Liverpool PCT’s Active Workplaces scheme aims to improve employee health

EMPLOYERS in Liverpool are installing gym equipment and giving out healthy snacks to help workers improve their wellbeing.

The PCT has launched an Active Workplaces initiative, which encourages managers to actively promote healthy lifestyles.

Staff at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital are now benefiting from the scheme, with the installation of new fitness equipment.

In response to feedback from staff the on site Alder Hey’s on-site fitness centre has been upgraded to include facilities which accommodate different levels of fitness and shift patterns.

Further workplaces in Liverpool will receive fitness equipment and discount gym passes over the coming months.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of Liverpool PCT said: “It’s been proved that a motivated, healthy workforce is more likely to perform well.

“We hope our investment in this equipment will mean improved morale and reduced absenteeism.

“The staff at Alder Hey do a wonderful job and we are delighted to be able to support them in this way.

“This is another example of the PCT working with the community to make state-of-the art equipment accessible to people who work and live in the city.”

Angela Jones, Chair of Alder Hey said: “Our workforce is our most valuable asset and this investment in their health and wellbeing will play a major part in ensuring ongoing delivery of world class care.

“As England’s first health promoting paediatric hospital accredited by the World Health Organisation we are committed to ensuring wellbeing at work remains a priority.

“This Active Workplaces initiative has given us a real boost and we are grateful to Liverpool PCT for enabling this.”

Liverpool-based charity health@work has been promoting such measures for 15 years in the city.

During the last few years the organisation has helped employers implement measures to improve diet, reduce smoking rates and lower alcohol intake.

It also carries out surveys to assess workers’ health concerns.

Keith Gorman, programme manager, said: “We work with employees and workers to promote healthy lifestyle at work.

“We helped companies give support for staff who wanted to stop smoking, working with the PCT.

“We are also helping employers to draw up alcohol policies, and to make it easier for workers to talk to their bosses if they feel they are drinking too much, without fear of being sacked.

“Diet and exercise are our current priorities.

“One of our projects involves employers putting fruit on display for their staff to eat.

“We give them the fruit for 12 weeks and after that they can decide whether to provide it themselves.

“it is a way of introducing fresh fruit into people’s diets, when it might be difficult to get hold of it near by.

“In some offices we help with the installation of healthy vending machines that offer staff an alternative to chocolate and crisps.

“Improving the health of a workforce and managing stress levels is beneficial to everyone because workers will be more productive and have less time off.”

Sue Weir, chief executive of Liverpool not for profit organisation Medicash, which helps staff spread the cost of healthcare, added: “Looking after the wellbeing of employees is crucial for an organisation to survive.

“Whilst the right level of stress keeps us motivated, increased pressure and worry relating to the economic climate can lead to low morale, ill health and high staff turnover.

“Employers should encourage employees to look after their health and this need not be expensive.”

“Balancing work and home life so that both areas are fulfilling and productive is a must.”

(source: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-life/liverpool-lifestyle/2009/03/23/liverpool-pct-s-active-workplaces-scheme-aims-to-improve-employee-health-100252-23209253/)

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance ProgramStress ManagementStaff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit http://www.pinnacleproactive.com

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