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  • Sonja Belle

Do we "stretch" our budget to fund a corporate health program?

YES!


Corporate Health Programs assess the health and fitness of your workplace and in turn reduce Workers Compensation risk and improve your bottom line.

Corporate health is a popular topic for many companies primarily due to the rising costs associated with health care. Today, many Australian businesses have some form of wellness program ranging from lunch time sports, corporate gym memberships, seated massage, cooking classes, smoking cessation classes and manual handling training.


Research is now substantiating the cost of wellness programs as for many employers the annual increase in workers’ compensation premiums and cost outlays associated with sick leave, repeated absenteeism, poor performance, reduced productivity, low morale etc. are closely associated with employee health issues. Work based wellness programs may be the long-term answer for keeping employees fit and healthy. This service is an investment all businesses can make in their most valuable asset – their employees.


How fit are my employees?


It is well documented; a physically active lifestyle provides protection against several major chronic diseases. Many organisations are engaging companies such as Occupational Fitness Solutions to administer employee health assessments. This is so a determination can be made regarding employee fitness and health. These assessments are non compulsory with the average uptake of approximately 25%.


Such testing is useful to:


• educate participants about exercise, a healthy lifestyle and physical fitness;


• advise those participants who are assessed as medium, high or very high risk of injury

and/or disease to seek medical advice or treatment; and


• motivate sedentary individuals to exercise.


A Health Assessment is an excellent way to determine an individual’s basic fitness so they can plan the best way for them to live actively.

For the employer, through the collection of health data, potential health risks in your employee population can be identified. From here, targeted programs can be developed to address these risks that in turn can assist to manage and control associated healthcare costs.


Some Facts

• 38% of Australians die from cardiovascular illness or disease.


• 65% of males and 74% of females perform sedentary or no forms of exercise.


• 6.5 million Australians are overweight peaking among 55 – 64 years olds (59%).


• In 1998, 19,000 people died in Australia from smoking related causes.


• In 2001, 9.6% of the population (1.8 million people) reported to have a long term mental health or behavioural problem that lasted, or were expected to last, for six months.


• Alcohol is estimated to be responsible for 4.9% of the total disease burden in Australia and to generate $7.6 billion in social costs to the community per annum.

• Work injuries cost $30 billion in medical care, lost productivity and wages for Australian employers.


• 35% of Australians report having a significant level of distress in their lives; 26% of Australians report above normal levels of anxiety symptoms; 26% of Australians report having moderate to extremely severe levels of depression symptoms;


• Every day in Australia, 380 workers suffer work-related injuries or disease in which they receive workers’ compensation.


The average price of a comprehensive on site health assessment is $150 per employee. Health rebates may be applicable.


For more information please contact Occupational Fitness Solutions on 9380 6793 or email sonja@occupationalfitnesssolutions.com.au




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