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Workers Unite, Have a Healthy Life


Workers health
Workers health

“Workers unite, have a healthy life” should be the common transcript of various speeches and addresses during the launch of NSW Multicultural Week last Monday September 1 at Blacktown Workers Club.

NSW Minister for Medical Research Mrs Jillian Skinner led a number of government officials and NGO officials in endorsing the Multicultural Health Week. The speakers included Ms Kim Olesen, Acting Chief Executive and Director of Nursing and Midwifery of South Eastern Sydney Local Health; Ms Janice Petersen, Presenter and Journalist, SBS World News; Peter Todaro, Director, NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service; Pro. Chris Rissel, Director NSW Office of Preventive Health; and Lina Cabaero Ponnambalam, Coordinator of NGO Asian Women at Work.

All workers from multicultural background are encouraged to be active, eat healthy and  be smoke free at work this Multicultural Health Week.

Studies show that 90 % od working-age Australians had at last one chronic disease risk factor and 72% had multiple risk factors. Research indicates that the greatest disease burden are tobacco smoking, alcohol misuse, poor diet, physical inactivity and unhealthy weight.

This year Multicultural Week focuses on the health of workers urging them to make lifestyle changes, such as eth healthily, increase physical activity, and achieve weight loss to help prevent or delay the progression of chronic diseases. 

The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service or MHCS coordinates Multicultural Heath Week for NSW Health as a state-wide activity in partnership with Multicultural Health Services in Local Health Districts across NSW.  The supporting partners this year are the Get Healthy At Work, the Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service and NSW Multilingual Quit lines.

Peter Todaro, Director of NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service said most workers spend about one third of their lives at their work place. It is only logical that workers from all multicultural background should start about getting healthy at work.

“Nearly one in three resident in NSW was born overseas and about 1 in 5  speaks a language other than English. The Week reminds  everyone from the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, there are resources available in  their language as well as services that provide help addressing their needs.”

Expert say workplaces that don’ promote health and wellness are four times  more than likely to lose staff within 12 months.

Professor Chris Rissel, Director of NSW Office of Preventive Health said there are many positive benefits for employers and workers  when healthy practices are promoted in the workplace.

“Workers are the most valuable assets to any organisation. By providing employers with with services  to help get healthy at work, companies are improving wll being and job satisfaction, which can help increase retention rates.”

The new Get Healthy at Work is a NSW Government initiative that aims to improve the health of working adults .   More information is found on www.gethealthyatwork.comau