Glob Health Promot 2019 Apr 3:1757975918816691. Epub 2019 Apr 3.
1. Centre for Environment and Population Health, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
Workplaces in the rapidly industrializing Asia-Pacific region face growing pressures from high-speed development driven by global competition, migration and the aging of the workforce. Apart from addressing work-related injuries, workplaces in the region also have to deal with increasing occupational stress, chronic diseases and their associated socio-economic burden. Meanwhile, interventions in workplace health are still dominated by a narrow behavioral change model. To this end, the integrative workplace health promotion model, initiated by the World Health Organization from successful post-1990 pilot projects, emerges as a timely, comprehensive and appropriate means to manage contemporary workplace health and safety issues in the region. In this paper, we highlight the key workplace health challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and the utility of the integrative workplace health promotion model in addressing them. We provide a brief overview of the pressing challenges confronting workplaces in the region, then explain the why, what and how of integrative workplace health promotion. We illustrate this model by reviewing successful examples of good practice and evidence of their achievements from workplace health promotion programs in Asia-Pacific from 2002 to date, with specific attention to government-led workplace health promotion programs in Shanghai, Singapore and Taiwan. Drawing from these successful examples, we recommend government policies and facilitating strategies needed to guide, support and sustain industries in implementing integrative workplace health promotion. We conclude that consistent supportive government policies, coupled with facilitation by international bodies towards capacity and professional network building, are crucial to developing and sustaining healthy workplaces in the region.