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|Editions > 2007 > February||Friday May 24, 2013 - Melbourne Time: 21:08:02|
Local leisure membership promotes good health for staff
Over the past decade, staff at Port Stephens Council in New South Wales have been keeping fit and healthy thanks to a Workers Health Initiative. The corporate program was developed by Council to increase staff health and well being across the organisation. The program is offered to both part time and full time, outdoor and indoor Council staff. A weekly fee is deducted from members' salary and they are then provided access to both privately and Council owned leisure facilities in the area.
Cath McClintock, Acting Recreation Services Manager, said the program has been a great success, mainly because of the subsidised fee charged corporately, which in comparison to other corporate gym/leisure memberships, is quite competitive.
"Most corporate sport memberships offered to large organisations are provided by one company at a set price," she said. "The Workers Heath Initiative is quite innovative as it provides members with a choice of locality and type of facility that they can access during work or in their own time."
In a recent annual staff survey, work/life balance rated very highly among Port Stephens Council staff.
The number of staff involved in the health initiative has steadily climbed to more than 28 per cent of total staff and the number of sports offered has risen from one to six. Cath McClintock said the program is ideal as it benefits staff who have different exercise needs.
"People who like to exercise on their own can do so with a gym or aquatic session, while individuals who prefer to keep fit through group activities can participate in aerobics, strength or light training," she said. "Some centres involved in the program offer members a fitness assessment and personal programming so members can keep up their interest in their fitness level. Five lunchtime gym classes are also offered over the week. These are specifically cut down to 40 minute time slots to cater for staff members over their lunch break."
Cath McClintock said the program also offers a social sports competition that is held once a week at a local sports centre.
"This has been successful in developing socil and working relationships across different departments in Council's administration building," she said. "Members nominate the sports they wish to play and are then placed in teams to play a variety of sports over a set period."
As part of their membership, staff are sent a monthly 'Well at Work' magazine published by Healthworks. The magazine provides information on a wide range of health and safety issues. It helps educate and motivate staff toward a healthier lifestyle.
For further information contact Sarah Blackmore at Port Stephens Council on (02) 4980 0252.
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