How Healthy Are Australian Workers?

An Overview Of The Health Of Australian Workers Shows That (1):

You're not funny anymore!

  • Australian employees don’t exercise enough: 10 % of Australian workers are completely inactive, 40% engage in only minimal exercise and 12% do less than 1 hour of physical activity per week.
  • There are poor dietary habits: 46% of Australian workers live on high fat diets; only 8% eat 5 or more serves of fruit and vegetables per day.
  • 62% of Australian workers are overweight.
  • Over 50% of the Australian workforce is stressed.
  • 56% are in the medium to high-risk area in participating to high risks behaviours such as smoking (21%), drinking (12% consume 15 or more standard drinks weekly) and irregular use of sunblock (only 7%).

  • More than 3 million Australians suffer from at least one chronic disease. Most chronic diseases are associated with one or more of the following lifestyle-related factors.
    - Unhealthy eating
    - Physical inactivity
    - Alcohol
    - Smoking
    - Stress

Chronic diseases are preventable with healthier lifestyles that include a nutritious and balanced diet, exercise, proper rest and stress management.

Invest in a wellness program to ensure that your organisation supports and encourages healthier behaviours. A 2010 Comcare review has found that the health and well being of employees benefit from health and well being programs (2) and that:

  • Multi-component interventions addressing physical activity and /or nutrition are effective in increasing physical activity levels, promoting healthy eating and preventing obesity. (3)
  • Interventions utilising a systems and comprehensive approach are effective in preventing and controlling job stress at an organisational level. (4)

Click here to find out how you can support your employees’ wellbeing.


1. Medibank Private (2005). The Health of Australia’s Workforce

2. Comcare 2010, Effective Health and Wellbeing Programs, 29 July 2011,

3. Chau, J 2009, Evidence module: Workplace physical activity and nutrition interventions, Physical activity Nutrition and Obesity Research Group, University of Sydney, 16 June 2011,

4. LaMontagne, A.D and Keegel, T.G 2010, What organisational/employer level interventions are effective for preventing and treating occupational stress? A rapid review for the institute for Safety, Compensation and recovery Research, 29 July 2011

Image Credit: Just Ard