include holding walking meetings, holding meetings on another floor or building to encourage movement, and using high tables without chairs.
On December 20, 2010, President Obama delegated authority to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to provide guidance to executive branch civilian employees on workplace accommodations for employees who are nursing mothers. This delegation is in support of section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act), Pub. L. 111-148, which added a new subsection (r) to section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) (codified as amended at 29 U.S.C. 207). This new subsection requires an employer to provide employees with (1) a reasonable break time to express breast milk for her child for 1 year after the child's birth each time such employee has a need to express milk; and (2) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public which may be used by the employee to express breast milk. While subsection (r) applies only to employees who are subject to section 7, which sets forth the FLSA overtime pay provisions, the rationale for the policy contained in that section applies to all executive branch employees. In accordance with the authority delegated to OPM by the President on December 20, 2010, and in order to ensure consistent treatment of nursing mothers within the Federal workforce, agencies should also apply the requirements of subsection 7(r) of the FLSA to Executive branch civilian employees who are exempt from section 7 of the FLSA. For more guidance on the implementation of this policy, please review OPM's Guide to Establishing a Federal Nursing Mother’s Program and Memo on Nursing Mothers in Federal Employment.
Federal agencies electing to establish a Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program in a Federal facility should consult the guidelines contained in Federal Register FMR Bulletin 09-B2 "Guidelines for Public Access Defibrillation Programs in Federal Facilities." These guidelines were produced collaboratively by the General Services Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services and provide a basis of knowledge for Federal agencies as they implement a PAD program.
There is no law requiring installation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Federal facilities. However, AED availability is becoming the standard of care for facilities, grounds, and venues with large populations. An AED is an electronic device that can automatically terminate an erratic heartbeat that would otherwise lead to cardiac arrest, restoring normal cardiac function with an electric shock. AEDs enable minimally trained personnel to safely restore a victim's heart from ventricular fibrillation (an erratic and ineffective heart rhythm) to the victim's previous electrical activity, and in turn, effective pumping activity.
AEDs are designed and intended for use by emergency medical technicians, police, firefighters, and other responders (including trained lay responders). Administration of a PAD program must include periodic training of personnel who may respond to a cardiac emergency with an AED. At a minimum, current certifications should be maintained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) with AED. Medical oversight is an essential component of PAD programs.
AEDs and medical oversight services are commercially available through many sources. Federal agencies also have the option to use purchasing mechanisms allowed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which may include such options as the GSA Schedule (www.gsaadvantage.gov). AEDs may be purchased through an interagency agreement process like that offered by HHS-Federal Occupational Health (www.foh.hhs.gov).
Upon implementation of an AED program, a Federal agency may be required to follow various local laws. Each agency should consult its legal counsel to ensure proper compliance.
Screenings are critical to individual employees and to agencies’ health promotion efforts. A screening can save an employee’s life. For agencies, collectively assessing your workforce’s screening data can help you to strategically design a worksite health and wellness program that addresses the most prominent health risk factors in your workforce; this makes screenings an essential element of realizing positive impacts on health care costs, productivity, reduced absenteeism, recruitment, retention, culture, and employee morale. Even more broadly, agencies, employees, their families, and communities all benefit from the prevention of disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), administering an assessment to define employee health risks and concerns and to describe current health promotion activities, capacity and needs is the first step in the systematic process of building a successful workplace health and wellness program. Information from assessments will inform determining goals, selecting priority interventions, building an organizational infrastructure, implementing programs, and evaluating health promotion efforts.
Screening ideas to consider include:
A Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) or Health Assessment (HA) is a tool that helps identify risks within a population, monitor progress of those at risk or seeking improvements in their health through interventions, and track and analyze population health trends over time. The tool may simply ask general questions about lifestyle behaviors, such as physical activity levels and types, fruit and vegetable consumption, and tobacco and alcohol use. The HRA may ask more probing questions about seat belt use, sun exposure, symptoms of depression, use of age/gender-appropriate clinical preventive services, routine physicals and dental visits, real or perceived sources of health or safety risks from the workplace, and any work-associated or organizational stress affecting health of workers. Biometric testing may also be part of an HRA.
An HRA can be the single point of entry to an agency worksite health promotion program and serve as a participation tracking tool. Feedback should be given to the individual employee immediately upon completion of an HRA (such as an online HRA) or during an individual coaching session. The HRA can be a useful programming/needs assessment tool for agency representatives, provided proper procedures for protecting personal information are strictly followed, and a representative sample is collected in order to draw sound conclusions at the agency level.
