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Active workplaces make sense
Workplaces are very important settings to promote healthy living and the integration of physical activity into daily living. Healthy workplace environments will result in direct health benefits for workers and economic gains for the organization.
Numerous research studies have shown that the workplace has powerful effect on the health of workers including:
n Improved productivity.
n Fewer insurance and worker compensation claims.
n Reduced absenteeism.
n Decreased accidents.
n Reduced staff turnover.
n Positive staff attitudes and higher staff morale.
To remain competitive, employers must respond to issues affecting employee morale and job satisfaction issues such as levels of stress and the need to maintain an appropriate work/life balance in todays high-paced work environment.
Most organizations in the province can anticipate increased pressure on benefits programs if their workforces do not remain healthy. The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that physically active employees take 27 per cent fewer days of sick leave, which means that creating or increasing access to physical activity opportunities would lower benefits costs.
There is significant evidence that these small investments can pay substantial dividends. For example, BC Hydro estimates that it reduced its sick leave costs annually by $1.2 million as a result of physical activity initiatives.
Vancouver International Airport reports that their wellness program has been a contributing factor to reductions in absenteeism rates among bargaining unit employees (hours lost through short and long term disability fell by 42 per cent between 1999 and 2001).
The GetActive! Penticton initiative is focused on increasing physical activity levels in Penticton by 20 per cent by 2010 through a collaborative community based approach. An integral part of the initiative is a workplace wellness component. We are hosting an Active Workplace Workshop delivered by the B.C. Recreation and Parks Association and would like to extend an invitation to Penticton businesses or organizations to attend.
The workshop will review an Active Workplace Workbook which includes relevant tools and templates to assist governmental, not-for-profit and private sector organizations in developing the physical activity component of their overall workplace wellness initiatives.
The concepts, elements and suggested practices should ensure that your workplace is able to implement and sustain a physical activity program.
The Active Workplace Workshop will take place Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The workshop is free, with a catered lunch included.
To register for the workshop e-mail
Thank you for helping us to create a healthier Penticton in which physical activity is valued and everyone participates daily.