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In a nutshell, Australians spend approximately 1/3 of their adult life at work, meaning workplaces play a pivotal role in the physical, mental, economic and social wellbeing of workers 1

Australia is currently facing an increase in preventable chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancers. The increase is largely due to a range of risk factors, including levels of overweight and obesity, fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity levels, smoking, alcohol intake and stress 2

Workplaces offer great potential to reach many people who otherwise might not respond to health messages, access health screening and services, or have time to make positive changes to their lifestyle 3

By implementing healthy work policies and initiatives, employee healthy lifestyle changes promise extensive short and long-term benefits, including increased employee engagement and cohesiveness, improved social and emotional wellbeing, decreased absenteeism and staff turnover and increased productivity and corporate image 4

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  1. World Health Organisation (2007) ‘Workers’ Health Global Plan of Action’, Sixtieth World Health Assembly, [online], [2009, October 16]

  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Australia’s health 2012. Australia’s health series no.13. Cat. no. AUS 156. Canberra: AIHW

  3. Sims, J. Right Management, 2010. Wellness and Productivity Management. Presentation to the Health and Productivity Management Congress 2010 

  4. Hooper P, Bull F, 2009. Healthy Active Workplaces: review of evidence and rationale for workplace health, Department of Sport and Recreation, Western Australian Government: Perth