The Workplace health promotion programme in a University Hospital


Health promotion
chronic diseases
risk factors


Introduction: description of the lifestyles of employees of the Siena University Hospital (Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese: AOUS), as assessed through a Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) project in the two-year period 2017-18; assessment of possible short-term effects of integrated health promotion interventions in the workplace, within the framework of the Tuscany WHP  network, as applied in the AOUS and involving about 1,000 workers.

Methods: A cross-sectional study and a pre-post evaluation of data collected by means of anonymous questionnaires in two phases: before the beginning of the programme and after 12 months.

Results: 12 months after the start of the programme regarding diet (consumption of fruit and vegetables) and physical activity, the positive effects that emerged were not statistically significant. No differences were observed between the sexes or professional categories. The employees' perception of the programme was satisfactory.

Conclusions: albeit within the methodological limits of the assessment, the results showed that the diffusion of some major risk factors for chronic diseases had not decreased after 12 months' exposure to the programme. However, monitoring of these risk factors needs to be continued over a longer period, in order to detect the appearance of the expected changes in the long term. Moreover, it is essential to continue monitoring by sex and professional category, in order to pick out any differences and, if possible, take remedial action. Further studies, in collaboration with the pertinent physicians, are desirable, since integrating data collected during health surveillance with a limited set of indicators of general risk factors may help to promptly identify possible health needs among employees.