Most adults spend many of their waking hours at work. Worksites are a good place to encourage employees to be screened for colorectal cancer. Worksites may include strategies and activities for employees or managers. For example, worksites can improve employee’s knowledge about colorectal cancer. Worksites can also have insurance plans that provide coverage for colorectal cancer screenings. Some worksite programs or policies are decided on by managers. Others are created by employees and managers working together. Worksite interventions can also help support employee’s families. For example, the worksite can also provide colorectal cancer screenings for spouses in addition to the employee. For more information about settings for healthy lifestyle behaviors, see Nutrition, Physical Activity and Tobacco.
Worksite-based interventions work best when used with interventions in other settings:
- Community-based settings: worksites can sponsor community events about colorectal cancers or act as a pick-up and drop-off site for fecal occult blood testing kits
- Faith-based settings: faith-based organizations can use worksite facilities or equipment to host events about colorectal cancer
- Health care facility-based settings: health care staff can lead improvements in their office functions to increase recommendation for appropriate screenings to patients
- Home-based settings: worksites can provide employees information to bring home on the importance of keeping up with screening guidelines and leading healthy lifestyles in the form of flyers or newsletters
Things to consider for worksite-based interventions:
- Because adults are often employed at worksites for long periods of time, the worksite is a good place to provide a variety of interventions over time to the same group of adults.
- Worksites can create environments and policies to encourage colorectal cancer awareness. When these environments and policies are supported by management, employees are more likely to listen.
- Many small businesses find it useful to work with existing community-based programs to support employees and their families with colorectal cancer education and resources off-site.
- Colorectal cancer awareness programs may be more successful if top managers or unions give their support.
- It is important that the colorectal cancer awareness opportunities created are flexible enough to meet the needs of a wide variety of employees.
- Since the majority of adults are employed, the worksite represents a large, accessible audience for health promotion efforts. Workers should be reached with colorectal cancer information and screening guidelines before they retire so that healthy practices are sustained through retirement.
- The workplace is a viable site for health promotion programs since it provides an opportunity to make environmental, structural, and policy changes that support educational messages (e.g., healthy food options in the cafeteria, fitness centers or walking trails) and it provides the ability to provide social support for healthy behaviors.
- Certain workplaces are important locations to promote campaign messages regarding specific health concerns since sedentary employees are at greater risk of colorectal cancer.