Being physically active and limiting sedentary behaviour is essential for your physical, social and mental wellbeing.
Negative factors in the workplace that affect fitness for work as well as productivity include:
- physical inactivity
- static or sedentary work
- prolonged sitting
- inactive screen time,
- use of automated devices and
- easy access to unhealthy food.
Take personal responsibility
Having a responsible attitude to physical activity is an important part of your overall health and wellbeing.
All it takes is 30 minutes of physical exercise a day to feel better, have more energy and help you live longer.
Read our Top 10 Tips to maintaining and improving your own health and wellbeing. Notice what you are already doing well, and be honest with yourself. For example, if you think you need to join a regular walking group to make your activity commitment, write it down as an area for improvement.
Feel good about yourself for making small changes – these can lead to big improvements over time.
Seek information and support if you need it:
- Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service: free, confidential telephone-based coaching service where qualified coaches help adults make changes in relation to healthy eating, being physically active and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Call 1300 806 258, Monday to Friday.
- SA Health: be active tips
- Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute: download the Rise & Recharge phone app to help get you moving more
Safety solutions at work
Employers have a responsibility to protect the overall health and wellbeing of their workers. If you identify a physical activity-related hazard in your workplace, you need to eliminate or reduce any related harm, as far as is practicable.
Workplaces can be a good setting for promoting healthy attitudes towards physical activity, especially through education and awareness. You can also create opportunities for everyone to become more active and less sedentary in their working day and beyond. A little support and encouragement can go a long way towards people making healthier choices.
The most effective work health and wellbeing programs follow the same steps as successful safety programs, so your efforts are best done as part of an integrated approach.
Our Simple Steps to Safety guide, with useful templates and checklists, will help you to include work health and safety as part of your business planning. Following these steps can help you create a positive work health, safety and wellbeing culture that contributes to the success of your business.
Use our health and safety checklist to help identify physical activity-related hazards in your workplace and find areas for improvement. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are work tasks designed to include healthy dynamic muscular movement, including large limb and trunk movement to encourage circulation?
- Are workstations and/or equipment designed to encourage the above?
- Are tasks designed to encourage frequent eye movement and change of focus?
- Are regular walking or stretching breaks an accepted part of your workplace culture?
- Is information available on local physical activity opportunities and the benefits of activity and regular movement, such as stretching regularly at work?
View our Top 10 Tips video, which can be used as a discussion starter or inspiration for toolbox talks and group exercises around sharing the responsibility for maintaining and improving health and wellbeing.
Seek information, advice and support from our free workplace advisory service if you need it.
- Sedentary Work: Evidence on an emergent work health and safety issue - Safe Work Australia
- Workplace wellness - Heart Foundation
- Exercise right at work - Exercise Right
- 10 000 Steps - Challenge yourself, friends and workmates
Focus days or events can be a great motivator to do something positive about improving health and wellbeing, either personally or as a workplace group. Try the following: