VicHealth's Creating Healthy Workplaces Program partners with Victoria's foremost researchers, business and industry to promote health and prevent illness.
The program is building a body of knowledge about how to promote good health and prevent chronic disease in the workplace.
It specifically focuses on identifying best practice approaches for addressing stress, gender inequality, alcohol-related harm, race-based discrimination and prolonged sitting at work.
A healthy workplace promotes the physical, mental, economic and social wellbeing of its employees, and in turn the health of their families, communities and society.
A healthy workplace is one where employers and employees, together with a supportive workplace environment, work in partnership to create and sustain good health.
Workplaces can harm physical and mental health or they can be places that nurture good health. Most people spend a lot of time at work and if employees are healthy and happy, it’s good for them, their colleagues and their families.
A healthy workplace is also good for business. Research shows that when organisations make positive changes to create a healthier workplace, the company reaps big benefits – with less staff off sick, higher productivity, and a happier and more committed workforce.
The Creating Healthy Workplaces Program, valued at $3 million over the next three years, has funded five large-scale pilot projects in Victorian workplaces to develop and test solutions for promoting good health and preventing chronic disease.
Thousands of Victorian employees will participate in the pilot projects, led by Victoria’s foremost researchers in workplace health. The three-year pilot projects will result in new evidence and knowledge about effective approaches to promoting good health and preventing chronic disease in the workplace. The knowledge generated by the pilot projects will be used to develop practical resources and tools that all Victorian workplaces can use to promote health.
1. Preventing workplace stress
Melbourne University and Deakin University are working together with the Victoria Police and Eastern Access Community Health to develop and test a range of tailored, needs-based approaches to stress prevention.
2. Reducing prolonged sitting
Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and the Commonwealth Department of Human Services are designing, implementing and evaluating strategies to reduce prolonged sitting in office staff in SMART call centres.
3. Preventing violence against women
The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society are working in partnership with the YMCA to develop and trial strategies that promote equal relationships between men and women, increase women’s representation and leadership in the workplace and create a positive, respectful and equitable culture and working conditions.
An overview of the YMCA-developed Y Respect Gender Project was presented at the Population Health Congress 2012.
4. Preventing race-based discrimination and supporting cultural diversity
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will design and deliver a range of approaches targeting all levels of the workplace, to build the evidence on how to effectively prevent race-based discrimination and support cultural diversity in the workplace.
5. Reducing alcohol-related harm
LeeJenn Health Consultants, the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction and South East Business Networks are working with the Victorian manufacturing industry to develop new and innovative approaches to reducing alcohol-related harm in the workplace.