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STRESS AND WELLBEING AT WORK. By Carla Mandis PGDipLP, LL.B (Hons) HR Business Partner. What is stress?. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has estimated that stress-related work accidents and ill health costs the country £7 billion a year and 13.8 million working days.

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By Carla Mandis

PGDipLP, LL.B (Hons)

HR Business Partner

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What is stress?

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has estimated that stress-related work accidents and ill health costs the country

    • £7 billion a year and

    • 13.8 million workingdays.

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What is stress? (con’t)

  • The HSE defines stress at work as arising

    • “when the demands of the job and the working environment on a person exceeds their capacity to meet them” and

    • “the reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them.”

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Effects of Stress

  • increased absenteeism (of which stress is the biggest cause)

  • low motivation

  • reduced productivity

  • reduced efficiency

  • faulty decision-making

  • poor industrial relations

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What is Well-Being Management?

  • Taking a holistic approach to employees’ health and well-being to create business performance and happiness in the workplace

  • It is about prevention rather than cure

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“Healthy Weight; Healthy lives – a Cross-Government Strategy for England”

This supports the creation of a healthy society - from early years, to schools and food, from sport and physical activity to planning, transport and the health service

  • promoting health and healthy food

  • building physical activity into our lives

  • supporting health at work

  • providing the incentives more widely to promote health

  • providing effective treatment and support when people become overweight or obese

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The paper states the following Strategy for England”:


  • Almost 2/3 of adults and 1/3 of children are either overweight or obese

    and without clear action, by 2050

  • Almost 9 in 10 adults and 2/3 of children will be either overweight or obese

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Impact on individual’s health Strategy for England”

  • Diabetes

  • Cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Liver disease

The more overweight people become, the higher the risks are!

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Stress at work Strategy for England”

Stress prevention and control is an essential part of the effective management of people at work

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To help alleviate stress and promote well-being in the workplace

  • Giving stress management training

  • Establishing a clear policy on mental health, stress, anti-bullying and harassment

  • Training

  • Regular appraisals

  • Monitoring

  • Flexibility

  • Awareness

  • Minimising excessive pressure

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Promoting Well-being workplace

Broadland District Council:

  • A work/life balance policy;

  • Publicising healthy living advice;

  • Extra investment in sports and social club; and

  • Giving greater priority to career development

To make people happy and healthy in their workplace and establish a culture of good attendance

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In the 5 years since the scheme was introduced: workplace

  • Sickness rates have fallen

  • Levels of staff satisfaction have increased

  • Over 90% of employees say they are satisfied with the council

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More of these from employers: workplace

  • Active travel policies for staff and visitors.

  • A supportive physical environment

  • Recreational activities

  • try to provide opportunities for staff to eat healthy foods in canteen/restaurants, hospitality and vending machines

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A working example: Portsmouth City Council workplace

“Designed for Portsmouth businesses both large and small, WHWH has been developed by Portsmouth City Council and Portsmouth Teaching Primary Care Trust working in partnership.

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The Work & Wellbeing Hallmark workplace

  • recognising the contribution of the business world to making life a positive and rewarding experience for employees

  • providing a framework for a pragmatic approach to the health and well-being of staff

  • providing businesses in the Portsmouth area with the tools to encourage and promote healthier workplaces

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PCC has also developed a fitness zone: workplace

  • Chinese style kickboxing

  • Cycling after work

  • Early bird walk along the seafront

  • Lunchtime walk

  • High and low impact aerobics

  • Pilates and

  • Yoga

£2.00 - £3.50 a session.

Smoking cessation advice and support are also offered for any employee wishing to quit smoking

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Summary workplace

  • Health and well-being will be big news for 2009

  • NOT a short-term goal

  • A long-term journey towards making employees healthier, feeling valued and motivated in the workplace

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Contact Details workplace

Carla Mandis  


Tel.: 01962 840664