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Switch Off by Angela Lockwood

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Chapter 3 Workplace overwhelm

As a society it seems we are trying our best to switch off more. We have apps designed to tell us when to switch off and programs to help us slow down. Workplaces are promoting healthy habits, there are government-led health initiatives, and more private companies are offering workplace-based health solutions. But the statistics indicate this is not nearly enough.

A report in 2015 by the University of Wollongong and Workplace Health Association Australia titled Health Profile of Australian Employees examined the health characteristics of nearly 30 000 Australian workers gleaned from workplace health assessments over the past decade. The researchers explored health factors such as smoking, levels of physical activity and alcohol consumption. Alarmingly, the research found that 65 per cent of employees reported moderate to high stress levels, with 41 per cent indicating ‘at-risk' psychological distress.

A report produced in 2014 by the New South Wales (NSW) Health Department in Australia noted a significant rise in rates of overweight and obesity over the past few decades, attributing the increases to two main factors: ‘excess energy intake and reduced energy expenditure', which basically translates as eating more of the wrong stuff while moving less. After a 2013 population health survey found that 51.1 per cent of adults were overweight or obese, a major government health initiative, the NSW Healthy Eating and Active Living Strategy 2013–2018, ...

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