News brief

NIOSH: Healthy lifestyles mean healthy workers

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) plans to launch a new national initiative this fall called "Steps to a HealthierUS Workforce," aimed at integrating worker healthy lifestyle promotion with the NIOSH mission of protecting and improving working conditions and work environment.

NIOSH, along with several co-sponsors, will convene a three-day symposium on the campus of the George Washington University in Washington, DC, Oct. 26-28, 2004. The initiative recognizes that workers, families, and employers share the goal of wishing to protect, preserve, and improve the health of people at work.

"By bringing together the health promotion and occupational safety and health communities, we are seeking to highlight common interests and develop mutually supportive strategies for research and practice to improve worker health, safety, and well-being," said NIOSH director John Howard, MD, in making the announcement.

According to NIOSH, the symposium will:

  • Provide researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, academics, employers, and labor leaders an opportunity to share their experiences with integrated and coordinated health promotion and protection programs.
  • Assess the scientific basis for integrated approaches and suggest future directions for relevant research and improved practice.
  • Explore economic issues related to the interrelationships among work, health, health care needs, and productivity.
  • Highlight successful programs, practices, and policies of protection and promotion resulting in improved health for people at work.

NIOSH is identifying organizations interested in contributing to this new initiative by participating in agenda development, outreach, and publicity and assisting in follow-up activities. For more about the initiative, e-mail Tanya Headley at For additional information, visit the STEPS to a HealthierUS Workforce web site: