Future directions - By Horsham Rural City Council

Article image - Future directions - By Horsham Rural City Council

Horsham Rural City Council knows that having staff members who are confident, healthy and happy in their lives, helps build a positive culture and greater productivity in the workplace.

In this day and age, many people rush around and don’t take the time to slow down, enjoy themselves physically and mentally, and look out for each other.  

With this in mind, Horsham Rural City Council introduced “Wellness Wednesday” last February.  

Wellness Wednesday is a staff support initiative focused on thinking positive, eating better, exercising more
and feeling good.

On Wednesdays, positive health and lifestyle information is forwarded to staff via the intranet, noticeboards, display stands and staff rooms.  

Fortnightly seated massages (partly subsidised by Council), workplace yoga sessions, workstation ergonomic assessments and healthy recipe ideas are also offered to staff.  

Risk Management Co-ordinator Diana McDonald said that the aim was to show people how to create healthy habits and be the best version of themselves, rather than thinking they have to be perfect at everything.  

“Feedback has been positive with staff often coming up with ideas for an article or new workplace initiative.  

“A great outcome has been that people are talking about health and wellbeing during their breaks, swapping ideas and gradually changing the workplace culture into a healthier and happier environment.
“Our recent staff survey also indicated that they felt more valued by staff support initiatives such as Wellness Wednesday,” she said.

Some of the positive health and lifestyle topics provided to staff so far, includes: The Biggest Chooser – healthy lifestyle habits (Dr Helena Popovic); Random Acts of Kindness; The Power of Being Positive; Information on Breastscreens, Prostrate Cancer and Sun Smart checks; Switch to H20 (VicHealth H30 Challenge); Shock Absorbers – coping skill quiz for men and men’s health helpline information; Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance (Dr Craig Hassed); How to Beat the Afternoon Energy Slump; The 80/20 Lifestyle (Paul Taylor, Body Brain Institute); Ten Reasons why Morning Exercise is Really Important for your Health and Wellbeing; Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace (Beyond Blue); Decluttering; and The Power of Reading.