Biometric testing can be included in an HRA. Biometric testing in worksite health & wellness programs is used to screen for potential medical concerns rather than for diagnosis or treatment of a medical condition. Biometric testing includes measurements for:
All FEHB plans cover HRAs, biometric testing, and immunizations plus over 70 preventive services with no out of pocket costs. If this approach is taken, agencies can get employees screened at no extra cost, employees learn how to get similar services for their family members, and results get back to the employee’s physician for any follow up that is needed. Many plans are even offering incentives for completion of HRAs and/or biometric testing. Agency worksite health & wellness coordinators should work with their agency benefits officers to promote these FEHB services and encourage employees to understand their specific plans, because there may be limits to networks and frequency. Preventive services that have a rating of A or B from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are covered by FEHB plans. You can see the complete list here: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsabrecs.htm.
Onsite health clinics can provide convenient access to high quality preventive healthcare. A variety of services can be offered at agencies, such as biometric screenings, primary care, health coaching, disease management, occupational health, and more! These services are intended to reduce agency costs, improve employee health, increase productivity, and reduce long-term risk.
Workplace health fairs are a great way to educate employees about health services available to them and the value of participating in preventive healthcare, such as screenings. Health fairs can include exhibitors from FEHB providers and various offices within your agency that have an interest in employee health (e.g., safety department, food service, Flexible Spending Accounts, Employee Assistance Programs, etc.). Agencies may also leverage external resources, including community organizations and universities. The best health fairs have a variety of activities, such as, but not limited to:
These fact sheets include the business case for screenings, descriptions of HRAs & biometric tests, implementation tips, and special considerations:
The longevity of worksite health promotion programs is related to the degree that health promotion is integrated into an organization’s structure. Successful worksite health promotion programs are designed to help achieve organizational goals and have the support of top management. At a minimum, having dedicated staff, an office and budget are essential aspects of integration into the organization’s structure. Worksite health promotion must also have well-designed programs that attract and retain participants.
Considering the answers to several questions will help to create and measure the integration of a worksite health promotion program into an agency’s organizational structure:
It is an agency's responsibility to assure that programs are safe, appropriate, and meet legal and ethical requirements. It is advisable to negotiate or consult with unions, as appropriate, on providing services for bargaining unit employees.
A wellness council or committee brings representatives from various offices to integrate services, coordinate, and promote programs. The primary goals of the council and/or committee are to encourage healthy behaviors at the worksite, advocate policy change, and create health-friendly work environments. A wellness committee should be comprised of employees who represent a cross section of the employee population. Multiple committees may be necessary, depending on the size and number of locations of the agency.
Committee Member Responsibilities
Committees should elect a wellness chair or co-chairs to conduct meetings and lead activities. Time commitments will depend on the size of the agency, depth and breadth of the services, and selected delivery option. Planning and implementation of the agency’s strategic wellness plan typically takes the most concentrated amount of time. As appropriate, these activities should be included in an employee’s work plan.
Designated wellness leaders at the management level with direct access to the agency head are recommended to be involved with wellness committees and programs. In collaboration with management and employees, the individual(s) responsible for creating a worksite health promotion infrastructure oversees the development and implementation of employee wellness policies and committees and provides ongoing assessment/monitoring of the effectiveness of the worksite health & wellness program.
Worksite Health Promotion Program Implementation/Improvement Plan Guidance
Set a realistic timeframe (timeline) for the completion of each step/task. Indicate dates for progress updates. Identify key stakeholders accountable for completion of each step/task.
The Federal personnel system provides employees considerable flexibility in scheduling their hours of work and taking time off for routine medical examinations and preventive screenings. Agencies should review policies and make maximum use of existing work schedules to encourage employees to take advantage of preventive health services.
Alternative Work Schedules & Leave
Additional information on Federal leave programs may be found at OPM's website at /oca/leave/HTML/factindx.asp.
Agencies may consider granting brief periods of excused absence to employees to participate in agency-sponsored preventive health activities, such as health fairs, medical screenings, and smoking cessation and stress reduction classes.
