CITY WORKERS SLIGHTLY HEALTHIER THAN COUNTRY WORKERS

CITY WORKERS SLIGHTLY HEALTHIER THAN COUNTRY WORKERS

Posted on 21. Jul, 2010 in News

The largest health check of Victoria’s workforce shows that people working in Melbourne are healthier than those working in regional Victoria – but only just.  

WorkSafe Minister Tim Holding said analysis of more than 120,000 individual WorkHealth checks show that while the gap between the health of regional Victorians and Melburnians is quite small there are concerning health issues for all of those tested.

“These statistics are alarming and show the importance of workers in either the city or country getting their health checked and leading a healthy lifestyle,” Mr Holding said.

“Workers in regional Victoria are more likely to have a waist measurement indicating a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, have high blood pressure, drink alcohol at risky levels and smoke.

“Workers from Melbourne are more likely to not get enough exercise and eat less than the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables.”

Mr Holding said every Victorian worker would have the opportunity to have a WorkHealth check.

“This is a world-first initiative from the Victorian Government to improve the health and wellbeing of workers and reduce the risk of chronic disease,” he said.

“The WorkHealth checks are a free, quick and confidential way for Victorian workers to get instant feedback on their general health and guidance on whether action is needed.”
WorkHealth checks include a brief lifestyle survey together with measurement of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and waist circumference. The checks take around 15 minutes and are delivered by trained health professionals.
Analysis of the health checks for around 100,000 Melbourne workers and approximately 20,000 workers in country Victoria show:

  • 44 per cent of workers in regional Victoria have a high or very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease compared to 41 per cent from Melbourne;
  • 32 per cent of workers in regional Victoria have a waist measurement indicating a greatly increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to 24 per cent from Melbourne; and
  • 43 per cent of workers in regional Victoria drink alcohol at risky levels compared to 37 per cent from Melbourne.

 

Those identified as being at increased risk of chronic disease are advised to visit their GP, and can access a range of free healthy lifestyle programs.

Employers and workers interested in getting the free health checks should visit www.workhealth.vic.gov.au or contact WorkSafe Victoria on 1800 136 089.

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