Workplace Health and Wellbeing

By Megan McAlpine

Published on 15-01-2014

Workplace Health and Wellbeing

Declining workforce health is contributing to an increase in health related costs for organisations. The majority of these costs result from absenteeism and presenteeism (employees attending work but performing at less than full capacity).

There’s now compelling national and international research supporting the positive impact that workplace health and wellbeing initiatives have on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of workers.

An Examination of Australian Workplaces found:

  • Organisations that implement health promotion in the workplace can reduce their workers’ health risk factors by up to 56% [1].
  • Productivity gains of up to 15% can be achieved by upgrading the workplace environment [2].
  • A study by Medibank revealed that the healthiest Australian workers are almost three times more productive than their unhealthy colleagues [3].

The relationship between worker health and wellbeing, and workplace performance is critical to business success.

 There are lots of resources available to help develop a program suitable for your individual organisation. Workplace health initiatives can range from simple programs requiring minimal resources to more detailed programs supported by substantial resources.

As well as the traditional range of corporate health and wellbeing providers, consider accessing resources and support such as:

  • Creating Healthy Workplaces program has a range of resources available through VicHealth at
  • The Healthy Together Victoria Achievement program gives practical steps and easy-to-use tools and templates to promote and improve health and wellbeing in your workplace. Information is available through:
  • Breastscreen in your state can provide information and support to encourage breast screening for your workforce. In some states Breastscreen will do presentations in the workplace.
  • In many states, your employees can access alcohol and drug information services. DirectLine in Victoria provides counselling, support and referral services.
  • Quitline is a confidential, free service for people who want to quit smoking. In some states, Quitline can provide workplace specific programs for employees.

I’m sure there are many other readily available resources to support better health and wellbeing in your workplace. Let us know if there is a program that’s working well for you.

Megan McAlpine

Head of Marketing Strategy

Medibank Health Solutions

Passionate about better health for all Australians

(completing Masters in Public Health in 2015 Yay!)

[1] Wesley Corporate Health (2006), The future@work health report: Employees & their workplace

[2] Wesley Corporate Health (2006), The future@work health report: Employees & their workplace

[3] Medibank Private (November 2005). The Health of Australia’s Workforce.