Each department or agency has discretion to excuse employees from their duties without loss of pay or charge to leave. Excused absence should be limited to those situations in which the employee's absence, in the department's or agency's determination, is not specifically prohibited by law and satisfies one or more of the following criteria:
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each agency head to balance support for employees' participation in health promotion activities with employees' work requirements and efficient and effective agency operations. Agencies should review their internal guidance on excused absence and applicable collective bargaining agreements.
Telework is a work arrangement that allows an employee to perform work, during any part of regular, paid hours, at an approved alternative worksite (e.g., home, telework center). It includes what is generally referred to as remote work but excludes any part of work done while on official travel or mobile work. The health benefits of telework include:
Sharing ways employees can use the time saved by reduced commutes for health promotion activities such as physical activity, stress management, and community and family engagement can send a powerful message. When planning health promotion activities, ask how employees who telework will be allowed to participate, such as through video conferencing, webinars, or a primary point of contact, so that teleworkers may pick up support material or equipment.
Branding provides instant recognition to an agency’s worksite health & wellness program and helps employees understand all of the program elements. Branding can be a logo, a motto or slogan, or image that captures the essence of the agency’s worksite health & wellness program and provides an opportunity for the agency to consistently convey a message. Concise, clear and well-planned communications use every possible customer (employee) touch point – signage, emails, voice messaging, social media, incentive items, newsletters and even telework agreements – as a branding opportunity. Many agencies offer a range of services that employees may not associate with the agency’s health promotion program. Branding helps employees make this program association, which then provides valuable feedback to the agency when employees are surveyed. Consider asking employees for branding ideas as part of a program marketing schematic and to create buy-in and excitement about a new or rejuvenated worksite health promotion program.
Over the years, worksite health promotion has evolved from and integrated with other worksite programs. Some common linkages include Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and programs to help employees balance work and family. When linking worksite health & wellness programs to related programs, agencies may consider:
The FEHB Program complements worksite wellness programs by providing coverage for preventive care, immunizations, cancer screenings, diabetes, cholesterol, osteoporosis screening and tobacco cessation resources with no cost shares. Many plans also offer diabetes screening with no co-payment, nutrition counseling, and low-cost generic medications. Cost-sharing and other plan features are applicable based on gender and age recommended services. Providers and services may be limited to in-network and/or preferred drug coverage and office visit cost sharing may apply. See specific plans for details. Completing Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) through an FEHB health plan allows health plans to identify Federal employees as candidates for case management or disease management and offer suggestions on healthy lifestyle strategies, including how to reduce or eliminate health risks. Health plans can provide tips and educational material about good health habits, as well as information about routine care that is age and gender appropriate.
Employees working for an executive branch agency or an agency that has adopted the Federal Flexible Benefits Plan ("FedFlex") may elect to participate in the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS). The only exception(s) are intermittent or “when actually employed” (WAE) employees who are expected to work less than six months in a calendar year. Under the Internal Revenue Code, annuitants (other than reemployed annuitants whose employment status is full-time) cannot participate in the FSAFEDS Program. Participating in a flexible spending account (FSA) is a way to set aside part of pre-tax wages for payment of eligible expenses. An annuity is not a wage. Military personnel are not eligible.
FSAFEDS offers three different FSAs: a health care flexible spending account, a limited expense health care flexible spending account, and a dependent care flexible spending account. An FSA is a program offered by employers that allows their employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax wages. By using pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible preventive, secondary, and tertiary health care and dependent care expenses, an FSA gives individuals immediate discounts on these expenses that equal the taxes incurred on that expense.
FEHB eligibility is not required to enroll in a Dependent Care FSA. However, employees may only choose one of the FSA options.
Federal Employees paid through certain payroll offices are eligible to establish pre-tax allotments to their Health Savings Accounts (HSA). The Benefits Administration Letter 07-202 provides more information.
A Health Savings Account is a special type of savings account available to individuals who enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) that allows members to use pre-tax wages to pay for eligible health care expenses, much like an FSA. It is important to understand that there is a significant difference between the two accounts. An HSA requires enrollment in an HDHP and allows the rollover of funds from year-to-year — therefore, there is no risk of losing unused money. With an HCFSA, enrollees can be in any type of FEHB plan, including an HDHP, or no FEHB insurance plan. However, an HSA eliminates eligibility for a “general purpose” HCFSA, because both accounts are used to pay for the same type of expenses. Enrollees in an HDHP with an HSA are eligible for a LEX HCFSA because the LEX HCFSA pays for eligible dental and vision expenses only.
