What is the Healthy Steps @ Work Toolkit?
Healthy Steps @ Work is a web-based toolkit that provides healthy eating, physical activity, stress, sun safety, tobacco and alcohol resources and activities to create healthier work environments. The four topic areas are divided into four sections:
Why is it Important?
- Be Aware – educational material such as fact sheets, newsletter inserts, posters and brochures
- Make it easy – skill building activities such as contests, challenges, activities and quizzes
- Be involved – ideas for creating a supportive environment such as a workplace wellness program and participating in community activities
- Speak out – ideas for policies within the workplace and how to support changes in the environment that impact health
Unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, UV exposure, stress, tobacco, and alcohol use are important risk factors for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. About 30 percent of Canadians are physically inactive and over 50 percent are overweight (Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada, 2007). Since the majority of adults are employed and spend a large part of their time at work, the workplace is the ideal setting to promote physical activity, healthy eating and sun safety, stress reduction, tobacco and the safe and responsible use of alcohol.
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Creating healthier work environments improves employee’s lifestyle behaviors, morale and productivity.
When workplaces invest in balanced (comprehensive) workplace health promotion there is a reduction in absenteeism, sick leave, health plan costs, workers’ compensation and disability (PHRED, 2007). Creating healthier work environments improves employee’s lifestyle behaviours, morale and productivity.
This resource was developed by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit in collaboration with community partners as part of a comprehensive approach to improve healthy eating, physical activity, sun safety behaviours and encourage tobacco-free living and safe and responsible use of alcohol among residents of Simcoe and Muskoka. Collective action in home, school and workplace settings can facilitate change.