Working toward a healthier workplace


It’s Monday morning; your alarm rings and it’s time to get up and go to work. Do you feel up for the challenges waiting for you?

Experts say that since we spend most of our lives at work, it’s important employees feel healthy in body and mind in order to perform at their best.

Carleton’s Healthy Workplace Committee aims to create a healthy workplace for the university’s 1,800 employees by making resources and support available for them to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle choices.

Healthy workplaces and lifestyles provide dramatic benefits to both employees and organizations, explains Cindy Robinson, the university’s healthy workplace co-ordinator. Employees can see improvements to their personal health as well as enhancements in work-life balance. A healthy workplace results in “more engaged staff, higher retention rates and a competitive edge over other institutions,” says Robinson.

There are many examples of the advantages of a healthy workplace. In the first six months of Toronto’s “Metro Fit” program, municipal workers saw marked improvements in their health and well-being and were sick less often.

“These types of programs can increase the resiliency of employees, which could lead to a reduction in transmission of colds and flu bugs in the office,” adds Robinson.

The committee is hosting Healthy Workplace Month in October, with more than a dozen free workshops, activities and special events available to all faculty and staff. The intent is to help employees become informed about a variety of health and wellness topics that have been designed to enhance their physical, mental and social well-being. The planned events include:

  • Employee Health and Wellness Fair.
  • Educational seminars on stress, nutrition, yoga, office ergonomics, personal safety, H1N1 swine flu virus and other topics.
  • A special green initiative to Clean the Campus.
  • Workplace walk-a-thon for United Way.
  • A month-long physical activity challenge.

Faculty and staff can download a calendar of events and register for Healthy Workplace Month activities, workshops, and events online at

These activities are opportunities for employees to socialize with colleagues and friends from across campus and develop new skills and knowledge to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours. But it’s also about having fun, says Robinson.

“Healthy Workplace Month will give faculty and staff the chance to have some fun while engaging in meaningful ways to improve their health and vitality.”

This entry was written by Melissa Nisbett and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

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