Evidence for investing in Worker Health and Wellbeing: Benefits to Business

Workplace health and wellbeing programs can significantly improve the health of employees.  There is strong evidence that ‘multi-component interventions’ that address physical inactivity and/or nutrition are effective in improving worker health by promoting healthy eating and preventing obesity. Interventions targeting physical activity have also been shown to be effective in preventing musculoskeletal disorders such as low back pain.The Axis 12 week challenge is unique, in that it targets all components that are supported by research.  Comcare have published comprehensive evidence to support the benefits to business which can be found here.

 

The Axis 12 Week Challenge program aimed to provide participants with the opportunity to make a positive change to their lifestyle, health and wellbeing.  The onsite Physiotherapist provided each participant with an individual assessment, advice, exercise and education to achieve their own individual goals. The program also included a “step challenge” to further motivate participants to monitor steps and calories via a pedometer or Fitbit device.  Brochures were provided to arm participants with the tools and information they would need to help them reach their goals.

Twelve (12) employees signed up for the 12 Week Challenge. Of those, two dropped out throughout the course of the program. Some participants went away on holidays, or personal injuries/illness prevented them from attending or participating in the program.

Outcomes

Ten (10) participants completed the program, with most making fantastic progress and achieving their goals. Several participants lost up to 10kgs over the 12 weeks, and some up to 10 cm off their waist line measurement! Many improved their fitness level from below average or average to excellent. They all deserve congratulations for their persistence and commitment.

Group Results

9.5 million steps were collectively taken by all participants during the 12 weeks.  Working on the average step length, that’s 7,600kms – which is roughly equivalent to walking the return journey from Cape York (most northern part of Australia) to Wilson’s Promontory (Most southern part of Australia)!

The group burnt over 2 million calories in the course of 12 weeks. That’s the equivalent of 1,700 Big Mac Meals, 12,422 Coke cans or 22,471 bananas!

Every participant in the group had an improvement in at least one outcome measure.

 

Individual Results

Step Challenge Winner:

Mr P won the step challenge, taking a total of over 1.7 million steps in 12 weeks.  That’s an average of nearly 20,000 a day. He lost 5kgs and reduced his waist circumference by 6cm.  He improved his fitness from Good to Excellent.

Fitness Challenge Winner:

Mr T took over 1.6 million steps and burnt 372,000 calories.  He lost 9kgs, reduced his waist measurement by 10cm and improved his fitness from below average to above average (almost into the ‘good’ range). 

Other notable achievements:

Mr VZ took 812,000 steps and burnt 170,000 calories.  He lost 6kgs and reduced his waist circumference by 10cm.  His fitness improved from good for his age, to excellent.  He is noticing that he is a notch tighter on his belt and his pants are looser!

Mrs H lost 4kg, reduced her waist measurement by 6cm, and her blood pressure has reduced.  She has reduced her intake of soft drinks and is feeling better since doing so.

Mrs LP reduced her resting blood pressure and is now within a healthy range which will help reduce her risk of developing chronic disease.

Mrs H went from average to good fitness at took nearly 1 million steps in the 12 week challenge.

Mr R achieved his goal of taking over 1 million steps in the 12 week challenge.

 

For more information about how Axis health and well-being programs can assist your workforce please contact (07) 3229-9441.

 

References:

  1.  Chau, J 2009, Evidence module: Workplace physical activity and nutrition interventions, Physical Activity Nutrition and Obesity Research Group, University of Sydney, 16 June 2011
  2. Maher, C.G 2000, ‘A systematic review of workplace interventions to prevent low back pain’, Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 2000, 46, pp.259-269, 29 July 2011