Working on Wellness

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WoW is a 3-year initiative aimed at reducing preventable cancers and other chronic diseases through promotion of healthy choices and wellness in the workplace.

Workplace wellness is a promising practice in health promotion. After all, Canadians are at work for half of their waking hours, so it makes sense to promote health where people spend their time.

The health outcomes for men and First Nations are below average – especially in the North. Working on Wellness in Strategic Populations (WoW) will test how we can change the way we talk about health in the workplace to get our message across.

BCHLA is going beyond our provincial border to try out the concept in different contexts – WoW includes BC, the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories.

WoW is a 3-year initiative aimed at reducing preventable cancers and other chronic diseases through promotion of healthy choices and wellness in the workplace.

The project builds on the success of Canadian Cancer Society’s WellnessFits workplace program, attempting to better reach two distinct populations:

  • male dominated and/or remote and rural populations in primary industry
  • First Nations communities’ local Administrative Offices.

BCHLA is leading WoW through a multi-jurisdictional partnership. Implementation partners include: Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon, the Council of Yukon First Nations; and the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Evaluation and knowledge exchange partners are Goodson Consulting, the Centre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention and the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada (CDPAC). The overall project is made possible through financial support from the Canadian Partnership against Cancer, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Health Canada.

WoW started in the Fall of 2013 and we have now piloted tailored programs in 11 worksites. We’ve learned a lot, and look forward to sharing our lessons learned and the resources that have been making a difference in our sites.

Policies that support workplace wellness including proper sleep, healthy eating, physical activity and mental wellness are all part of the larger equation of health and safety, forging a strong link between workplace wellness and health and safety. That’s why we are sponsoring the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety’s Forum this February in Vancouver – the Changing World of Work. We believe that by bringing these two areas of work together, there are many opportunities to change work environments for the better.