Preventing Chronic Disease (Cancer, Heart and Stroke, Diabetes)

Help Employees Tackle Fatigue

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health Safety has a resources that you can share with your employees that will help them identify whether or not they are dealing with the effects of fatigue and what they can do to make it better.  There is a webpage full of information and a short 4 minute podcast [...]

“Work With Us” – A Program to Support Employees with Depression and/or Arthritis

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada and the Arthritis Society have teamed up to create a program to support employees living with depression and/or arthritis.  The program offers a variety of ways in which to get involved–customized presentations, on-line support, videos and webinars and other downloadable resources.  For more information visit their website. Source: Peterborough [...]

Chronic Disease Prevention: Helpful Resources

LOCAL RESOURCES Canadian Cancer Society, Peterborough  -  (705) 742-3823 Ontario Breast Screening Program (PRHC)  -  (705) 740-8166 or 1-800-974-4461 Ontario Breast Screening Program (Medical Centre)  -  (705) 876-4505 Peterborough & District Oncology Centre  -  (705) 740-8326 Heart and Stroke Foundation (Peterborough)  -  (705) 749-1044 Canadian Diabetes Association  -  (705) 741-2155 Women’s Health Care Centre  -  [...]

Sun Safety for Golfers

Do you have avid golfers in your workplace.  If you do, you will know!  While they get outside to mix a little comraderie with exercise (a great boost for mental health), encourage them to be sun safe.  Here is a Poster that you can place around the workplace for employees to see. Source: Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Educate Your Employees about the Dangers of Tanning

In July 2009, the World Health Organization categorized tanning equipment as a known carcinogen, as dangerous to health as smoking and asbestos.  Exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning beds before 35 years of age increases the possibility of developing melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, by 75%. This is especially alarming since [...]

Shiftwork and Cancer

The March issue of Ontario Cancer Facts from Cancer Care Ontario addresses the link between shiftwork and cancer.  The article starts by saying that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified night- time shift work as ’probably carcinogenic to humans’.  Those sectors with the most shift work employees were manufacturing,  retail, health care and accommodation and food services.  To [...]

Encourage Employees to Walk While They Work

Recent research shows that sitting for long periods of time is bad for our health.  If you organization is a “sitting” workplace–sitting at computers and sitting in meetings–encourage employees to move while they work.  Promote walking meetings, standing up while using the phone, and walking over to speak with co-workers rather than phoning or e-mailing. These are small changes but every [...]

Shifting Gears Challenge

Every May, workplaces in the Peterborough area are encouraged to participate in the Shifting Gears Challenge.   This year, the challenge has expanded to be a community challenge and there is still a workplace component.  The idea is to get as many employees signed up as possible and for the month of May, they walk, cycle, [...]

Reveal the Nutritional Value of Vending Machine Snacks

Some people will make different food choices if they know the nutritional content of the food.  The nutrition label on the food items in vending machines are not usually visible so reproduce the nutrition labels and post them near the machine.  Suggest alternative healthy items, and if possible, make them available to employees.  For example, provide a fruit [...]

Skin Cancer Awareness

Skin cancer can effect anyone but outdoor workers are especially vulnerable.  Remind employees to take precautions by applying sun screen, wearing long sleeves, a hat and sunglasses when possible and seeking shade breaks.  Support employees by providing them with sun screen and shade tents, umbrellas or canopies. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Make it Mandatory to Report Chemical Spills and Leaks

When harmful or infectious chemicals and substances are released into the work environment, it is crucial to document the spill and respond quickly.  Proper reporting of spills and leaks will ensure a fast, appropriate response to the incident and better measures to prevent spills in the first place. Source: Brant County Health Unit

TB Tests for New Employees

Require that all new hires are tested for tuberculosis prior to beginning work.  Special attention should be paid to newly immigrated employees that arrive in Canada from countries that are at high-risk for TB exposure. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Eat Well, Be Active (Kit)

Health Canada has produced two great resources that walk you through healthy eating  and physical activity information.  There are step by step instructions on how you can facilitate this in different settings.  See the two guides below for more information: Activity Plan #1 (Children and Adults):  Benefits of Eating Well and Being Physically Active Activity [...]

Driven to Quit Challenge

This is a provincial contest that awards those who quit smoking for a minimum period of time the opportunity to enter into a draw to win amazing prizes.  Friends and family members of smokers are encouraged to become a support buddy in “The Challenge” for their chance to win a buddy prize.  For details and [...]

Familiarize Employees with Canada’s Food Guide

Distribute flyers around the workplace that display Canada’s Food Guide: and explain the recommended daily intake of different foods.  Make sure that these flyers are available in and around cafeterias, dining areas, rest areas, and vending machines. Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

His & Hers Health Fair

Organize a Health Fair at your workplace. Invite organizations to provide a display or handouts that introduce employees to the issues related to healthy eating, staying active, and maintaining vitality throughout life. Approach different organizations for resources.  Organizations could include your local Health Unit, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Diabetes Association, or the [...]

Provide Programming that Encourages Responsible Substance Use

Host a seminar or distribute informational materials on low-risk drinking guidelines and tips for appointing a designated driver.  For those who choose not to drink alcohol, post recipes for non-alcoholic “mocktails.”  You can find a number of mocktail recipes at the Peterborough County-City Health Unit website: Source: Brant County Health Unit

Encourage Employees to Rid Themselves—and Their Clothing—of Workplace Chemicals

Employees who work with potentially harmful or infectious substances are advised to shower and change their clothing prior to leaving the workplace.  If no shower or locker facilities are available, employees should transport their soiled clothing in plastic bags, making sure that the clothes do not come in contact with any other garments. Source: Brant [...]

