Obesity contributes not only to serious health concerns, but can also have adverse affects in the workplace. For example, being overweight can increase the risk of work injury, and decrease productivity and attendance. Shift workers particularly can be susceptible to weight gain due to biological and psychological factors including fatigue and interrupted eating and lifestyle patterns.
Workplace POWER (Preventing Obesity Without Eating like a Rabbit) is an innovative workplace-based weight loss program that is targeted directly towards men in the workplace. It is research-based and requires minimal contact with men. The program uses a DVD resource or information session, an interactive website and a small number of supplementary resources to educate men in how to improve their own lifestyles in regards to healthy eating and physical activity.
Workplace POWER trial partner Tomago Aluminium just been announced as a finalist in the prestigious Australian National Preventive Health Agency - National Preventive Health Awards for in the catagory of Healthy Workplace Awards for Team Excellence in Workplace Health and Well-being. Congratulations Professor Morgan and the Workplace POWER team.
Professor Philip Morgan, Professor Clare Collins, Professor Robin Callister and Professor Ron Plotnikoff from the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, University of Newcastle, Australia
Workplace POWER has been implemented in industry in a randomised control trial. The trial demonstrated that the men were able to lose weight, become more active, and improve their diets and mental health. There were also significantly fewer injuries in the workplace, less sick days taken, and the men were more productive at work, particularly in relation to physical jobs. Program applications have been extended to prove the concept. The workplace recently won a major 'excellence in safety' award for the implemtation of this initiative.
Workplace POWER will find application in most workplaces looking to provide healthy lifestyle intervention options to their employees. However, it will be of most benefit in male-dominated or shift-worker industries. Workplace POWER is well suited to any company looking to decrease risks in order to improve workplace safety and lower insurance premiums.
Newcastle Innovation is seeking business partners to assist in the full commercialisation of the program.
Read Walkley award winning health writer Paula Goodyer's article about the success of Workplace POWER here.