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    Katrina Davis

    Great article Margo. In a perfect world we’d all have enough self-control to resist the constant offers of morning teas and ease of access to unhealthy snacks which is common at so many workplaces. But for many of us (including me) it’s not that simple – we need healthy food to instead become the default and easy option.

    There is actually some work happening on this issue at the national level through the Healthy Workers Initiative – part of the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health (I don’t work there, not a plug). Be worth keeping an eye on.

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    I’d welcome some changes in the workplace. I bring my own fruit & nut snacks and avoid the vending machine chocolates, for instance, and I think that closed stairwells are an abomination that should be banned. More widespread use of dual standing/sitting desks would be good, and oh, if only the stretch break could be as socially acceptable as the old cigarette break used to be! I’d be delighted! Yes, OH&S politely suggest it in most places, but no-one actually seems to do it that I’ve noticed. I mean, you’d be seen to be not! working! You slacker!

    But I also think it’s very important to be careful how you do these things. Workplaces are not homogeneous collections of people who all need the same things to be healthy. For example, it’s particularly troublesome when recovering anorexics are pushed to join a work weight-watching program – that can trigger relapses. Or when people with invisible disabilities are socially shamed for using the lift instead of the stairs.


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