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 1,500 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 and advice on healthy eating and ways to get more active in the workplace.
The Get Healthy at Work Program 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, NSW Office of Preventive Health urged 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,” Mr Rissel said.
“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.”
Mr Rissel added 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 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,” Mr Rissel said.
“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 per cent 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 said.
2017 Get Healthy at Work commuter survey results:
- 62 per cent agreed their colleagues could benefit from a free workplace health program
- 60 per cent agreed their workplace could benefit from having individual health checks
- 68 per cent agreed they should be more active during the work day
- 44 per cent agreed their workplace could benefit from enabling staff to make healthier meal choices
- 47 per cent agreed their workplace could benefit from workplace health policies.