The FSAFEDS Program is separate from the FEHB HDHP and HSA option. For additional information on HDHPs and/or HSAs visit /insure/health/hsa.
An EAP is a business tool used to address personal or work-related problems that may have an adverse effect on one’s performance, conduct, or well-being. Through confidential assessments, referral services, and consultations, EAPs optimize an organization’s culture and success.
EAPs provide strategic analysis, recommendations, and consultation throughout an organization to enhance its performance, culture, and business success. These enhancements are accomplished by professionally trained behavioral and/or psychological experts who apply the principles of human behavior with management, employees, and their families, as well as workplace situations to optimize the organization’s human capital.
The basic services of the EAP include:
In addition, the EAP can be extremely important in:
More information about EAPs is available here: /policy-data-oversight/worklife/employee-assistance-programs/.
For information regarding leave, flexible work schedules, excused absence, and telework, review the information available in the integration section here: Leave and Workplace Flexibilities section on this page above).
Healthfinder.gov is a Federal Government website where you will find information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy. When making decisions about your health, it's important to know where to go to get the latest, most reliable information. healthfinder.gov has resources on a wide range of health topics selected from over 1,600 government and nonprofit organizations to bring you the best, most reliable health information on the Internet.
Adults need shots (vaccinations) just like kids do. Next time you get a checkup, talk with the doctor or nurse about getting these important shots.
Work can put a lot of wear and tear on your body. Back injuries are the most common type of workplace injury.
Make simple changes to prevent injuries and stay healthy:
View more information on important shots, staying safe at work, or other public health and safety topics (i.e. first aid, preventing infections, protecting against poisons, bike safety).
Everyone needs to sleep. A good night’s sleep helps keep your mind and body healthy.
How much sleep do I need?Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If you are having trouble sleeping, make changes to your routine to get the sleep you need.
Kids need even more sleep than adults.
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect your skin from the sun.
Why do I need to protect my skin from the sun?
Protect your skin from the sun today to help prevent skin cancer later in life. Most skin cancer appears after age 50, but damage from the sun can start during childhood.
Staying out of the sun and using sunscreen can also help prevent:
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can begin to heal. You will feel better and have more energy to be active with your family and friends.
How can I quit smoking?Start by thinking about why you want to quit. If you’ve tried to quit before, think about what worked and what didn’t. This will help you find the right quitting strategies.
Here are some things you can try to help you quit:
Nicotine is a drug in cigarettes that’s just as addictive as heroin or cocaine. It’s the nicotine in cigarettes that causes the strong feeling (craving) that you want to smoke. Quitting is hard, but it can be done.
Want more information on getting more sleep, protecting your skin from the sun, quiting smoking, or other everyday health & wellness topics (i.e. managing stress, preventing allergy attacks, taking charge on your health care, talking to your doctor about depression)? Check out Everyday Health & Wellness on healthfinder.gov.
To stay at a healthy weight, you need to balance the calories you eat with the calories you burn (use up). To lose weight, you need to use more calories than you eat. A healthy diet and physical activity can help you control your weight.
Calories are a measure of the energy in the foods you eat. You burn calories when you are physically active.
How do I know if I’m eating the right number of calories?Use this tool to find out how many calories your body needs each day. This is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. If you are overweight or obese, burn more calories than you eat to lose weight.
Want more information on nutrition and fitness? Check out Nutrition & Fitness on Healthfinder.gov.
Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases. Screenings can help doctors find diseases early, when the diseases may be easier to treat.
Getting screening tests is one of the most important things you can do for your health. You may need to be screened for:
Use the myhealthfinder tool to find out which screening tests you may need.Enter your age, sex, and pregnancy status to get a list of recommendations. Print out the list and take it with you to your next doctor’s appointment.
Want more information on screenings? Check out Important Screening Tests on Healthfinder.gov.
You can take steps today to lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
To help prevent heart disease, you can:
Want more information on heart health? Check out Heart Health on healthfinder.gov
Diabetes is a disease. When you have diabetes, there is too much sugar (called glucose) in your blood.
There is more than one type of diabetes, but type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. People who are overweight and inactive are more likely to get type 2 diabetes. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent type 2 diabetes.
What do I ask the doctor?
Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print out this list of questions, and take it with you the next time you visit the doctor.
