Commuters tell bosses they want health programs

by FM Media
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A recent survey of Sydney train commuters has found most want their bosses to provide health checks and programs to get them more active during the day.

The survey, conducted by the NSW Government’s ‘Get healthy at work’ program, asked 1500 commuters at train stations across Sydney and the Central Coast whether their workplace could benefit from health checks and strategies to get them moving more at work.

Almost two thirds of respondents said their workplace could benefit from a workplace health program that included health checks, advice on healthy eating and ways to get more active in the workplace.

‘Get healthy at work’ is the NSW Government’s free workplace health service that provides businesses with tools and support on healthy eating, weight and physical activity, which includes free confidential health checks for workers.

Professor Chris Rissel of the NSW office of preventive health, urges bosses to consider the program, which has already helped more than 2,000 businesses statewide to get healthier.

“The ‘Get healthy at work’ program gives workplaces resources to help improve workers’ health,” Rissel says. “Businesses receive support from accredited service providers who assist in developing a health program tailored to their workplace and confidential health checks for workers.

“The findings of this survey show that workers want their employers to provide health programs that help them make healthier eating choices, manage their weight better and improve their physical fitness.”

Rissel adds that being healthy at work can help reduce the prevalence of lifestyle-related chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

“’Get healthy at work’ research has found that businesses with unhealthy staff* are two-and-a-half times more likely to experience high rates of absenteeism, which can add $50,000 to a business’s costs over five years,” Rissel says.

“There is also mounting evidence to support the benefits of workplace health programs, including increased staff recruitment and retention, reduced sick days and greater productivity.”

Lido Group is one business that has used ‘Get healthy at work’ as part of its recruitment and retention strategy and has seen a 70 percent reduction in staff turnover in the twelve months since it began the program.

“You need to ensure that ‘Get healthy at work’ becomes a part of the business, part of your staff development, retention and development and staff attraction program,” Lido CEO Steve Mackenzie says.

2017 ‘Get healthy at work’ commuter survey results:

  • 62 percent agreed their colleagues could benefit from a free workplace health program
  • 60 percent agreed their workplace could benefit from having individual health checks
  • 68 percent agreed they should be more active during the work day
  • 44 percent agreed their workplace could benefit from enabling staff to make healthier meal choices
  • 47 percent agreed their workplace could benefit from workplace health policies.

*An ‘unhealthy’ business is based on self-reported health of the business or staff members as commented on by HR or a business decision maker.

Image copyright: jagcz / 123RF Stock Photo

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