Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 2 2008, page 13-29.
Workplace health promotion
A new catalyst for empowerment in work?
Annette Kamp og Klaus T. Nielsen
Health promotion plays an increasing
role in health policy. Wherever we
turn, we are met by requests to change our
way of living in order to become ‘healthy
persons’. Health promotion is also being
brought onto the agenda of the workplace.
In this context, health promotion has been
received reluctantly, as it is conceived of
as a strongly individualistic approach to
health, compared to the approach that is
constituted by OHS.
However, during the last years, a new
concept of Workplace Health Promotion
(WHP) has been developed; a concept
that attempts to overcome the contradictions
between individual and collective approaches
to health. This article investigates
the social shaping of this concept of WHP,
and presents an analysis of the understanding
of health that it is based on, and the
way it constitutes employees, management
In addition, we present future scenarios
for WHP and discuss if WHP will end up
as just another fringe benefit used in Human
Ressource Management, or if it may be
a catalyst for new attempts to promote empowerment