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Healthy workplaces win top awards

DEPUTY Health Minister Vaughan Gething presented awards to businesses and organisations who have increased physical activity in the workplace at a special event in Swansea on Thursday (Mar 12).

Employers gathered at the Liberty Stadium to show how they are helping their staff become more active and improve their health at the Healthy Working Wales awards.

Healthy Working Wales is a Welsh Government initiative, which aims to improve health in the workplace, prevent people being made ill at work. It also encourages the rehabilitation of people who become ill as a result of their work.

More than 2,400 organisations have received support and advice through the programme, supporting almost 31% of the working population of Wales.

Organisations receiving awards include Aberystwyth University, Hortech Limited, Morgan Sindall plc, Rhondda Housing Association, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Cwm Taf University Health Board.

Mr Gething said: “It is great to recognise companies and organisations, which are doing such a good job in helping their staff become more active and improving their health. Increasing physical activity can have benefits, including increased productivity. Employers involved in Healthy Working Wales have reported reductions in sickness absence by up to 30%.”

Sue Wing, principal public health practitioner, at Public Health Wales, said: “The workplace can have a positive affect on employees’ health and wellbeing as people spend around 60% of their waking hours at work. There are numerous opportunities to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity throughout the working day, including the commute to and from work. Public Health Wales and partners can provide advice about this to any employer in Wales.”

All employers in Wales can access free professional support and advice about any work and health issue at www.healthyworkingwales.com.