Maintaining a Healthy Workplace – why worry?

  • Workplace health and wellbeing programs provide a range of opportunities and benefits for employers, employees and the broader community. As well as improving employee health, workplace programs provide productivity for employers through outcomes such as reduced absenteeism, reduced staff turnover and improved morale
  • Australians spend about one third of their lives at work. A range of workplace determinants (e.g. physical environment, organisational structure, culture and the nature of work tasks) can have an impact on the health of a worker
  • It therefore makes sense to regard the workplace as an important setting for improving and maintaining good health
  • Absenteeism due to sickness is costing Australian businesses $7 billion annually, or roughly $1,000 per employee per year [1]. Unhealthy employees take on average nine days more sick leave compared with healthy employees [2]
  • There are plenty of benefits to addressing health at work:
    -organisation’s that promote health and wellness are more likely to retain staff within 12 months [3]
    -healthy workers have increased morale and engagement at work [4]
    -healthy workers are fitter, more aware and alert, more resilient against illness, and less likely to suffer manual handling injuries and strains [healthy workers are fitter, more aware and alert, more resilient against illness, and less likely to suffer manual handling injuries and strains [4]
    -organisations that implement health and wellbeing strategies can reduce their employees’ health risk factors by up to 56% [5]

Benefits of a mentally healthy workplace

  • A mentally healthy workplace is defined as “one that actively minimises risks to mental health, promotes positive mental health and wellbeing, is free of stigma and discrimination, and supports the recovery of workers with mental health conditions, for the benefit of the individual, organisation and community”(6).
  • As well as promoting a positive, productive workplace culture and minimising risks to employees’ mental health, mentally healthy workplaces support people with a mental health condition and prevent discrimination
  • At any given time about one in five people in Australia is experiencing a mental health condition – most commonly anxiety and depression. Like any health condition, anxiety and depression can affect a person’s ability to work (7)
  • It is estimated that 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. These conditions tend to affect individuals during their prime working years (8)
  • Poor mental health costs Australian businesses $10.9 billion every year in absenteeism, reduced productivity in the workplace, and compensation claims.(9)
  • Analysis by PriceWaterhouse Coopers finds that for every dollar a business invests in effective mental health initiatives, it receives an average return of $2.30 (9)
  • On average, someone with untreated depression will need three to four days of additional sick leave each month.(9)
  • Mental health conditions result in around 12 million days of reduced productivity for Australian businesses annually (9)
  • Although depression and anxiety can be as debilitating as a serious physical illness, less than half of those experiencing these conditions seek support.(9)

How we can help

    • Wildheart can offer a number of options that can assist with workplace health and wellness. This can include:
      -Workplace yoga and pilates
      -Private in-studio group classes (if on-site is not an option)
      -Yoga Nidra Meditation
      -The Simple 6 Blueprint Program - Group/Individual coaching opportunities to assist staff in developing a wellness plan which suits their individual needs

1. Medibank Private, 2008. The cost of workplace stress on Australia
2. Medibank Private, 2005. The health of Australia’s workforce.
3. The Health and Productivity Institute of Australia, 2010. Best Practice Guidelines - Workplace Health in Australia. Australian Health and Productivity Management Congress: Sydney, Australia
4. WorkCover Tasmania, 2013. Your Simple Guide to Workplace Health and Wellbeing. Tasmania, Editor Hobart, Australia.
5. Wesley Corporate Health, 2006. The future@work health report: Employees and their workplace​​.
6. Heads Up (beyondblue). Good Practice Framework for Mental Health and Wellbeing in First Responder Organisations.
7. An integrated approach to workplace health – 9 priorities for implementation in Australia – White Paper, University of Tasmania and Deakin University, 2017.
8. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results (4326.0). Canberra: ABS
9. PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia, Creating a mentally healthy workplace: Return on investment analysis, 2014. Available from