Prevention as part of your Disability Action Planning Process?
Wed 30 May 2012
The focus of Disability Action Plans has been about removing barriers to the inclusion of people with Disability into your business. Huge strides have been made by many employers in removing barriers in their premises, recruitment processes and employment practices.
Whilst there is still plenty of work to be done on eliminating the barriers, perhaps it is also time to use your Disability Action Plan process to create and promote preventative programmes within your organisation.
Exercise, for example, can assist in fighting obesity as well as being a great way to alleviate stress and anxiety in the workplace. A higher level of employee fitness may also assist in reducing sick leave and also speed return to work after illness. Great benefits for employers and employees alike.
Consider the following three excerpts from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:
“Exercise can benefit both physical and mental health. It has been shown to reduce the risk of diseases or conditions such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity. In addition, exercise through sport and recreation can provide social benefits through increased social interaction and integration (ABS 2009f).
In 2007-08, close to two-thirds (65%) of adults reported exercising for recreation, sport or fitness in the previous two weeks.
Over two-thirds (68%) of men and around three-quarters (76%) of women were assessed as having a low level of exercise or being sedentary. The proportion of people with a sedentary lifestyle has not changed substantially over the past decade or so.”
Source: ABS 4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, Jun 2011
“Obesity may have significant health, social and economic impacts and is closely related to lack of exercise and to diet. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of suffering from a range of conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, knee and hip problems and sleep apnoea. In 2008, the total annual cost of obesity in Australia, including health system costs, productivity declines and carers' costs, was estimated at around $58 billion (Access Economics 2008).
The proportion of adults (aged 18 years or over) classified as obese or overweight has increased from 56% in 1995 to 61% in 2007-08. For men, the increase was from 64% to 68% in 2007-08, while for women, the proportion rose from 49% to 55%.
In 2007-08, one quarter of Australian children (or around 600,000 children aged 5-17 years) were overweight or obese, up four percentage points from 1995. In relation to obesity only, the rate for children (aged 5-17 years) increased from 5.2% in 1995 to 7.5% in 2007-08. Studies have shown that once children become obese they are more likely to stay obese into adulthood and have an increased risk of developing diseases associated with obesity (AIHW 2004)”.
Source : ABS 1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010
“Of the 16 million Australians aged 16-85 years, almost half (45% or 7.3 million) had a lifetime mental disorder, ie a mental disorder at some point in their life. One in five (20% or 3.2 million) Australians had a 12-month mental disorder. There were also 4.1 million people who had experienced a lifetime mental disorder but did not have symptoms in the 12 months prior to the survey interview”.
Source: ABS 4326.0 - National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007