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Canterbury Healthy Workplaces Update: Spring 2019

Friday, October 25, 2019   Posted in: Newsletters By: Administrator With tags: newsletter, workplace, physical activity, safety, diversity, culture, resources

Kia ora, Talofa, Namaste, Mālō e lelei, Hola, Ni Hao, Salaam and Hello. Welcome back to the Healthy Workplaces Update. The focus for this issue is on the everyday, simple changes that we can all make in our places of work to help promote the wellbeing of everyone there.

Enjoy a Healthy Spring!

From Community and Public Health and your Workplace Wellbeing/ WorkWell Advisor: Ann Vanschevensteen (ann.vanschevensteen[at] or 03 378 6781).

Sit Less (September)

Sit Less September encourages people who spend most of their day sitting to stand up and move more.

Research shows that moving (or standing) more throughout the day:

  • lowers your blood pressure;
  • improves your mental health; and
  • increases your metabolism (so the production of fat-burning enzymes is increased. This improves the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar so it reduces your chance of getting Type 2 Diabetes).

The benefits for any workplace that supports people to stand up, sit less and move more include more productivity and increased staff engagement, and reduced absenteeism.

And even though Sit Less September is a once-a-year event, you can of course carry on throughout the year to reap the ongoing health, productivity and engagement benefits.

Nō reira e Tu Tātau! So let’s Stand Up for Yourself!

Here’s how some Christchurch workplaces ‘do’ Sit Less September:

  • The Pawtrol says hello to another local business - Trowel Trades Christchurch. Tanker’s strategy for Sit Less
    September is to have Pooch Personal Trainers Noodles and Fergus pawtrol the neighbourhood three times a day – and of course humans are very welcome to join in!
  • Delicia Michele, Angela and Sue work at van Asch Deaf Education Centre. They embrace Sit Less September with lunchtime walks along Sumner Esplanade.

Need some ideas?
Have a look at these free resources to help you plan how to stand up, sit less and move more:

Cultural diversity in New Zealand workplaces

The Stats New Zealand 2018 Census showed an ever increasing growth in diversity of our New Zealand population.
Workplaces are also more likely to encounter employees who bring with them languages, experiences, culture and beliefs different one’s own.

Here are some new resources for you to use with staff from different cultures:

  • The Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) has announced that Ezispeak is the new supplier for telephone interpreting services (replacing “Language Line”) and will be offering on-demand telephone interpreting services for government agencies, accessing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in over 180 languages from mid-September 2019 (Media release, 6/9/2019)
  • Our Government introduced a new employer-led work visa for migrant workers recently. This will enable around 25,000 to 30,000 more workplaces to employ people from different cultures to help fill skills shortages.
  • From the South African software programmer to the Korean sales employee – before you know it you have an inter-cultural workplace. How to communicate cross-culturally and how to motivate people differs from culture to culture.
    Get tips on how to make the most of our differences and commonalities (Immigration NZ).

All Right? He waka eke noa has been translated into seven different languages - Arabic, Dari, Hindi, Nepali, Somali, Tigrinya and Urdu.

He waka eke noa is built on the premise that in tough times we can feel a range of emotions. Each of us are affected differently and we all work through feelings in our own ways and at our own pace.

He waka eke noa reminds us that these responses are natural and help us process experiences and move forward.
The translated posters and Te Reo Māori and English versions can be ordered online from:

Don’t Slip up with Sun protection

The Cancer Society of New Zealand encourages people to be SunSmart from September to April between 10 am and 4pm and when Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) levels are 3 and above.

Particular care should be taken for outdoor workers as they are exposed to significantly more UV radiation than most and are often working outdoors at times when UVR levels are at their peak.

Edwards and Hardy Roofing based in Hei Hei (Christchurch) recently invited Amanda Dodd from the Cancer Society to come and speak to their staff about how to reduce their skin cancer risk.

Canterbury Manager for Edwards and Hardy Roofing, Kyle Blackman said “Our teams spend much of their days outside and on roofs. During the summer months this means they are at risk of significant exposure to UV radiation, so we aim to promote awareness and make it easier for our teams to protect themselves by providing wide brimmed sun hats, collared shirts, sun glasses and sunscreen. We also want our them to feel confident about how to protect themselves so that they can reduce their risk of skin cancer.”

So if you work outside during (the hottest part of) the day, remember:

  • Slip into sun protective clothing (long sleeves and collared shirts) and slip into shade;
  • Slop on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30; and
  • Slap on a wide brimmed hat and wrap on some close-fitting sunglasses.

Combining these SunSmart actions rather than just relying on sunscreen will give you the best protection from harmful exposure to UVR.

Find out about the day’s weather by going to:

Visit the Cancer Society website for information and advice about skin  cancer prevention within the workplace.

Check out the new resource Stay Cool and Well this Summer for more tips on staying cool, hydrated and well during the summer months.
Order this free resource from the Community Health Information Centre.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch