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Stepping up workplace wellbeing

 Stepping up workplace wellbeing

Stepping up workplace wellbeing

9 November 2017

Three members from the winning Steptathlon team, 'The Social Misfits': Netty Horton, Wayne Collyer and Major Sandy Crowden with their winners' trophy.

By Lauren Martin

On your mark, get set, WALK! There’s high hopes an Australia Southern Territory Stepathlon will go national as benefits flow from the corporate team walking challenge.

It’s been all the rage for a number of years now – give your employees a pedometer and hold a corporate step-a-thon, all aimed at getting workers moving for greater productivity and workplace wellbeing. So, when Australia Southern Territory Health and Wellbeing Consultant, Lindsey Doolin, got information for the Stepathlon challenge sent to her, she was initially skeptical.

But after seeing results from other organisations regarding declines in levels of depression and anxiety as a result of the Stepathlon, she got right behind it. The event is now in its third year in the Australia Southern Territory and it’s gaining momentum.

“We’ve been able to measure the specific outcomes in relation to well-being (mood), stress and anxiety using the self-reported survey pre and post challenge,” she said. “It’s such a great way of measuring the success of the program and encouraging others to participate.”’

Data from Stepathlon participants who completed a survey both before and after the challenge shows that depression is down by 32 per cent, anxiety has been reduced by 58 per cent and stress has decreased by 25 per cent.

“It also encouraged teamwork and improved productivity,” Lindsey said. “The whole mood of different workplaces changed ... people would go out for meetings, walking around the neighbourhood having a meeting, rather than sitting in a meeting room.”

Lindsey hopes that with the Australia One merger, Stepathlon, which runs once a year for a period of 75 days, will have teams participating from across Australia.

With such a passion for her role, it’s no wonder that in October this year, Lindsey Doolin was awarded with a WorkSafe Victoria award for excellence.

“My role covers health and wellbeing which involves injury management, workers compensation and workers wellbeing,” she said. “The actual award [I won] was Return to Work Coordinator Excellence.”

Lindsey initially shied away from nominating for the award, even though she was prompted by workers from the Victorian WorkSafe Return to Work Inspectorate who were impressed with her unique and compassionate approach working with employees who have suffered an injury or trauma. Seeing her humility, Lindsey’s manager nominated her when she went on holidays!

“I certainly never expected to win it,” she said. “I get up every morning and I want to make a difference. And this [the award] to me was just saying to me that perhaps I am making a difference to some people.”

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