HEALTH

Aussies Are Putting Their Jobs Before Their Health: Survey

Putting in hours at the office is killing our motivation

09/08/2016 3:42 PM AEST | Updated August 9, 2016 19:03
Jupiterimages
More than half of full-time employees say work is a barrier to exercising.

Australian workers are putting their jobs before their health, with new research showing more than half of full-time employees say work pressure is a barrier to exercising.

The report, commissioned by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, looked at workplace habits and attitudes, and found 47 percent of employees would participate in regular workplace health activities if bosses and colleagues were more supportive.

"People felt there wasn't enough support at work, either attitudinally or because of work pressures, to exercise."

The research also found 54 percent of full-time employees cite pressures from their occupation as a barrier to exercising.

Shutterstock / auremar
The survey found 20 percent of employees never take a lunch break

The Alliance's Liz Foy said many workers were trapped in a sedentary cycle.

"Because they are sedentary, they are lacking in energy and they are too tired to exercise and then it just compounds," she told the ABC on Tuesday.

"People felt there wasn't enough support at work, either attitudinally or because of work pressures, to exercise."

Some of the barriers to workplace health activities were reflected in the survey, with 23 percent citing managers or team cultures that are not supportive.

A lack of changing rooms or shower facilities was another reason at 27 percent, and concerns that peers may view participants as being less hard working accounted for 10 percent.

Shutterstock / wavebreakmedia
Just 32 percent of workers surveyed leave their desks long enough to reach the 10,000 step target recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Respondents were clear on what they want when it comes to healthy activities though, including free or subsidised gym memberships, massages, internal gyms, yoga and charity exercise drives.

Almost a quarter stated that viewing and sharing 'fitspiration' content would encourage them to get active.

The online survey of 2,017 Australian adults also found:

  • 14 percent of employees have access to health activities through work
  • 80 percent citied health as being quite or very important to their performance at work
  • 50 percent take two or less full lunch breaks per week
  • 20 percent never taking a lunch break
  • 43 percent spend their time at a desk or in meetings for six to seven hours a day
  • 43 percent say they are too tired to lead an active lifestyle
  • 69 percent understood it is recommended by the World Health Organisation to walk 10,000 steps a day
  • Just 32 percent leave their desks long enough to reach the 10,000 step target

Creatas Images
43 percent of respondents said they are too tired to lead an active lifestyle

Jo Cameron, CEO Goodman Foundation, the charitable arm of industrial property giant the Goodman Group, said employee wellbeing needs to be a top priority for Australian businesses.

"While 10,000 steps each day sounds like a lot, there are more than 40 different activities that we can use to reach the goal, so there's something for everyone regardless of physical ability and differing interests," she said in a statement.

The survey was commissioned by Cerebral Palsy Alliance as part of its annual Steptember fundraising campaign.

More On This Topic
Advertisement

FOLLOW HUFFPOST

Advertisement