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Study Finds Wellbeing And Injury Connection

New research has established the links between aspects of diminished wellbeing and on-farm injuries.

The study, commissioned by rural wellbeing initiative Farmstrong, asked 500 farmers receiving ACC to quantify the extent to which different aspects of diminished wellbeing had contributed to their accident.

The results were telling – well over half - 58% - reported that an aspect of diminished wellbeing had contributed to their accident.

And nearly a quarter (24%) identified diminished wellbeing as a 'major' contributor to their injury. The study found that 30% of ACC farmer claim costs had a major diminished wellbeing link.

The most mentioned contributing factors were: fatigue/exhaustion; lack of sleep;not coping with theups and downs of farming;needing a break from the farm and having too much to do and not enough time.

On the positive side, the study also found that farmers who had ever engaged in Farmstrong were less likelythan others to report diminished wellbeing being a ‘major’ contributor to a more serious injury where the injury had a moderate or major impact on their ability to work.

Farmstrong helps farmers cope with the ups and downs of farming by sharing things farmers can do to look after themselves and manage stress and pressure through its website www.farmstrong.co.nz

- and at workshops and community events.

Last year, over 18,000 farmers, growers and farmer workers were involved in the initiative. An annual survey in 2019 of farmers and growers (most of whom were owners) found 20% (10,000) attributed some level of improvement in their wellbeing to Farmstrong, with 10% reporting a ‘moderate’ to ‘large’ improvement.

Farmstrong’s Ambassador Sam Whitelock says: “I know from having grown up on a farm that farmers are great at looking after their stock and pasture but, sometimes, not so good at looking after themselves. It’s awesome hearing about the number of people that Farmstrong is touching and I know there are many more people out there we can help.”

Farmstrong is a not–for-profit, community give-back, founded by rural insurer Farmers Mutual Group (FMG) and the Mental Health Foundation (MHF). ACC joined as a strategic partner in 2016 and recently renewed its support.

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