Learn about lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes
Want more information on diabetes? Check out Diabetes on healthfinder.gov.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean losing your health. To stay healthy as you age:
Remember, it’s never too late to make healthy changes in your life.
Stay active to live longer and better.Staying active can help you:
Plus, staying active may help keep your mind sharp.
Want more information on health & older adults? Check out “For Older Adults” on healthfinder.gov.
Children are at high risk for injuries. You can help keep your child from getting hurt by taking action ahead of time.
A few minutes now could save your child’s life.These simple steps can help prevent injuries inside and outside your home.
Good habits like these can help protect your family from food poisoning:
Food poisoning (foodborne illness) is when you get sick from eating or drinking something that has harmful germs (like bacteria, viruses, or parasites) in it. Two common causes of food poisoning are E. coli and Salmonella.
Talk to your child about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Knowing the facts will help your child make healthy choices.
What do I say?
When do I start talking with my child?
Start early. By preschool, most children have seen adults smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, either in real life or on TV. Make sure your child knows right from the start that you think it’s important to stay safe and avoid drugs.
Here are more reasons to start the conversation early:
What if my child is older?
It’s never too late to start the conversation about avoiding drugs. Even if your teen may have tried tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, you can still talk about making healthy choices and how to say “no” next time.
Get more information on keeping kids healthy and drug free.
Want more information about injury prevention, food poisoning, talking to your kids about tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, or other parenting topics (i.e., making the most of your child's doctor visits, watching for signs of speech delays, preventing bullying)? Check out "For Parents" on healthfinder.gov.
If you are over age 45, taking aspirin every day could lower your risk of heart attack. Talk with your doctor about whether daily aspirin is right for you.
Do you know what it takes to stay healthy? Take this men’s health quiz to find out.
Want more information on health & men? Check out “Men: Take Charge of Your Health” on healthfinder.gov.
Mammograms can help find breast cancer early. You have a better chance of surviving breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. Mammograms use a very low level of x‑rays (called radiation). A mammogram is very safe.
What if the doctor finds something wrong with my breast?
Mammograms let the doctor or nurse look for small lumps inside your breast. If a lump is found, the doctor or nurse will do other tests to find out if it’s cancer.
Osteoporosis (“os-tee-oh-puh-ROH-sis”) is a disease of the bones. It means your bones are weak and more likely to break. Anyone can get osteoporosis, but it’s most common in older women.
Ask your doctor or nurse about steps you can take to prevent weak bones and lower your risk for osteoporosis. If you are age 50 or older, talk to your doctor about testing your bone strength.
Screening for osteoporosis is covered under the new Affordable Care Act for some women over age 60. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screened at no cost to you. Talk to your insurance provider.
What do I ask the doctor?
Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down before your appointment. Print out this list of questions, and take it with you the next time you visit the doctor. You may want to take a family member or close friend along to take notes.
Women of childbearing age (typically ages 11 to 49) need an extra 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Folic acid is found in vitamins and foods like breakfast cereals that have 100% DV (daily value) of folic acid.
Why is folic acid important?Everyone needs folic acid in their diet. Folic acid is especially important for women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant.
It’s important to get enough folic acid, even when you aren’t planning to get pregnant. Folic acid is a vitamin that can prevent birth defects. It’s needed during the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she’s pregnant.
Want more information on health & women? Check out “For Women” on healthfinder.gov.
It’s important to take care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy. To keep you and your baby healthy:
To get more tips for a healthy pregnancy:
Want more information about pregnancy? Check out Pregnancy on Healthfinder.gov.
From Governmentwide guidelines to sample resources and information on Federal agencies that play a key role in worksite health & wellness, many tools and resources are available in this section to help understand the basics of worksite health & wellness, explore issues in greater detail, and implement effective program.
The following are Federal agencies and their subcomponents associated with the administration of worksite health and wellness programs.
OPM's Work-Life & Performance Culture promotes the efficiency of the Federal workforce by providing agencies with guidance, resources and technical assistance on issues related to employee health and well-being. Policies and guidance developed by the Work-Life Group may address issues such as worksite health & wellness, telework, substance abuse, Employee Assistance Program, workplace violence, domestic violence at work, and critical incident stress.
