Launch of Workplace Health and Wellbeing Service

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info@newrytimes.com
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
Community
The Public Health Agency (PHA) has launched a new initiative to work with employers to promote better health at work. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Three organisations have been chosen to deliver the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Service, which will engage small, medium and large businesses to commit to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of employees within the workplace. Health Matters NI will roll out the programme in Belfast, Southern and South Eastern trust areas, Derry Healthy Cities will engage companies in the Western area, and NI Chest Heart and Stroke in the Northern area. Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the PHA, said, “We spend a large portion of our day in work, so it is crucial that we take a whole-day approach to health and wellbeing and don’t treat it as something that only needs to be thought of outside of work hours. “The roll out of this service means that businesses will be able to access support through the providers and will be able to engage with their workers to improve health and wellbeing through programmes such as help to stop smoking, weight loss programmes, mental health awareness training, health checks measuring blood pressure and risk of developing diabetes, cancer screening, alcohol awareness sessions, lunch time exercise programmes and cycle to work schemes. He added, “It is our aim to see the difference made to employees in the workplace having a wider reach, benefitting their families and communities.”
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July 2016Businesses who engage with the service will be able to get help with carrying out staff surveys to assess needs of employees and training workplace health champions. Dr Rooney continued, “It is not all down to the employers however, as there are many things that we can be doing individually to improve our health at work. Simple things like taking the stairs rather than using the lift, getting up and going to speak to someone rather than sending an email, or maybe travelling to a meeting a short distance away by walking or cycling rather than taking a car or taxi, can enable us to build better health into our day. “If you do sit at a desk it can be all too easy to snack throughout the day. Choosing healthier options such as a piece of fruit rather than a chocolate bar, or water rather than a fizzy drink, can have a big improvement over time on our health.” The Workplace Health and Wellbeing Service will receive investment of £462,000 over three years and will reach over 200 new businesses annually across all five Health and Social Care Trust areas. A website – www.healthatworkni.com – has been developed where employers and employees can find a host of resources and advice on a healthier working environment.

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