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Young workers’ presenteeism costs more than their absenteeism.

The finding is part of a Safe Work Australia study about 23-year-old workers, ‘Work Productivity Loss in Young Workers’.

According to the study, an average of 302 hours per worker, per year, is lost due to presenteeism. This costs $10,674 per worker, per year.

By comparison, the average hours lost per worker due to absenteeism from health-related causes is 53 hours per year. In addition, 175 hours per year is lost due to absenteeism attributed to any reasons other than ill health or vacations.

Absenteeism due to ill health costs an average of $1899 per worker, per year, while absenteeism due to any other reason costs $6198 per worker, per year.

The combined cost of presenteeism and absenteeism is estimated at $18,836 per worker, per year.

For more details, visit the report

Published on 30 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

Australians are risking an early death by sitting up to 11 hours per day.

Prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and early death, said the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in a media release.

“It is thought that excessive sitting slows the body’s metabolism – which affects our ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and metabolise fat – and in the long term may cause weaker muscles and have detrimental effects on our bones,” the institute said.

A recent institute-commissioned survey that found that less than 25 per cent of Australians made an effort to reduce long periods of sitting, despite many sitting for at least 7.5 hours a day and 10 per cent sitting for 11 hours a day.

Although 60 per cent of Australians agreed that sitting is bad for their health, most were unlikely to do anything about it, the survey found.

Many reported they didn’t think about standing up, “while one in seven said they would feel self-conscious in front of their colleagues”, the survey said.

“Nor were people inclined to seek opportunities to stand in their workplace. Less than 40 per cent wanted greater support from their employer to promote standing during their work day.”

“Australians have really got to start making changes, even small, gradual changes to their work day. Our love affair with the chair has got to stop,” said Professor David Dunstan, head of Physical Activity Research at Baker IDI, in a media release.

“The changes don’t have to be costly,” he suggested. “Stand while you talk on the phone, go for a walking meeting, use smart phone prompts to remind you to stand.”

For more details, visit the institute

Published on 18 June 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

With many Australians continuing to rate the workplace as a source of stress, maybe the answer is to go home on time?

Over the past four years, about 44 per cent of Australian workers have rated workplace issues as a source of stress, says the ‘Stress and wellbeing in Australia survey 2014’ conducted by the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

When it comes to job stress, “working Australians reported similar levels of job stress to those reported in 2013, but significantly higher when compared with findings in 2012 and 2011”, the survey says.

Overall workplace wellbeing measures have also remained much the same for the past two years. “Working Australians reported similar levels of overall workplace wellbeing to those reported in 2013, but significantly lower when compared with findings in 2012 and 2011,” the survey states.

One of the interesting findings of the survey notes that “… support from work colleagues (less than two in five Australians) and support from community groups or organisations (just over one in three Australians) were reported the least by Australians as helpful strategies for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

One way to combat stress may be to go home from work on time each day. Wednesday was Go Home On Time Day. “On any given day, 2.8 million Australians have little certainty around what time they will finish work …” says The Australia Institute.

“That’s the equivalent of one in four workers regularly having to juggle their other commitments, such as child care, social activities or important appointments, because of the unpredictability of their job.”

“Many Australians continue to struggle with the idea of saying no to last-minute meetings at the end of a working day, or turning their smartphone to silent when they get home, and numerous studies have shown that workers are more productive if they take scheduled breaks and annual leave,” says Dr Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute’s executive director.

For more details, visit the APS survey and Go Home On Time Day

Published on 20 November 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin


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