A healthy workplace is one where workers and managers collaborate to continually improve the health, safety and wellbeing of all workers and by doing this, sustain the productivity of the business (World Health Organisation, 2009).
Given we spend one third of our lives at work, the working environment can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions that can cause injury and illness, but an abundance of health promoting ones (WHO, 2010).
Workplace health and wellbeing programs take into consideration the impacts that the work environment and the type of work can have on the health of workers, and provide activities or initiatives that are designed to make healthy choices the easy choice for workers.
An Effective Workplace Health and Wellbeing Program
An effective workplace health and wellbeing program simultaneously addresses individual, environmental and organisational factors affecting worker wellbeing.
Healthy People (individual factors): focusses on individual needs such as improving access to health services and information, as well as building the knowledge and skills of workers to adopt healthy lifestyles (e.g. offering free flu vaccinations).
Healthy Places (environmental factors): provide a physical work environment that supports healthy choices and offers resources to actively encourage healthy behaviour (e.g. bike racks and/or shower facilities).
Healthy Vision (organisational factors): active commitment of management and business practises and policies support and encourage healthy behaviours (e.g. flexible work or smoke-free policies).
Effective workplace health and wellbeing programs can have a positive impact on worker productivity and performance as well as the health and wellbeing of employees, families and communities.
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