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Northern Ireland invests £462,000 in better workplace health

7 September 2016 - 1:01pm

Northern Ireland’s workforce will have access to lunchtime exercises, weight loss programmes and cycle to work schemes as part of a £462,000 health initiative.

Workplace health launch

Dr Eddie Rooney, pictured centre, at the launch of the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Service with representatives of the three providers

The Workplace Health and Wellbeing Service, launched by the Public Health Agency, aims to reach more than 200 new businesses annually over three years.

Businesses who engage with the service will be supported to use staff surveys to assess the needs of employees and to train ‘workplace health champions’, the agency said.

Three organisations have been chosen to deliver the service. Health Matters NI will roll out the programme in Belfast, southern and south eastern trust areas. Meanwhile, Derry Healthy Cities will engage companies in the western area, and NI Chest Heart and Stroke will act in the northern one.

The trio will encourage small, medium and large businesses to commit to improving the health, wellbeing and safety of employees at work, according to the Public Health Agency.

Dr Eddie Rooney, the agency’s chief executive, said: ‘The roll out of this service means that businesses will be able to access support through the providers and will be able to engage with their workers to improve health and wellbeing.’

The need for safe and healthy workplaces was highlighted in the Making Life Better public health strategic framework for Northern Ireland and in the 2015-19 outcomes set out in A Fitter Future for All.

Both documents illustrate a commitment to improving the quality of people’s lives by increasing participation in physical activity and promoting better food and nutritional habits.

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