Michael Rodd In Moonee Valley Walktober Walk Off

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19th October 2010, 09:19pm - Views: 1125


For further information: Janine Scott, Walktober Workplace Challenge

0412 509 025 or 03 9417 2210    janine@cause-effect.com.au

Release Date Tuesday 19 October

Page 1 of 3

‘Active’ workplaces are not just horsing around

Pic caption

First out of the starting gates this morning for the first ever Walktober walk off over a furlong

at Moonee Valley Racecourse was A-list jockey MICHAEL RODD, a nose ahead of Minister

Tim Pallas.  The field, comprising active workplace CEOs, were neck and neck, pipped by

Michael Rodd on Dr John Lang (not his usual mount) at the winning post.  The ‘walk off’

officially started the WALKTOBER WORKPLACE CHALLENGE, which runs Monday to

Friday next week and involves 272 workplaces in most suburbs and regions.     

In the starting stalls: Greg Tweedly, CEO WorkSafe; Wayne Kayler-Thomson, CEO VECCI;

Michael Browell, CEO Moonee Valley Racing Club, Campbell Rose, CEO Western Bulldogs;

Kathy Bell, CEO Heart Foundation; Greg Johnson, Kinect Australia Board Member and

Diabetes Australia Vic CEO; and Dr John Lang, CEO Good Health Solutions.

In business terms, encouraging employees to walk at lunchtime, take in-house yoga classes

and eat fruit could just be dismissed as horsing around, but running active workplace

programs like next week’s Walktober Workplace Challenge can generate a handsome

return on investment.       

Data from the WorkHealth program has shown that 858 workers out of 100,000 had a ‘very

high risk’ of developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease and were advised to see

their GP in 24 hours, with a further 39% at the ‘high risk’ level, reflecting some serious

health issues in our workplaces.  

“The fact is that most people don’t know if they’re at risk of these common chronic

diseases. They may not be as healthy as they think and this could be impacting on their

quality of life, including their performance and engagement at work,” said Greg Tweedly,

Chief Executive of WorkSafe Victoria. 

“After they’ve done WorkHealth checks, many businesses have asked us what more they

can do to support the health of their staff. The Walktober Workplace Challenge provides a

great incentive for us all to get active during the working week.” 

VECCI CEO Wayne Kayler-Thomson asserts the link between employee health and

productivity is now widely recognised, “Absenteeism alone costs Victoria $440 million per


Rob Moodie, Director of the National Preventative Health Strategy thinks the solution is

simple, “Despite the wonders of medical science there will never be a pill for physical

activity and we need physical activity to stay well. Walking is undoubtedly the easiest way of

being active. Workplaces, even ones where we sit on our bums all day, can become great

places to help us get moving again and help us to stay fit.”  

Both VECCI and WorkHealth agree small steps can make a big difference to health and

wellbeing and recommend six low cost, easily implemented ideas:

For further information: Janine Scott, Walktober Workplace Challenge

0412 509 025 or 03 9417 2210    janine@cause-effect.com.au

Release Date Tuesday 19 October

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Six steps to a healthier workplace

Encouraging good health in the workplace doesn’t have to be difficult, or expensive. There

are many simple ways of getting people thinking about their health, eating better, and being

more active. Here are just a few ideas that you could implement at your workplace straight


Encourage ‘active transport’. It’s easy to get off a stop early and walk the rest of the

way to work, form a walking group at lunchtime, or organise ‘walking meetings’. Make it

fun and offer incentives – e.g. a free healthy breakfast for workers who participate in the

Walktober Workplace Challenge 25-29 October!

Organise group activities. People often find more motivation when they are part of a

group, working together to achieve common goals. Weight loss groups, walking groups,

or groups training to participate in a team challenge such as a fun run are all great ways

to promote good health – and a bit of healthy competition!

Sign up for WorkHealth checks. WorkSafe Victoria is offering free, confidential, 15-

minute health check-ups to every Victorian worker as part of the WorkHealth program.

It’s a great way to learn about your health and any risk factors for chronic disease. Sign

up your workplace at workhealth.vic.gov.au

Provide ready access to healthy snacks. Organise a weekly fruit box delivery and

make sure your vending machine provides healthy options, such as trail mix or rice

crackers. Offer healthy food alternatives and non-alcoholic drinks at events and

gatherings as well.

Find out what your employees need. Before offering health and wellbeing activities,

talk to your employees about what would appeal to them. You can also do WorkHealth’s

online Healthy Workplace Check, which will tell you how your business stacks up and

what you can do next.

Encourage holidays!   No Leave, No Life.  Resting and restoring energy is good for

mental and physical health, yet 123 million days and $33.3 billion of leave is stockpiled

by Australian employees, creating tax implications and balance sheet liabilities and

posing a risk to health and safety. Sign up on line and access VECCI’s Employer

Toolkit, which will help your workplace manage and remove the barriers to taking leave.

Feature workplace

Moonee Valley Racing Club started its Wellbeing program after conducting a staff

engagement survey to find out what staff wanted.  The racing club implemented

WorkHealth checks across their diverse workforce, concluding six weeks ago.  Staff is now

provided with shower facilities, walking groups and discounted gym memberships and the

organisation is signed up for the Walktober Workplace Challenge.  

Moonee Valley Racing Club CEO Michael Browell is available for interview.   

Western Bulldogs CEO Campbell Rose says, “You would expect a football club to be an

active workplace, however it’s not just elite footballers who benefit from being fit.  We

should aim for every Australian workplace to be active and support employee health.”   


For further information: Janine Scott, Walktober Workplace Challenge

0412 509 025 or 03 9417 2210    janine@cause-effect.com.au

Release Date Tuesday 19 October

Page 3 of 3

Background on Walktober Workplace Challenge

Currently 233 workplaces are registered in the 2010 Walktober Workplace Challenge, which

runs from Monday 25 to Friday 29 October 2010.

The Challenge encourages people to add as many walks possible into their working schedule

for one week and to think about leaving the car at home, or getting off public transport a

few stops earlier.  Every 15 minute walk counts, including at lunchtime, walking to meetings

or even holding walking meetings.  

The program is delivered by Kinect Australia, funded by the Brumby Labour Government

and championed by Minister Tim Pallas in alignment with the Pedestrian Access Strategy.

Kinect Australia is a not-for-profit association committed to enhancing individual health and

well-being in the community.  

“We want CEOs and leaders of organisations to apply their great leadership and planning

skills to promoting active living for their employees,” said Greg Johnson, Board Member of

Kinect Australia.  “Walking is one of the cheapest and easiest forms of activity for most

people and provides some of the best medicine to prevent chronic disease.”   

Background on Walktober

Walktober, a campaign to engage the community in walking, was established in 2006 by

Kinect Australia in partnership with VicHealth and now generates over well over 500 events

across five states.  Two key events are Walk to School Day and the Walktober Workplace


Friday 1 October

National Walk to Work Day

Pedestrian Council of


Saturday 2 - Friday 8 October

Nordic Walking Come and

Try Week

Nordic Academy Australia

Sunday 3 – Sunday 10 


Victorian Seniors Festival

Givoni Statewide Discovery

Walks Program

Victorian Seniors Festival

Sunday 10 October

October Buddy Walk 

Down Syndrome Assoc

Friday 15 October 

White Cane Day

Vision Australia

Wednesday 20 October

Walk to School Day 


Monday 25 to Friday 29


Walktober Workplace


Kinect Australia/Dept of


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