Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace

Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace

Anna Thrushel is now a fit and active care aide. However, a year and a half ago she was tired, exhausted and overweight.

Initially, Anna was turned down for the role of care aide because she could not pass the functional capacity test. The supervisor then put her in touch with the company’s corporate health and wellbeing coordinator. After an assessment, a custom designed a program was made specifically for Anna that included, swimming, weight training, stationary bike riding, stretching and walking. With his recommendations, Anna joined a gym and followed the program for three months when she was finally able to pass the functional capacity test.

Caring for Employees

Caring for people is the crux of heath and care organisations, fitness classes for employees, from outdoor boxing to yoga to lunchtime walking programs are being created by in-house professionals, as well as health checks and healthy lifestyle sessions.

Understanding Employees’ Health

According to Debra King, an associate professor at the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS), Flinders University, health and wellbeing initiatives in the workplace can have a positive impact on employees, even those who do not take part in the programs.

King explains that you are more likely to reflect on your health when your company takes health and wellness seriously. Having someone around who can give you a check-up will make you think about your fitness regimen.

In 2007 and 2012 King was involved in the aged care workforce census conducted by NILS. At the Tristate conference in February, she presented the latest results, which showed that 90% of respondents reported good or excellent health. Furthermore, those who have been with the company for twelve months or less are healthier than longer-term employees.

According to 2012 survey results, the current workforce is older and ageing. Because of this, employers must find ways to keep their workers healthy and in shape. King explained that employers must cater to the older workforce and help them cope with the physical demands of caring for the elderly.

The most common injuries are sprains and strains to the muscles and cuts or open wounds. Most of these injuries are caused by pushing, pulling, lifting and bending.

Prolonging Careers

Another company who is prioritising health and well being is the ACH Group. The company’s General Manager, Jane Mussared, explained that the organisation wants its workforce to sustain their careers and be as healthy as possible.

Realising the most common injuries to care staff, the company conducted research about exercises that will benefit and assist staff prior to engaging in manual tasks. ACH group has also set up grants to fund programs for employee health and wellness, in addition to many classes over a variety of subjects - healthy eating, weight loss, sleep apnea, exercise, yoga and massage.

Many organisations understand the value of having a healthy workforce, and it is only a matter of time before many more jump on board.

DearJane Medical

Health & Medical In Chatswood , New South Wales