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Australian workers unfit, overweight, stressed and at risk

Australian workers unfit, overweight, stressed and at risk
June 12, 2015

A new report shows that the average Australian worker is stressed, overweight, unfit and has a cholesterol or blood pressure problem.

According to Dr John Lang, Chief Executive of the Workplace Health Association of Australia (WHAA), the findings for the just released The Health Profile of Australian Employees report  highlight the urgent need for preventative actions in the workplace in order to boost productivity.

Dr Lang explained “this is an alarming insight into the poor levels of health experienced by most Australian workers.”

Researched by the WHAA and the University of Wollongong, The Health Profile of Australian Employees report analysed the health characteristics of almost 30,000 workers gleaned from workplace health assessments over the past decade.

Physical inactivity and stress were found to be the leading preventable health risks for workers.

The report found that 65% reported moderate to high stress levels, while 41% had psychological distress levels considered to be at-risk.

Half were found to be physically inactive, with 40% being overweight and another 20% obese.

Nearly a quarter had high cholesterol and 12% had high blood pressure, while 11% drank excessively and the same percentage smoked daily.

Dr Lang added “Your average working Australian is overweight, unfit, has a cholesterol or blood pressure problem and is stressed – that is a bad average.

“The impact of employee health on the performance and productivity of the Australian labour force dwarfs many of the productivity issues currently being tackled by state and federal governments.

“With national health care expenditure rising at more than double the inflation rate, prevention has to be a top priority.”

Another new study shows that that Australians are watching television for an average of three hours at home each day.

The Australian Multi-Screen Report, co-authored by Regional Tam, OzTam and Neilsen has found that while television viewing has dropped by a few minutes a day since the first quarter of 2014, Australians are still tuning in for an average of 89 and a half hours of broadcast TV every month.

Australians spend just over 100 hours a month watching broadcast TV on a combination of TVs, laptops, smartphones and tablets. 

Click here to The Health Profile of Australian Employees report.

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