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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Globalization and Health 1/2018

Workplace wellness programming in low-and middle-income countries: a qualitative study of corporate key informants in Mexico and India

Globalization and Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Heather Wipfli, Kristin Dessie Zacharias, Nuvjote (Nivvy) Hundal, Luz Myriam Reynales Shigematsu, Deepika Bahl, Monika Arora, Shalini Bassi, Shubha Kumar



A qualitative study of key informant semi-structured interviews were conducted between March and July 2016 in Mexico and India to achieve the following aims: to explore corporations’ and stakeholders’ views, attitudes and expectations in relation to health, wellness and cancer prevention in two middle-income countries, and to determine options for health professions to advance their approach to workplace wellness programming globally, including identifying return-on-investment incentives for corporations to implement wellness programming.


There is an unmet demand for workplace wellness resources that can be used by corporations in an international context. Corporations in India and Mexico are already implementing a range of health-related wellness programs, most often focused on disease prevention and management. A number of companies indicated interest is collecting return on investment data but lacked the knowledge and tools to carry out return-on-investment analyses. There was widespread interest in partnership with international non-governmental organizations (public health organizations) and a strong desire for follow-up among corporations interviewed, particularly in Mexico.


As low-and middle-income countries continue to undergo economic transitions, the workforce and disease burden continue to evolve as well. Evidence suggests a there is a growing need for workplace wellness initiatives in low-and middle-income countries. Results from this study suggest that while corporations in India and Mexico are implementing wellness programming in some capacity, there are three areas where corporations could greatly benefit from assistance in improving wellness programming in the workplace: 1) innovative toolkits for workplace wellness initiatives and technical support for adaptation, 2) assistance with building partnerships to help implement wellness initiatives and build capacity, and 3) tools and training to collect data for surveillance as well as monitoring and evaluation of wellness programs.
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