Internal Revenue Services
The Tax Exempt and Government Entities Employment Tax Branch serves three very distinct customer segments: Employee Plans, Exempt Organizations, and Government Entities. This branch of the IRS provides information regarding taxable income that may include health promotion incentives offered through worksites and commercial health club memberships provided through agencies.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works to support the American agricultural economy to strengthen rural communities; to protect and conserve our natural resources; and to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people. The USDA provides nutrition guidance and health promotion tools based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, through ChooseMyPlate.gov and the SuperTracker.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. HHS represents almost a quarter of all Federal outlays and it administers more grant dollars than all other Federal agencies combined. HHS is a major host to numerous agencies that play significant roles in contributing to successful worksite health and wellness programs.
Under HHS, the Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) broad programs of research, clinical guideline development, and technology assessment bring practical, science-based information to medical practitioners, consumers, and other health care purchasers.
Under HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides credible, reliable health information on diseases and conditions, emergencies and disasters, environmental health, violence and safety, workplace safety and health, and more. The CDC has three sites of particular relevance to worksite health and wellness: CDC’s Healthier Worksite Initiative (HWI), the National Healthy Worksite Program (NHWP), and the NIOSH Total Worker Health Program. HWI provides information on program design, policies, toolkits, and other practical resources for worksite health and wellness. The NHWP is designed to assist employers in implementing science and practice-based prevention and wellness strategies that will lead to specific, measureable health outcomes to reduce chronic disease rates. The NIOSH Total Worker Health Program is described below. CDC also has developed a Federal Wellness Resource Guide which provides resources relevant to both employees & employers.
Under the CDC, the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) utilizes a public health approach to address the role of nutrition and physical activity in improving the public's health and preventing and controlling chronic diseases. The scope of DNPAO activities includes leadership, policy and guidelines development, surveillance, epidemiological and behavioral research, intervention development, technical assistance to states and communities, training and education, communication, and partnership development.
Under HHS and the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the Federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH provides an extensive collection of occupational safety and health information arranged by subject. The NIOSH Total Worker Health effort promotes comprehensive and integrated health, safety and wellbeing programs and practices for America’s workers and workplaces.
Under the CDC, the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) is the lead Federal agency for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control. Originally established in 1965 as the National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health, OSH is dedicated to reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.
CDC’s Workplace Health Promotion site is a toolkit for workplace health protection and promotion. It provides information, tools, resources, and guidance to practitioners interested in establishing or enhancing workplace health and safety programs.
Under HHS, Federal Occupational Health (FOH) provides occupational health and wellness services exclusively to Federal employees. FOH works in partnership with Federal organizations nationally and internationally to design and deliver comprehensive solutions to meet their occupational health needs.
Under HHS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and use the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.
Under HHS, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) plays a vital role in developing and coordinating a wide range of national disease prevention and health promotion activities.
Under HHS, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) is a committee of 25 volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services. PCFSN serves as a catalyst to promote healthy lifestyles through fitness, sports, and nutrition programs and initiatives that engage Americans across the lifespan.
Under HHS, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides leadership and devotes its resources - programs, policies, information and data, contracts and grants- toward helping the Nation act on the knowledge that: behavioral health is essential for health; prevention works; treatment is effective; and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
Under HHS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and supervises programs such as emergency preparedness, food safety, food labeling and nutrition, and has the authority to regulate tobacco products under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
Under HHS, the Surgeon General serves as America's Doctor by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The Surgeon General reports to the Assistant Secretary for Health, who is the principal advisor to the Secretary on public health and scientific issues.
GSA's Federal Acquisition Service is the lead organization for procurement of products and services (other than real property) for the Federal government, and the Public Building Services provides facilities and workplace solutions to Federal agencies.
These are guidelines, policies, and general resources provided by various Federal agencies that can help guide the development of worksite wellness programs.
The Community Guide, based on a scientific systematic review process, is a credible resource that answers questions critical to almost everyone interested in community health and well-being.
Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to encourage collaborations across communities and sectors, empower individuals toward making informed health decisions, and measure the impact of prevention activities.
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is designed to provide information and guidance on the types and amounts of physical activity that provide substantial health benefits for Americans aged 6 years and older. The main idea behind the Guidelines is that regular physical activity over months and years can produce long-term health benefits.
The following is a list of preventive services that have a rating of A or B from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that are relevant for implementing the Affordable Care Act. The preventive services are listed alphabetically.
In support of GSA’s actions to increase healthy and sustainable food and beverage options and operations at federal workplaces, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and GSA have worked collaboratively to create this document, which proposes specific food, nutrition, and sustainability guidelines to complement the GSA procurement guidelines.
