Health Literacy

Last updated: June 30, 2018

What Does Health Literacy Mean?

Health literacy is a person's ability to gain access to health information, understand health information, and make good decisions about his or her own health. Health literacy is a way of measuring how much an employee understands about his or her own health situation. Employers often seek to increase employee health literacy as part of their workplace wellness programs as high health literacy in employees leads to healthier employees, which can reduce the number of sick days taken and insurance costs.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Health Literacy

Health literacy, how well an employee understands his or her own health situation, is vital in the workplace. Employees with low health literacy often continue in behaviors that adversely affect their own health (and their productivity in the workplace). For example, a diabetic who doesn't understand that potatoes contain high amounts of carbohydrates and should be moderated just like other high sugar food, could be said to have a low health literacy and will continue to experience blood sugar swings that they do not understand.

By including programs to increase employee health literacy in the workplace, often as part of the workplace wellness program, employers improve the health of their workforce, lower health-related costs, and improve productivity.


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