Keep Your Workplace Moving
How to better manage OHS and preventable health risks at work
Whether you’re an office worker, plumber, nurse or teacher, more and more Australians are suffering from workplace health issues that may reduce their productivity and impact their quality of life. The statistics show us that workplace health challenges cost the Australian economy millions of dollars while impacting our wellbeing and health, both physical, emotional and mental.
This blog post takes a look at some of those statistics so that you can get a better understanding of how health risks at work may be impacting your organisation.
Health risks – the statistics
According to The Australian Industry Group’s ‘Absenteeism & Presenteeism Survey Report 2015’, absenteeism from work (due to health concerns or injury) costs the Australian economy more than $44 billion per year1. Additionally, the four most expensive disease groups – chronic cardiovascular diseases, oral health, mental disorders and musculoskeletal disorders – equate to 36% of all allocated health expenditure2.
Health concerns such as mental disorders (depression, anxiety, self-esteem) and musculoskeletal disorders (lower back pain, headaches, neck pain) are common and found in almost all workplaces throughout the country.
In 2015, The Workplace Health Association of Australia (WHAA) released findings that show us that “preventable health risks are widespread across all occupational sectors”3 and that musculoskeletal conditions are one of the leading causes of chronic pain (pain that persists longer than three months) and disability in Australia.4
The average Australian worker is stressed, overweight, unfit and has a cholesterol or blood pressure problem, new findings show5.
According to The Health Profile of Australian Employees report, produced by the WHAA and which analysed the health characteristics of almost 30,000 workers, there is a real need for urgent and preventative action to tackle these issues.
Improving workplace health
The scope and scale of workplace health risks is defined, as we have just shown. The question now is what can we do about the workplace health risks?
Have you defined the scope and scale of your workplace health and safety program? Does your program take into account productivity, activity levels and wellbeing?
There are lots of resources available that help you in identifying, assessing and controlling OHS issues, such as the Safe Work Australia website. But what about risks associated with wellbeing, mental disorders and musculoskeletal disorders?
You need to consider the following areas6:
- Health and wellbeing
- The work environment
- Disease and illness
- Lifting, pushing and pulling
We know that as a society we have become more sedentary in recent times. For those of us who work behind a computer or sit down all day, we simply aren’t getting enough exercise.
We need to keep moving, both in the workplace and at home.
We know that our health is intricately linked with our productivity at work; with strong evidence to show that good employee health boosts organisational health.
So how do we achieve this?
Achieving good health requires an investment of both time and energy. We offer corporate health and wellbeing programs that by design, energize members at all company levels. In doing so, we contribute to the creation of strategic benefit campaigns that nurture high-performing and satisfied results.
The key steps to improving individual health (and thereby improving organisational health) is to focus on these key areas:
- Staying active
- Improving posture and adopting better posture habits
- Focus on good ergonomic setup
- Make stretching a daily ritual, and
- Generally being proactive when it comes to health
Contact Aeonic Today
Let’s improve the health of your organisation while maximising your ROI.
- The Australian Industry Group’s ‘Absenteeism & Presenteeism Survey Report 2015’
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014 Australia’s health 2014
- Workplace Health Association Australia, 2015, Australian Workforce Overwhelmed by Preventable Health Risks
- Australian Government Department of Health, 2016 Musculoskeletal Conditions – arthritis and osteoporosis and back pain
- The Health Profile of Australian Employees report, Workplace Health Association Australia