ARARAT - AME Systems, through its health and wellbeing program, has signed up to the LIFE Program in the workplace.
The LIFE Program is funded by the Victorian Government and is being delivered by Dr Lee Naylor, former Olympian and managing director of Fit and Healthy.
The program, which is evidence based, assists the teaching of how to adopt healthy behaviours and a more active lifestyle to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Diabetes is a chronic disease with serious complications, currently affecting an estimated 1.7 million Australians. About 280 adults develop diabetes every day, yet research shows that most Australians think diabetes is not a serious illness and believe they have a lower risk of developing it than they actually do.
In 2013, AME Systems was offered through Workhealth funding the opportunity of a free work health check for staff with over 50 per cent taking up an assessment.
Findings from the presented report highlighted an above average percentage of staff were in the high risk area of getting type 2 diabetes. This prompted the LIFE Program being instigated to assist staff with prevention and greatly reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke by improving diet and becoming more active.
At the company's bi monthly Best Practice, Dr Naylor addressed all staff outlining the program and emphasised the importance of everyone making a fuss of their wellbeing as it has been proven that making lifestyle changes has a long term positive effect on our health.
She also pressed home that studies show it is possible to prevent type 2 diabetes and greatly reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke by improving diet and being more active.
Over the next couple of months Dr Naylor and trained facilitators will work through health coaching with staff in the workplace to assist with lifestyle changes.
All participating staff have been provided with a workbook, consisting of materials and activities relating to nutrition, physical activity, relaxation and general health and wellbeing.
Staff will engage in goal setting activities and be given the tools to make manageable and sustainable changes to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There will be a number of online group sessions that will equip participants with the skills, knowledge, support and expert advice needed to adopt healthier lifestyle habits.
In addition, a lunchtime forum on stress management will be held and a free health check will be offered at the conclusion of the program in June.
"It is a known fact that workplace health programs benefit both employees and their employers," AME Systems health and wellbeing chairman, Darren Bahl, said in acknowledging the launch of the program.
"In fact evidence shows that organisations with comprehensive workplace health promotion programs experience a decrease in sick days and healthy employees are nearly three times more productive.
"Since setting up our Health and Wellbeing Program some 18 months ago we have focussed strongly on our staff's day to day wellbeing which we are now seeing results.
"In addition we have signed up to the Grampians Goldfields Healthy Communities Achievement Program which has enabled us to share with other local organisations the benefits of addressing health and wellbeing in the workplace."