Workforce Health Equity

Health Equity Minute

January 10, 2024

Health equity at work occurs when every employee has the chance to reach their highest level of health and wellbeing. For those of us in the U.S. workforce (approximately 167 million individuals) nearly half of our waking hours are spent at work. Increasingly, we are recognizing how work serves as a social determinant of health, directly shaping the conditions that contribute to a person’s wellbeing.

We know that poor health contributes to elevated healthcare expenses and reduced productivity. And inequity at work can lead to poor health outcomes. For example, individuals facing significant workplace discrimination are 54% more likely to develop first time high blood pressure compared to those experiencing lower levels of discrimination at work.

Business leaders have a vested interest in fostering a culture of health equity and wellbeing. Strategies to do this include creating workplace systems that give all employees the opportunities and resources necessary to achieve their best health, acknowledging and addressing issues of discrimination and bias, and measuring progress by collecting and evaluating data. Learn more about workplace health equity from the American Heart Association’s Employer Resource Guide.

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