Section 508 requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities. IT Accessibility & Workforce Division, in the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Governmentwide Policy, has been charged with the task of educating Federal employees and building the infrastructure necessary to support Section 508 implementation. Using this web site, Federal employees and the public can access resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of Section 508.
The FEHB Program can help you and your family meet your health care needs. Federal employees, retirees and their survivors enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country. You can choose from among Consumer-Driven and High Deductible plans that offer catastrophic risk protection with higher deductibles, health savings/reimbursable accounts and lower premiums, or Fee-for-Service (FFS) plans, and their Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), or Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) if you live (or sometimes if you work) within the area serviced by the plan. Use this site to compare the costs, benefits, and features of different plans.
This website provides a list of services and expenses eligible for reimbursement under flexible spending accounts available to Federal employees.
Serve.gov, the online home of United We Serve, is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency charged with promoting and fostering volunteering and national service in America.
President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative to develop a 21st Century conservation and recreation agenda. AGO takes as its premise that lasting conservation solutions should come from the American people - that the protection of our natural heritage is a non-partisan objective that is shared by all Americans.
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.
Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States. Heart disease is responsible for 1 of every 4 deaths in the country. Million Hearts® is a national initiative that has set an ambitious goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The impact will be even greater over time.
National Prevention Week is a SAMHSA-supported annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.
USDA Secretary Vilsack began the People's Garden Initiative - named in honor of President Lincoln's description of USDA as the "People's Department" - in 2009 as an effort to challenge employees to create gardens at USDA facilities. It has since grown into a collaborative effort of over 700 local and national organizations all working together to establish community and school gardens across the country.
Healthfinder.gov is a Federal Government website where you will find information and tools to help you and those you care about stay healthy. When making decisions about your health, it's important to know where to go to get the latest, most reliable information. Healthfinder.gov has resources on a wide range of health topics selected from over 1,600 government and nonprofit organizations to bring you the best, most reliable health information on the Internet.
This self-service, online tool allows customers to access and analyze the most popular data elements from OPM's Enterprise Human Resources Integration-Statistical Data Mart (EHRI-SDM). It provides access to 5 years of employment, accession, and separation data.
GSA eLibrary was created to help customers research and identify commercial businesses that provide high quality products and services offered under GSA and VA acquisition solutions. eLibrary is updated nightly so you can be assured that you are seeing the most accurate and up-to-date award information.
PubMed comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web site.
The National Health Information Center (NHIC) is a health information referral service. NHIC links people to organizations that provide reliable health information.
The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology.
Nutrition.gov provides easy access to vetted food and nutrition information from across the federal government. It serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers.
The EHPDP Guidebook was written by a multidisciplinary task group to provide information and references appropriate for establishing and expanding EHPDP programs within the VHA. This guidebook is available as an example of an agency-level guidebook and provides templates, sample documents, references, and directives for use and modification by other Federal agencies.
This toolkit provides information on how to establish a garden market in a Federal agency or other organization.
These guidelines can be used for selecting foods and beverages for breaks or meals at meetings, conferences, and other work-related events. When planning menus, consider providing options that accommodate various dietary preferences and needs.
This site will provide the information you need to transform your stairs into StairWELLs for better health.
No two public health interventions are exactly alike, but most interventions share a similar path to success: Mobilize, Assess, Plan, Implement, Track.
This document is a “how to” guide for planning and implementing evaluation activities. The manual, based on CDC’s Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health, is intended to assist managers and staff of public, private, and community public health programs to plan, design, implement and use comprehensive evaluations in a practical way.
This website provides information on the Federal Drug-free Workplace Program, including the executive order, model comprehensive plan, historical documents and more.
There has never been a better time to quit smoking. All FEHB plans now offer 100% coverage to help you quit once and for all.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is pleased to provide this online resource for locating drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs. The Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator list private and public facilities that are licensed, certified, or otherwise approved for inclusion by their State substance abuse agency and treatment facilities administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the Department of Defense.
Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) encourages people to quit smoking by highlighting the toll that smoking-related illnesses take on smokers and their loved ones.
This toolkit provides guidance for implementing a tobacco-free campus (TFC) initiative that includes a policy and comprehensive cessation services for employees. It is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) experience with implementing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tobacco-Free HHS initiative.
