Victorian workplace health probed
Researchers from the La Trobe Rural Health School have joined the Victorian Department of Health and Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS) to investigate workplace health promotion strategies at three local organisations.
Jimmy Possum, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank and the Loddon Shire are well known in central Victoria for their dedication to employee health and wellbeing.
‘The Victorian Department of Health has asked us to work with the Department of Public Health in Bendigo to gather information on workplace health programs at these exemplary local workplaces,’ said Dr Virginia Dickson-Swift, a public health researcher from La Trobe Rural Health School.
‘We are hoping that what we discover will shape workplace health policies Victoria wide in the future. It’s an exciting project because it has the potential to benefit the health of all Victorian workers.’
Bendigo Community Health Service is an important part of the partnership project. They currently provide work health checks in many local workplaces.
‘Work health checks involve blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose screening as well as waist measurements. Together these measures warn about health risks for chronic conditions like diabetes,’ Dr Dickson-Swift said.
The Bendigo Community Health team, led by Kaye Graves, also has expertise in delivering workplace health promotion programs like quit smoking and healthy eating.
The research is part of a Council of Australian Governments initiative into employee wellbeing. The Commonwealth Government has committed $289.4 million in funding to States and Territories over the next four years to deliver healthy living programs in workplaces.
The Commonwealth Government has set aside an additional $5 million over four years to deliver a Healthy Workplace charter, a health promoting workplace awards scheme, and nationally agreed standards for workplace prevention programs.
The research team from La Trobe is currently interviewing staff and managers from the three participating organisations. Final findings from the study are expected by the end of the year.
Dr Virginia Dickson-Swift,
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