Program Resources

To support you along your journey to create a comprehensive workplace health program we have developed a Support Toolkit for your use. This one-stop-shop will provide Alberta workplaces with guidance and support to develop and implement workplace health policies, programs and activities that are comprehensive and based on best practices.

Additional Planning Resources
Addiction
Healthy Eating
Healthy Weight
Physical Activity
Tobacco
UltraViolet Radiation Exposure (UVR)
Screening
Mental Health
Shift Work

Additional Planning Resources

For added support along your journey, here are some additional resources that may help you with your planning and implementation of your workplace health program.


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Healthy Eating

Healthy eating at work can boost concentration and productivity and improve overall health. Chronic diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity, have a considerable impact on the health of Albertans and how we eat plays an important role in our risk for these diseases. The health of employees contributes to their ability to perform and contribute to the workplace. When employees are well-nourished and healthy, their physical and mental well-being is enhanced. This can help to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity in the workplace. The tools and resources in this section can help you establish healthy eating policies and programs that will create an environment that supports your employees to make healthy choices.

Policy Resources Planning Fact Sheets Downloadable materials for employees
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Physical Activity

The cost of obesity to employers and society is substantial (e.g. increased health care costs, rising health insurance premiums, decreased productivity, increased absenteeism and disability). One estimate ranks obesity above both smoking and drinking in its impact on health and health costs. Nutrition and physical activity as modifiable risk factors are intricately related to the maintenance of a healthy body weight. As such, a healthy body weight initiative must include both a nutrition and physical activity component. The tools and resources in this section can help you establish policies and programs that will create an environment that supports your employees to make healthy choices.

Policy Resources Planning Fact Sheets Downloadable materials for employees
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Healthy Weight

The cost of obesity to employers and society is substantial (e.g. increased health care costs, rising health insurance premiums, decreased productivity, increased absenteeism and disability). One estimate ranks obesity above both smoking and drinking in its impact on health and health costs. Nutrition and physical activity as modifiable risk factors are intricately related to the maintenance of a healthy body weight. As such, a healthy body weight initiative must include both a nutrition and physical activity component. The tools and resources in this section can help you establish policies and programs that will create an environment that supports your employees to make healthy choices.

Policy Resources and other Programs
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Screening

Cancer screening looks for early signs of cancer in people who don't have any symptoms. Screening also looks for any abnormal changes in cells that haven't become cancer yet, but could develop into cancer over time. When abnormal changes or signs of these cancers are caught early, treatment can work better. In short, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening saves lives. Getting screened is an individual decision, but by educating your employees and providing on-site screening programs where available, you are contributing to the continued good health of your workforce. The tools and resources provided in this section can help you promote the importance of cancer and chronic disease screening programs in your workplace.

Policy Resources and other Programs Downloadable materials for employees
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Tobacco

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease responsible for more deaths than alcohol consumption, motor vehicle accidents, illicit drug use, murder, suicide and AIDS combined. It also costs the Alberta economy $1.8 billion every year. Tobacco use hurts your business through reduced employee productivity, sick leave, and drug costs as well as other factors such as increased risk of work-site fires. Providing a supportive environment to help employees quit or reduce their tobacco consumption will provide benefits for everyone. For many people, quitting smoking is the most difficult thing they will ever do. Many tobacco users need seven to eight attempts before they are successful in overcoming their addictions. The workplace can be a place that supports this challenging process. The tools and resources in this section can help you establish policies and programs that will create an environment that supports your employees to be tobacco free.

Policy Resources Planning Fact Sheets Downloadable materials for employees
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Mental Health

70% of Canadian employees are concerned about the psychological health and safety of their workplace, and 14% disagree that their mental health state is well or safe. This significantly affects workplaces, considering about 30% of short and long term disability claims in Canada are attributed to mental health problems and illnesses. Of the $51 billion economic cost each year attributed to mental illness in Canada, $20 billion stems from workplace losses. The workplace can give people the opportunity to feel productive and be a strong contributor to their mental wellbeing. The tools and resources provided in this section can help you establish policies and programs that will create an environment that supports your employees to make healthy choices.

Policy Resources Downloadable materials for employees
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UltraViolet Radiation Exposure (UVR)

UVR from the sun is a serious occupational hazard. Up to 90% of all skin cancers are associated with UVR exposure - a preventable risk factor. As an employer, it is important to understand the direct and indirect costs of UVR exposure in the workplace and how to minimize the risks to protect your workforce. The tools and resources in this section can help you establish policies and programs that will create an environment that supports your employees to make healthy choices.

Policy Resources Downloadable materials for employees
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Addictions

Employee use, misuse and abuse of substances can have a significant impact on the workplace. In addition to financial costs and productivity losses, which are substantial, substance use can affect the workplace in three ways: direct use, “hangover” effects and second-hand or indirect effects. Attention is often focused on preventing on-the-job use and the effects of direct use. However, hangover effects or indirect effects are often overlooked. It is important to consider and deal with all three ways that the use of alcohol or other drugs can affect the workplace.

Some warning signs that may indicate an employee is struggling with substance abuse are:

  • Increased absenteeism: arriving late for work, missing work and leaving early
  • Decreased productivity: not meeting deadlines, taking breaks, declined quality of work
  • Uncommon behaviors: irritable, mood swings, negative attitude, easily upset
  • Decreased social skills: conflicts with other co-workers, uncooperative, trouble listening to others
  • Poor judgment: frequent mistakes, accidents

Substance use in workplaces is very common and can even be encouraged by the organizational culture and practices of a workplace. Overuse of substances like alcohol increases employee risk of high blood pressure, heart and liver dysfunction, and several types of cancer. It is important for employers to support their employees through policies and programs that assist employees who are suffering from addictions problems.

Policy Resources and other Programs Downloadable materials for employees
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Shift Work

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that shift work (working outside the normal workday, often at nighttime) may cause cancer when it affects circadian rhythms (our internal clock). The circadian rhythm is the body's internal clock. It is a built-in biological rhythm, a rough 24-hour cycle that regulates certain physiological processes such as sleeping and eating. The circadian rhythm can be adjusted to environmental cues, such as daylight. To learn more about the relationship between cancer and shift work, visit our resources.

Policy Resources and other Programs
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