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Nine 2 five health

Champion a healthy life

Posted by: Julie Meek

We're all aware of the problem.

Australia’s increasing weight and health epidemic is certainly no secret, with experts and the media constantly reminding us of the need to get active and eat better.

And there's no doubt the social and financial costs are mounting for business and individuals alike.

At Healthier Workplace WA we're regularly talking and writing about how a workplace can greatly assist in enabling healthy life choices, improve productivity and profit, and reduce workplace stress amongst others.

OK, thats all well and good I hear you say - "I want to my workplace to be healthier, I understand the issues and benefits but I'm not in a decision making position at my workplace, what can I do to influence change?"

Well, the truth is, you can do plenty.

First of all you can convince your management that there are many locally-based companies that are doing something about helping their workers to be healthier and seeing benefits as a result.

One such company is Myaree-based ENJO.

Barb de Corti launched the business 20 years ago and now employs 50 staff in various roles including warehousing, transport, sales, event management, marketing, administration and customer support.

As an avid cyclist and runner, Barb believes her own habits and behaviours can influence those of her company and employees.

"I believe as an employer I have a duty of care to look after the health and wellbeing of the people who help me run ENJO. It’s a thank you for the hard work they put in and makes for a positive and productive environment to work in," de Corti said.

As part of their workplace health program the ENJO team has access to fitness classes on site three times per week, health checks, and team building activities based around fitness and healthy food.

And with the program proving very successful there are no plans to change anything anytime soon.

As well as ENJO, you can mention to management that there are many other WA firms that are becoming very active in promoting workplace health.

Steel Blue Footwear, Transmin, and Brierty Civil Construction are just a few of the other WA success stories.

Even if your workplace is really small, and there's no money in the kitty jar, you can still do something about improving the health of you colleagues and your workplace at the same time.

It's called becoming a Workplace Health Champion and anyone can do it.

Here are some simple steps a workplace health champion can undertake to make a workplace healthier:

 

1. Access our free Healthier Workplace WA resources for tips and suggestions

2. Talk to your boss and colleagues about starting a healthy lunch club

3. Organise fitness activities during your lunch break for your colleagues to join in

4. Encourage standing/walking meetings

5. Remove the lolly jar and the mint bowl from meeting rooms and replace with healthier options such as fruit

6. Think of other creative ways to get your workplace moving and eating better

 

You might even be able to lobby for larger scale changes such as the provision of lockers, showers and bike racks. Healthier Workplace WA grants may be able to help your workplace in this regard.

It might sound like hard work but the truth is it's very easy and the rewards such as making new work friendships and getting healthier are big incentives.

What's more, once your boss sees the productivity increase he/she will love you for it.

So, why not consider taking the initiative and starting the conversation amongst your colleagues to create a healthier workplace? Small changes do make a big difference.

Until next time...

Julie :)

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