Four-year grant from the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to fund research on the connection between the workplace and health outcomes

Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health announce a new four-year grant aimed at finding new approaches to address the many ways that the workplace can affect health and safety of front-line employees. This more than $2.7 million grant is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as part of the Total Worker Health® (TWH) initiative.

A growing body of evidence links the work environment with health outcomes. For example, stressful conditions at work such as long hours and little supervisor support have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and depression; and shift work with increased risk of sleep disorders, obesity, and injury. These factors in turn contribute to increased absences and turnover—and increased costs for employers.

To better understand the health and environmental challenges employees face on a day-to-day basis, the research will examine Sodexo’s front-line service workers across the Boston area. The first year of the grant will focus on identifying factors in the work organization that can be feasibly modified through changes in management and organizational practices. Subsequent years will be dedicated to the implementation and evaluation of practices to improve worker quality of life based on employee feedback, Sodexo policy, and evidence-based knowledge for improving health in this population.

Sodexo hopes to use the findings from this research to make industry recommendations and changes that will improve not only the quality of life of our employees, but that of a broad spectrum of employees throughout the sector.

To read the full version of the press release, please download the PDF.

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