What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

Active recess

Establish a break from the school day, typically before lunch, that involves planned, inclusive, actively supervised games or activities; also called semi-structured, or structured recess

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Activity programs for older adults

Offer group educational, social, or physical activities that promote social interactions, regular attendance, and community involvement among older adults

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise, Family and Social Support

Administrative license suspension/revocation laws

Enable law enforcement officials to take an individual’s drivers license when that individual refuses or fails a chemical test such as a breathalyzer

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Adult vocational training

Support acquisition of job-specific skills through education, certification programs, or on-the-job training, often with personal development resources and other supports

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Employment

Advocacy for victims of intimate partner violence

Work to empower victims of intimate partner violence, help them with safety plans, and link them with community services (e.g., legal, housing, financial advice, emergency shelter, etc.)

Evidence Rating:
Insufficient Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Affordable housing tax increment financing (TIF)

Create designated tax districts that generate revenue to invest in affordable housing initiatives, blight remediation, and economic development efforts

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit

Alcohol access restrictions in public places

Restrict alcohol availability and use at sporting events, other public events (e.g., concerts and street fairs) and in public spaces such as parks and beaches

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcohol advertising restrictions

Restrict the content and placement of alcohol advertisements via local ordinances, state laws, or industry self-regulation

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcohol brief interventions

Provide information and increase motivation to change or prevent problematic alcohol consumption in a short session; also called alcohol screening & brief intervention

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcohol days of sale restrictions

Limit the days alcohol can be sold in on-premise settings such as bars and restaurants or in off-premise outlets such as liquor and convenience stores; sometimes with limits to times of sale

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcohol outlet density restrictions

Use regulatory authority to reduce density of alcohol beverage outlets (i.e., places that sell alcohol) or limit increases in the density of such outlets

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Alcohol taxes

Increase the price of alcohol via regular adjustments to taxes levied for beer, wine, and liquor purchases

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Allied dental professional scope of practice

Expand the role of allied dental professionals (e.g., hygienists, therapists, etc.) via changes to statute, dentist supervision requirements, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care

Alternative fuels initiatives

Support alternative fuel and vehicle use via financial incentives (e.g., tax benefits, rebates, etc.), mandates (e.g., consumption targets or renewable fuel standards), research and development investments, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Air and Water Quality

Alternative high schools for at-risk students

Provide educational and social services in an alternative setting for students at-risk of dropping out of traditional high schools

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Attendance interventions for chronically absent students

Support interventions that provide chronically absent students with resources to improve self-esteem, social skills, etc. and address familial and school-related factors that can contribute to poor attendance

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Automated speed enforcement cameras

Use devices such as speed cameras, laser devices, radar, etc. to enforce speed limits; devices can be permanent fixtures or be used manually by law enforcement officers

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Housing and Transit, Community Safety

Ban the Box

Prohibit criminal history questions on job applications and postpone background checks

Evidence Rating:
Mixed Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Employment

Behavioral health primary care integration

Revise health care processes and provider roles to integrate mental health and substance abuse treatment into primary care; continue to refer patients with severe conditions to specialty care

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care

Behavioral interventions to prevent HIV and other STIs

Use individual, group, and community-level interventions to provide education, support, and training that can affect social norms about HIV and other STIs

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity