The present study examines the impact of health-oriented leadership (HoL) on health outcomes of police officers. HoL refers to leaders’ health-specific orientation toward followers and includes behavioural as well as motivational and cognitive aspects. We tested whether HoL has a direct effect on police officers’ mental and physical health and whether this relationship is mediated by work-related health behaviours of the officers themselves. Data were collected at a large urban police department in Germany (n = 811). Results indicate that HoL is negatively related to levels of burnout, depression and physical complaints among police officers and is positively related to their state of well-being. The relationship between leadership and well-being was partially mediated by the officers’ own health-related behaviours, indicating that HoL also affects followers’ well-being by promoting health-related self-care at work. The results emphasize the importance of leadership for follower health and provide valuable information for leadership development in the context of police work.
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