Chronic diseases and health promotion

Part Four - Taking action: essential steps for success

Chapter Two - The private sector, civil society and international organizations

Private sector. Spotlight: Mobility India

Workplace health programmes

Workplace initiatives to make healthy behaviour easier to achieve help to reduce people's risk of developing chronic diseases, while also benefiting employers. Most adults spend a significant portion of their time in a work environment and are often surrounded by peers who may influence their behaviour and attitudes.

Many interventions and programmes can be effectively implemented with limited resources and significant benefits to employees and employers, as illustrated by the Mobility India example (see spotlight, left). Healthy foods can be offered, workplaces and ventilation systems kept clean and tobacco-free, assistive devices installed, and physical activity promoted. Once basic programmes and options have been implemented or if more resources are available, employers can move on to initiate medium-term and long-term initiatives.


Mobility India was established in 1994 to promote mobility in people with disabilities through awareness creation, advocacy, research, services, and integration of people with disabilities into society. Mobility India created the Millennium Building on Disability – the Mobility India Rehabilitation Research & Training Centre – as a model building to influence other organizations working in the field of disability and chronic conditions, and to increase understanding of accessibility issues. The building is friendly to all types of disabilities, and 40% of the staff have a disability.

Major features of the building include adequate ramps; Braille signs; tile floors with varied surfaces to guide people with visual impairments; accessible bathrooms, switchboards, and washbasins; a lift with auditory signals and an extra-sensitive door sensor; adequate and earmarked parking spaces; highly accessible hallways and workspaces with furniture kept in unchanged locations; and contrasting colour schemes and natural light for people with low vision.

The fact that Mobility India staff with personal experience of disabilities and chronic conditions are working in an accessible building has created a productive environment in which to work with confidence and dignity (Mobility India. (