Social Media Supports a Culture of Total Worker Health
Healthier Workforce Bulletin

Social Media Supports a Culture of Total Worker Health
In recent surveys from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, almost 7 in 10 adults (67%) reported using some form of social media and 80% of all internet users (59% adults) have looked online for information about health topics. Its growing acceptance as a health communication tool has been gaining momentum among hospitals, organizations, wellness groups, and businesses and is driving leaders to integrate social media into their engagement strategies to promote health, wellness and safety.  Doing so can increase participation and lead to improved health-related outcomes.
Studies have shown online messages have the ability to trigger people into making positive behavior changes by helping them track chronic diseases and manage weight and physical fitness. Online platforms also provide people access to a virtual community where they can find support, positive motivation and access to credible, evidence-based information.  As the use of personal wireless devices continues to increase, communication scientists believe social media networking sites will continue to grow in popularity.  Its growing popularity and potential for reaching people at work, home and in the community should not be ignored. Rather, it should be embraced as an integrated approach that helps support a culture of Total Worker Health™

For the Employer
Top barriers preventing employers from embracing social media include lack of knowledge, understanding, leadership, loss of control, fear and resources.  However, even with these barriers, a growing number of employers are embracing social media as a part of an integrated approach to their employee health and safety programs. Those leading the way recognize it as a no- to low-cost strategy for engaging their employees and are working to overcome the challenges it presents.  Click here to learn more about social media’s benefits to employee wellness programs and the most popular platforms among users today.  

Model Programs
Are you a small employer or do you work for a small business? If so, what is your organization doing to promote integrated worker health, safety and wellness programs? The HWCE is seeking model integrated programs to promote through the monthly bulletin, the HWCE website and the new HWCE Facebook page for employers. Please contact to share a brief overview of your workplace program and/or how it has had a positive impact on your health or the health of your employees.

For the Researcher
Social media offers researchers’ opportunities to share research, stay current with the latest evidence, build relationships and connect with others with similar interests.  The NIOSH Science Blog, for example, provides a platform to exchange ideas with leading NIOSH researchers on various workplace safety and health topics. There are over 35 blog categories including Total Worker Health™, Stress, Ergonomics, Sleep and Vehicle Safety. Click to view the NIOSH Science Blog on Total Worker Health™ .

Policy Update
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is hosting a teleconference for stakeholders on the Health Insurance Marketplace in Iowa on May 2, 2013 from 10:00am to 11:00am. HHS and CMS regional officials will update participants on policies and operations of the Marketplace. Time will be made available for stakeholder comments, questions and answers.  Registration is required.  Click here to register.

Stay Connected through Social Media!
*HWCE on Facebook! Like us today!
*Iowa Total Worker Health resources on Pinterest
*Updates through Twitter @UIHWCE
*Join the NIOSH Total Worker Health Group on LinkedIn

Upcoming Events
For a more detailed listing of upcoming events and webinars, please visit our online calendar of events.

* Health Insurance Marketplace in Iowa-Stakeholder Consultation Teleconference with HHS & CMS
             -May 2, 2013, 10am CDT, Register here
             -Invitation letter available on HWCE online calendar.
Navigating the Road Ahead...Impact of Health Care Reform on Employers in 2014
              -Free Event Sponsored by MercyCare Business Solutions and TrueNorth
              -May 10, 2013; 7:30-10:15am at Cedar Rapids Mercy Medical Center
              -RSVP to Denise Izzolena at or 319-5578-0311
* Free Employee Wellness Webcast Workshops
              -On May 16 & 17, the Institute for Human Resources (IHR) is offering a conference webcast
                on employee wellness.  Register for one or more of the free webcasts here. Schedule also
                available also on the HWCE online calendar.
*Work, Stress, and Health 2013: Protecting and Promoting Total Worker Health
              -May 16-19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California
              -More information at
*May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month
               -Month-long observance of health and fitness in the workplace where employers challenge their
                employees to create heathy moment and form healthy groups. Resources available here
*National Bike to Work Week, May 13-17, 2013
                -Promotional materials available here
*National Bike to Work Day, May 17, 2013
                -Promotional materials available here

Please send questions, comments or ideas for future newsletters to  

Please note that the “links” to other informational sources are provided for your professional development.  The HWCE does not take responsibility for information contained beyond the files administered by the Center and does not represent the endorsement of commercial products.

  The Healthier Workforce Center for Excellence (HWCE) is one of four TWH™ Centers of Excellence funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Our mission is to improve the health of workers in Iowa and nationally through integrated health promotion and health protection research, collaboration with peer institutions, and dissemination of successful interventions.
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