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Wellbeing workplace programme – WorkFit - launched

Media Release: 12 February 2018

Wellbeing workplace programme – WorkFit - launched by Sport Hawke’s Bay

Hectic schedules at work, at home and in your social life can make it seem impossible to fit physical activity and healthy habits for general wellbeing in to your lifestyle and still have time for yourself. To think this needs to all be done in 7 days, week in week out can seem daunting.

In 2016, the Southern Cross Health Society reported from their Wellbeing in the Workplace Survey that stress across businesses was up by a net 22.9%, something typically known to reduce the overall wellbeing of individuals. We also know that this can cause illness which contributes to NZ businesses losing 6.6 million working days and $1.51 billion dollars due to absence of employees. What’s even more worrying to think is that 46% of Kiwi workers still turn up to work despite being sick.

We can’t remove the stress aspect altogether from the workplace, but there are a range of other options to reduce that to ensure our workforce are as healthy as they can be.

One way that Sport Hawke’s Bay is tackling some of these issues is the relaunch of its WorkFit programme with a new look, tailored to what Hawke’s Bay businesses are looking for. Previously the Green Prescription Active Families Coordinator, Oliva Mador-Puna jumped at the opportunity to lead this exciting new initiative.

“Everyone knows that healthy, active and well staff increases productivity, morale, and loyalty and decreases sick days,” said Miss Mador-Puna. “But not everyone knows where to look for a programme where people are genuinely interested in improving the overall wellbeing.”

“WorkFit will identify a way to discover a more effective and efficient method of workplace wellbeing. We will remove the barriers that enable your employees to become more active and create a positive vibe and team collaboration.”

With different options tailored to each business, WorkFit will provide three major categories that relate to the wellbeing of individuals; nutrition, movement and mind.

“The programme will offer a variety of deliverables such as; health checks, body analysis scales, cooking workshops and demonstrations, nutrition education, cycling, lunchtime movement, managing stress and tai chi just to name a few,” noted Mador-Puna. “Each plan will be designed to meet the needs of each business and the scale of employee culture and diversity.”

Both Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and Napier City Council dabbled in some of the WorkFit options as a trial in 2017 to empower their staff. Napier City Council tapped into sunrise Tai Chi with a healthy breakfast along Marine Parade in Napier every day for a week, while EIT staff have incorporated multiple aspects of our nutrition options, including meal planning and healthy snacks into their Health and Wellbeing programme.

“For the past two years, EIT has used Sport Hawkes Bay as a valuable resource for the annual Health and Wellbeing programme which we run for all EIT staff,” said Louise Bevin, EIT’s HR Advisor for Learning and Development.

“During this time, they have presented a variety of topics for our ‘Snack & Chat’ series (40-minute sessions on a particular topic held in a very informal way during the lunch period). These have involved the Active Living Advisors covering topics such as food label reading, meal planning, benefits of healthy eating, quick and easy healthy snacks, festive feasting. Plus, they have also been instrumental in running ‘physical’ sessions for staff – Tai Chi, outdoor exercise equipment use, aqua fit classes and developing home exercise circuits.”

“I was extremely appreciative of the way in which all the activities were planned and delivered by the Active Living staff. They were open to suggestions, tailored all content and delivery to our staff group as required and we will continue to use them for input to our programme. Their sessions were received very positively by staff and we certainly value having them as one of the contributors to our Health & Wellbeing programme.”

Mador-Puna ultimately see’s WorkFit improving the wellbeing of Hawke’s Bay businesses with an all-encompassing approach, including regular activity, improved nutrition and a revitalized mind.

“I would like to see the ‘norm’ in the office, for employee’s to happily head out for a lunchtime walk like writing an email without a second thought. Changing the culture of a business will be a challenge, but the benefits that reside with it are worth it!”

“With 4 years of experience working in the health sector, I am extremely passionate in promoting health and wellbeing. By building strong networks and key partners to support the WorkFit programme we look forward to enhancing active culture in businesses across Hawke’s Bay.”

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