Healthy Workplaces Criteria

Multiple stakeholders from India’s IT industry and medical experts met in Bangalore on February 24, 2012, and agreed to criteria that can mark a workplace as healthy. These criteria are guidelines and companies can interpret them to suit their business cultures.  The points listed below include examples of how the criteria have been met by different Healthy Workplaces in India.

To qualify, companies must meet 80% of the following. Criteria in bold are mandatory:

Healthy Workplace Bronze Level Award

  • Tobacco Policy – Ban Tobacco Use. No smoking or use of smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products throughout the campus, in all the company’s sites.
  • Healthy Eating – Make available subsidized/affordable Healthy Foods, with NIN (National Institute of Nutrition) recommended calorie, sugar, fat and salt counts/requirements displayed in cafeteria, and in catered food/meals at every company worksite. No junk food or sugary soft drinks at meetings.
  • Physical Activity – Promote use of stairs, use of cycles within the campus. Provide walk paths within the campus. Hold annual sports competitions and encourage employees to play team-sports after work.
  • Work Life Balance – Provide a worklife balance policy. Offer flextime to all employees. No fixed workday start and end times. Lights-out after hours to be considered appropriate.
  • Shifting Mindsets – Leadership is key to success. Management must show visible endorsement for healthy workplace campaign in CEO speeches to employees, in company emails, newsletters, at posters/signs throughout site. Initiate a Healthy Workplace communications campaign with catchy slogan in all worksites.
  • Other – Company must encourage environmental health and hygiene including safe drinking water, clean bathrooms, etc.

Healthy Workplace Silver Level Award

Bronze level criteria with 80% of the following – criteria in bold are mandatory:

  • Tobacco Policy – Company to support employees to quit tobacco by providing counseling and through the use of technology (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) to support cessation.
  • Healthy Eating – Healthy Meals should be accessible and available every day, and should be below a certain threshold (NIN recommended) of sugar, salt fat and calorie count/requirements. Food should be prepared hygienically and company to be HACCP (Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Point) certified.
  • Physical Activity – Promote and offer access to yoga programs.
  • Work Life Balance – Set up external Employee Assistance Program/Counselling services to help employees manage stress. Allow employees to selfmanage their time.
  • Shifting Mindsets – Set up health committees comprising representatives from management, employees and invited experts (Physician, Nutritionist, Exercise Expert) to assess, plan, guide, implement and evaluate Healthy Workplace Program, especially mindset and policy changes needed for improved physical activity, diet, reduced tobacco and alcohol use. Communications campaign should cover reducing salt, sugar and fat consumption. Ensure that HR and business leaders participate in wellness activities.
  • Other – Have doctor/nurse on site or on call. Encourage annual health checkups for employees. Greater awareness of ergonomics and healthy posture among employees.

Healthy Workplace Gold Level Award

Bronze Plus Silver level criteria plus 80% of the following – criteria in bold are mandatory:

  • Tobacco Policy – Company to help employees quit tobacco by reimbursing nicotine replacement therapy and other treatments (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) to support cessation.
  • Healthy Eating – Foods in company cafeterias should have no transfats and strictly adhere to other NIN recommended nutritional guidelines. Company should support exercise and weight loss programs.
  • Physical Activity – Free gym on campus or highly discounted admission to external gyms. Give gym, cycling or walk breaks during working hours, and 23 days a week.
  • Work Life Balance – Employee Satisfaction Surveys should show an uptick in employee perceptions of worklife balance.
  • Shifting Mindsets – Include employee work-life balance in managers’ appraisals/scorecards. Motivate entire teams by rewarding health goals achievement of the team. Have change agents/ambassadors to champion healthy workplaces within company. Consider incentivizing change agents.
  • Other – Evaluate impact of workplace wellness investment and quality of the programs. Emphasize awareness of women’s health issues among employees.

Healthy Workplace Platinum Level Award

In 2016, Arogya World initiated a new Platinum Award level to increase the emphasis on health metrics tracking within companies in India.

We invite select Gold level Healthy Workplaces to send us metrics for 2-3 years to helped assess Leadership, health trends and employee satisfaction, as well as the effectiveness of employee health programs. We also ask for metrics and participation in mental health and community health programs. Working with these companies and global consultants and advisors, and after much analysis, we arrive at meaningful ways to measure productivity and calculate cost-effectiveness and value on investment. This is pioneering public health activity in India and will yield business benefits that can be used as powerful arguments for increased investment in workplace health. For information on how to apply to be a Platinum-level Healthy Workplace in India, contact Dr. Geeta Bharadwaj at