New rituals to deliver healthier workforces

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Guy Barnett, Paul Taylor and Michael Ferguson launch the new free business health program.

A new health program is being rolled out to workplaces across the state in a world-first project.

The State Government is partnering with employee wellbeing and behavioural change experts, Ritualize, to deliver the program.

It’s the first wellbeing platform anywhere in the world to be rolled out state-wide, free to all employees, as a public-private partnership.

The Tasmanian Minister for Health, Michael Ferguson and The Minister for Building and Construction, Guy Barnett, officially announced the partnership at the WorkSafer Expo in Hobart last month.

The Healthy Tasmanian Workplaces program runs for 12-months and all employers in Tasmania are eligible to enrol.

The program is suitable for adults of any age and fitness level and is delivered via behavioural change experts Ritualize, through their mobile app and  desktop platform.

Ritualize is a holistic program that addresses diet, physical exercise, sleep and mindset and aims to change behaviours and to improve overall health literacy.

Participants take a BioAge assessment and then work to reduce their BioAge with a set of personalized healthy habits (rituals) which they must  log every day.

Rituals include commonly recognised good habits such as eating more vegetables, staying hydrated and alcohol-free days through to less familiar techniques such as box breathing, cold showers and gratitude rituals.

Tasmania has been shamed for being the unhealthiest state in Australia due to having such high rates of chronic disease, obesity, poor nutrition, unhealthy alcohol consumption and low physical activity levels.

Minister Ferguson said promoting healthy lifestyle choices in the workplace can have a positive impact on the prevention of injury, illness and absences from work.

“As many of us spend a significant amount of time at work every year, it makes sense to incorporate the Healthy Tasmania Plan into the workplace”, Mr Ferguson said.

Paul Taylor, Founder and Director of Ritualize, said the approach would help reduce the huge costs that stem from presenteeism, absenteeism, sickness and work-related accidents.

Healthier employees are statistically more likely to perform better, have better focus and reduced fatigue, he said.

“We are delighted to be bringing the program to Tasmania where there is such a marked need,” he said.

Typically this costs $50 per employee but thanks to the state government’s support, the program is free to all Tasmanian employees as well as their friends and family through participating workplaces.”

The program kicks-off for all registered workplaces on 20 November 2017.

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