In the news: Three inexpensive tweaks companies can make to work conditions to foster improved employee well-being

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Researcher Erin Kelly, PhD, contributes findings from the Work and Well-Being Initiative, a Harvard and MIT collaboration, in this piece in FastCompany. Kelly highlights the practices—served up in the form of an employer toolkit on the Initiative’s website—that are based on three principles that can be applied across a spectrum of employment sectors. These principles and the toolkit itself also received a mention in the post “Protecting Employee Health in…

“A Changed World of Work”: The Boston Globe reports on how business leaders are preparing to meet workers’ emerging priorities


The recently launched Work and Well-Being Initiative website, a joint effort by Harvard and MIT researchers, received a mention in this article in The Boston Globe. The employer toolkit, a publicly available “blueprint” the details steps that employers can take to create a work environment aimed at improving the health and well-being of their workers, was specifically referenced… It identifies specific changes in three categories: taming excessive work demands, allowing…

Many chain restaurants found to change their behavior in response to menu labeling mandate, and roll out lower calorie items

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Opting for newer items on the menu of your favorite chain restaurant may be the best choice if you are calorie conscious. A study published in JAMA Network Open that included nearly 60 of the largest US chain restaurants reveals that the menu items that were introduced after a calorie labeling policy was implemented (the law was enforced starting in May, 2018) had about 25% fewer calories than the already…

Call for applications: The Sissela Bok Ethics and Population Research Prize

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We are pleased to announce that the call for applications is now open for the Sissela Bok Ethics and Population Research Prize. The $5,000 prize will be awarded in the form of a research/travel grant to a Harvard doctoral student, postdoctoral fellow, or full-time, untenured faculty member who has incorporated ethical considerations into his/her population science research. The deadline to apply is January 14, 2022.  

AJPH salutes “Workplace Redesign for the 21st Century” in this webinar featuring Lisa Berkman

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The October issue of the American Journal of Public Health included the publication “Work Redesign for the 21st Century: Promising Strategies for Enhancing Worker Well-Being,” which coincided with the launch of a companion website and employer toolkit. Tune in to this cast, hosted AJPH and inspired by the “Work Redesign” publication, that features Lisa Berkman talking about work as a key modifiable social determinant of health, especially in light of…

Research Scientist Elyse Jennings named Director of Research at Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

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It is with great pleasure that we announce that our Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, PhD, has agreed to take on a senior leadership role here at the Harvard Pop Center and serve as our director of research. Elyse joined us in 2016 as a research associate and was promoted to research scientist over two years ago. In her new role as director of research, she will leverage her training and…

Work and Well-Being Initiative researchers publish op-ed in Harvard Business Review

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Erin L. Kelly, Lisa F. Berkman, Laura D. Kubzansky, and Meg Lovejoy have published an op-ed in the Harvard Business Review that distills the findings of a research review and the resulting “work design for health” framework and employer toolkit (made available to the public on the website) down to “7 Strategies to Improve Your Employees’ Health and Well-Being.”

Introducing our three new Bell Fellows!

Three new Bell Fellows_2021_2023 cohort

We are so pleased to welcome— and introduce— the three new David E. Bell Fellows that comprise the 2021-2023 cohort. These fellows, who have academic backgrounds in disciplines ranging from epidemiology, to demography and sociology, will enrich our collaborative community here at the Harvard Pop Center, while they strive to advance population health science research. Brittney Butler holds a doctorate in epidemiology from The Ohio State University, and an MPH…

“Work Design for Health” framework & toolkit developed by researchers offers employers effective alternative to employee wellness programs

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Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, Research Program Director Meg Lovejoy, PhD, and their colleagues at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, have developed and released a public-facing website that features a toolkit that employers can use to invest in the health and happiness of their workforce. The launch of the site, which features the Work Design for Health approach…