08:33 pm, Thursday 8 August, 2013
A new Workplace for Wellness Program for Queensland workers was launched on Wednesday at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.
The Workplace for Wellness Program will include a new website which provides useful resources including templates, tools, ideas and tips to assist Queensland businesses in developing and managing a sustainable workplace wellness program.
The program, which aims to empower, inspire and guide Queensland employers to support their workers to maintain a healthy lifestyle will focus on addressing the high rates of chronic disease in Queensland and supporting 2 million Queensland adults at work.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, smoking and too much alcohol consumption can cause harm to people. He said more than 24,000 Queenslanders die from a chronic disease each year, with 91 percent happening in the state.
“The good news is that a healthy workplace can help reduce an individual’s chances of developing many chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes by supporting workers to be active, reduce stress, quit smoking and eat healthy. There are plenty of Queensland employers who already provide support for their employees, by providing showers, lockers, filtered water and flexible work hours while others encourage walking meetings – meetings on the go,” he said.
“Most workplaces will find they already do things that make healthy choices easier – it’s the little things that add up. I urge all employers to make health part of their business strategy and become workplace role models for their employees, their customers and competitors.”
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland Chief Executive Officer Stephen Tait said the program was a great initiative.
“As a business owner, it is important to promote a healthy workplace and give your employees some encouragement to lead healthy lifestyles at home and at work,” Mr Tait said.
“Above all, a business with healthy employees subsequently benefits from the retention of staff, limits the number of days of sick leave taken and enhances staff productivity. We are proud to be supporters of the Workplaces for Wellness program and encourage businesses of all sizes and industries to get on board and make it part of their strategy.”
The program will recognise businesses for their commitment in improving the health and wellness of employees with a gold, silver and bronze symbol.
“Workplaces for Wellness is an opportunity for all working Queenslanders to look for ways to make their workplace healthier and encourage their own employers to participate in a workplace wellness program,” he said.