This policy requires all properties owned or leased by HHS agencies to be tobacco free, beginning with limited implementation on January 1, 2005, and achieving full implementation by February 1, 2005, as labor and lease agreements permit.
This document was prepared to assist Federal agencies in implementing Executive Order 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. To implement the Administration’s goal of establishing a clean energy economy, Federal agencies should pursue efforts to establish and support bicycling and other active commuting and travel at Federal facilities.
This tool will provide you with your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI is a number calculated from your weight and height, and used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
This site is specifically designed for parents and caregivers to provide information to help you eat better, be more physically active and be a role model for your kids.
CDC's LEAN Works! is a synthesis of the science and practice-based evidence to guide you in planning, building, promoting, and assessing a worksite obesity prevention and control program.
While you already know it is important to eat a healthy diet, you may find it more difficult to sort through all of the information about nutrition and food choices. CDC has compiled a variety of resources to help you start healthier eating habits.
The toolkits in this section are designed specifically for work sites to encourage nutritious eating and may contain checklists, step-by-step guides, budgets, and other tools that aid in program planning, design, and management. Before implementing any of these interventions, the toolkits should be selected and evaluated based on the identified needs of your employee population.
The President’s Challenge is the premier program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition administered through a co-sponsorship agreement with the Amateur Athletic Union. The President’s Challenge helps people of all ages and abilities increase their physical activity and improve their fitness through research-based information, easy-to-use tools, and friendly motivation.
This document states the guidelines and procedures for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Bicycle Benefit.
This new Bike to Work Website is funded by the Department of Transportation and maintained by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. The Website provides helpful resources for planning and holding your bike to work event. The resource section includes downloads for event organizers, tips for individual riders, facts for the news media, as well as information for employers and sponsors. The Website also features a discussion forum that will allow bike commuters to network with one another. Using the Web forum, you can post questions about how to get a bike to work event off the ground or offer your tips for holding a successful event.
While worksite health and wellness programs vary across agencies because of differences in organizational needs and workforce demographics, the demand for accountability is constant. As a result, program evaluation is imperative to:
There are several ways Federal agencies can evaluate their worksite health and wellness programs. Because there is not one right way, we encourage you to review the list of Federal resources below and use those that best meet the needs of your agency.
WellCheck is an online needs assessment based on HealthyPeople 2010’s Elements of a Comprehensive Worksite Wellness Program. Implemented in 2009 by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), this web-based tool collects information on Federal agencies' worksite health and wellness programs at specific work locations. Annually, agency designated points of contact gain access to WellCheck to report data about their worksite health and wellness programs, services, policies, costs, and metrics. This data is used to analyze program efforts and allows agencies to identify program strengths and areas that need improvement. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find your agency’s POC.
Understanding agency demographics will help coordinators to establish a baseline and starting point for health promotion initiatives and activities.
OPM provides statistical information about the Federal civilian workforce through FedScope. This online tool allows customers to access and analyze the most popular data elements from OPM's Enterprise Human Resources Integration-Statistical Data Mart (EHRI-SDM). Customers include Federal government agencies, researchers, the media, and the general public.
This self-service tool provides access to five years of employment, accession, and separation data. Access to detail level data is provided while protecting employee privacy and EHRI-SDM security.
The following workforce characteristics ("Who", "What", and "Where" of Federal Civilian Employment) are available for analysis:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a “how to” guide for planning and implementing evaluation activities in worksite health promotion programs. The Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self-Study Guide is based on CDC’s Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health. It can provide practical assistance to managers and staff of worksite health promotion programs in planning, design, implementation, and use of comprehensive evaluations. The premise of CDC’s Framework is that to ensure usage, evaluation design must match the purpose of the evaluation and the intended user of the results thus maximizing payoffs and minimizing evaluation costs.
This guide is provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a framework for implementation and tracking progress towards achieving Healthy People 2020 objectives. The framework recognizes that while no two health interventions are exactly alike, most interventions can follow a similar path to success: Mobilize, Assess, Plan, Implement, Track (MAP-IT).
Chapter 12 of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) guidebook provides the basis for program evaluation and several examples of qualitative and quantitative evaluation processes. The chapter describes three methods of qualitative evaluation: process measures, key informant interviews, and focus groups and several quantitative evaluations. The chapter also provides sources of and methods for incorporating institutional data into an evaluation and descriptions of several instruments available to measure presenteeism in the workplace.