By Madeline Briscoe

Australians spend about one third of their lives at work, so it makes sense that we should do all we can to make our workplace a healthier one. Because of this, Cundall’s Sydney office has joined the New South Wales government’s Get Healthy at Work initiative which aims to give workplaces the tools and resources to make their offices healthier.

As part of this scheme, the NSW government is offering funding to every workplace that gets involved and develops a Healthy Action Plan. So far, the Sydney office has taken the first steps to developing their own Healthy Action Plan with workers completing online health assessments where they were asked not only to be honest about the amount of fruit and veg they eat an average week, but to measure their waistline as well!

It was clear from the findings that our team wanted to focus on improving their health through more physical activity. I have now begun developing our Healthy Action Plan based on how we can encourage our workers to be more active and provide a workplace that supports an active lifestyle, whether that be by providing storage for exercise equipment, more opportunities for group exercise or installing standing desks for everyone to use.

By encouraging discussions on health and wellbeing in the office I have already noticed a positive change in our workplace with increased participants in our running club, a newly formed weekly Zumba group and daily push-ups at 4pm. Although we currently have these initiatives in place to encourage our employees to be healthier, I believe there is always room for improvement.

I know that not every workplace has a generous budget to spend on health and fitness initiatives, so I’ve decided to offer my top five low-cost tips for a healthy workplace;

1.  Encourage intermittent exercise during work by placing printers and rubbish bins away from desks
2.  Offer complimentary fruit as a healthy snack and put it where people can see it
3.  Encourage healthy competition by undergoing an office-wide step challenge and see who can rack up the most steps in a week
4.  Get employees up and out of their desk for a couple of minutes a day by having a designated time where everyone does a short burst of exercise – whether it be 1 minute of push ups and 1 minute of sit-ups, or five minutes of stretching
5.  Hold a meat-free weekly or monthly challenge where staff are supported to reduce or cut out their meat content

For more information on how to make your workplace and indoor environment healthier, please visit the Health and Wellbeing page on Cundall’s website.

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Madeline Briscoe, Working at Cundall

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