An increasingly sedentary population is a burden on the Australian health system and economy. Disease brought on by inactivity leads to more than 16,000 premature deaths every year, and chronic disease costs the Australian economy an upwards of $15 billion annually.

The majority of our sedentary time is spent at work. In fact, the average Australian adult sits for 10 hours a day – in the workplace! This means there is an opportunity for you, business leaders, to make a significance difference to the health and wellbeing of your staff and encourage physical activity during the working day. Read on for why you should invest in the health of your staff…

A sedentary workforce is costing you money.

 According to Independent Economics, the overall average productivity loss as a result of physical inactivity costs Australian businesses $458 per employee per year. And that’s just in productivity loss. From high absenteeism and high turnover, to workplace injuries and a damaged employer brand, the hidden costs of an unhealthy workforce are significant.

You are missing an opportunity to increase productivity.

As mentioned, an unhealthy workforce will reduce productivity and put you out of pocket. Investing in the health and wellness of your staff is a proven measure to increase productivity.

A study conducted by Medibank Private found the healthiest Australian employees are almost three times more productive than their unhealthy colleagues. And your employees can feel the difference – healthy workers rate their work performance much higher than unhealthy workers, reported a Comcare Australian Government study. The healthiest employees worked 159 effective hours effective hours per month compared 43 effectives hours by the unhealthiest employees.

There’s plenty you can do to look after the health of your staff and see benefits to each staff member, and your business as a whole.

So, how can you invest in the health of staff, increase productivity and save money?

Take a look at your current wellness efforts. Do you have vending machines full of high-sugar foods, or offer fresh lunch options such as fruits and nuts? Is there exercise equipment or a stretching space available in your workplace or nearby?

If you have a health and wellness program in place, fantastic. But too often these programs are poorly communicated and underused. Make sure your staff members have a good understanding of what you’re offering and how it will benefit them. Consider what else you can do – perhaps conduct an internal survey for feedback and ideas. There’s always room for improvement.

Hosting a bike in Tour de Office

Partnering with a corporate health and wellness initiative such as Tour de Office is a clear and decisive step towards a healthier workforce. Tour de Office raises awareness about the health risks workers face by sitting for prolonged periods of time, and will get your staff up and moving.

During the week-long event, an expected 2,500 Australian staff members across 40 organisations will jump on a stationary bike in their office and ride thousands of kilometres for Australian charities.

According to a survey conducted by Wodonga TAFE in 2016, a participant of Tour de Office, 60 per cent of staff found the event motivated them to exercise at work and 70 per cent said they were more aware of the dangers of sitting for long periods. In addition, 90 per cent of staff said they really enjoyed the event and would participate again.

A number of big name organisations including Commonwealth Bank, Kordamentha, Optus and Motorama will host a bike in Tour de Office 2017. To join the ride kicking off in August and September, visit or call Event Leader, Helen Dwyer on 0429 347 417.

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