Promoting Heart Attack and Heart Health Awareness

Host a seminar or distribute informational materials on heart health.  Important topics include risk factors for having a heart attack, practical strategies for promoting heart health, and signs and symptoms of heart attack in men and women.  If you have an occupational health nurse, consider holding a blood pressure clinic.  If you don’t have a [...]

Provide Employees with Personal Protective Equipment

Occupational carcinogens can enter the body through one or more routes, including inhalation, ingestion with food, absorption through the skin, or direct exposure to the skin.  Therefore, it is important that employees wear personal protective equipment such as goggles, gowns, and gloves when they come in contact with harmful or infectious substances at work.  As [...]

Sun Safety

Some employees spend a lot of time outside and it’s important for them to know how to protect themselves from the damaging rays of the sun. Below are a number of great links to quizzes and videos that you can use.   Sunsense Quiz from Canadian Cancer Society   Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA)   [...]

Actively Promote Your Company’s Health Benefit Plan

If your health benefit plan covers medications and other supports that may help employees quit smoking, make these benefits known to employees.  Create posters, pay-stub inserts, and other announcements that publicize these tools and strategies to interested workers. If your benefits plan does not include these, explore the feasibility of including coverage or subsidization for Nicotine Replacement [...]

Implement and Enforce Smoke-Free Workplace Policies

Create or revise comprehensive workplace smoke-free policies that go beyond the Smoke-Free Ontario Act which prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces and work vehicles. For example, create polices in which smoking is not permitted within a nine metre radius surrounding any entrance, exit or air intake OR even better implement a 100% smoke-free property policy. Remember, [...]

Place a Spotlight on Fitness

Create awards or incentives that recognize employees who regularly engage in physical activity.  Consider similar accolades for employees who have just recently begun an exercise program or for those who have reached an important fitness goal. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Flexible Scheduling that Encourages Exercise

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to dedicate a few moments throughout the day to physical activity.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established by management.  More flexibility means that employees have [...]

A League of Their Own

Encourage physical activity and athletics among employees by helping to establish workplace sports leagues or walking clubs.  As the employer, you are in a position to take the lead.  Reserve outdoor recreational areas, create rosters, and provide sports equipment.  Just make sure to offer a variety of options for employees of different ages and abilities. [...]

Provide Staff with Outdoor Recreation Space

Encourage employees to use this space for physical activity before, during, or after work.  Given the size and suitability of the area, you may also want to provide sports equipment, such as soccer balls, volleyball nets, etc; or, encourage employees to bring these supplies from home. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Incorporate Physical Activity into Recreational Events

Next time you plan a recreational event for employees, make exercise a key component of the day’s activities.  Invite employees to take a hike in the woods, enjoy an afternoon of skiing, go golfing, or participate in a walking fundraiser for charity.  Employees receive a double benefit.  They engage in physical activity while enjoying a [...]

Fast Food Awareness (Kit)

As an additional measure to encourage employees to make healthy food choices and avoid lunches that are high in fat, host an informational seminar on fast food.  Using the resources included below, facilitate a discussion on the nutritional value of fast food and alternative healthy lunch options.  Distribute printed materials on the nutritional value of [...]

Healthy Food Policy

Develop a healthy eating policy for your workplace that identifies healthy foods to include in the cafeteria, in vending machines, and for catered meetings and events. Start with a policy to increase fruit and vegetable options at workplace sponsored events (e.g. meetings, catered lunches). For example, 100% fruit juice could be included as an option [...]

Place Limits on Workplace Junk Food

Does your workplace have an abundance of tempting, unhealthy snacks?  Develop guidelines or policies that require that healthy food choices are served at all meetings and workshops. Some examples of healthy snacks and beverages include water, milk, 100% fruit juice, fruit and vegetable  trays, low-fat dip, yogurt, nuts, whole-grain crackers, lower-fat muffins, and whole grain [...]

Encourage Employees to get their Cholesterol Checked Yearly

Encourage employees to know their numbers (e.g. LDL, HDL, triglycerides) and provide information on the benefits of a diet that is low in cholesterol.  Make healthy recipes available including tasty substitutions for high-cholesterol foods.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

Calcium Counts—Encourage Your Employees to Consume the Recommended Amount

Adequate calcium consumption promotes healthy bone growth and helps prevent osteoporosis in later life.  In order to draw employees’ attention, create lunchroom displays advertising over-the-counter calcium supplements and calcium-rich foods.  Samples of recipes that are high in calcium may also prove helpful.  Host a seminar on the prevention of osteoporosis to get employees thinking about [...]

Create an Attractive Placemat for Your Cafeteria Trays

Employees might welcome this creative alternative to the monthly wellness newsletter.  A recyclable placemat could provide a helpful advertising tool for a variety of health topics such as healthy eating strategies, nutritious recipes, and workplace wellness events.   Source:  Peterborough County-City Health Unit

At Work Vegetable Garden

Consider converting any available green space at your workplace into a vegetable garden. Employees can volunteer to plant and care for the garden. Depending on how much is grown and harvested, vegetables can be shared among the staff and/or community neighbours or donated to the local food bank or shelter.  If a garden plot is not available, [...]

Start a Walking Club

Organize a group of employees to meet at a predetermined time and location everyday (before or after work, over lunch or during breaks) and go for a walk.  Map out 15 and 30 minute routes so staff can complete the route during their breaks.   If feasible, provide lockers and showers on site to encourage employees to be active. Supply [...]

Spring Training

Sometimes what holds people back from trying a new sport or activity is the cost and commitment when you don’t know if you will even like it.  Host a free introductory session at work where employees can try something new.  See if there are any employees who have training in an activity (e.g., T’ai Chi, pilates, [...]

How Much is in a Portion?

Host an activity in which employees must select the appropriate serving sizes of a variety of different foods.  The employee who selects the most correct serving sizes wins.  Encourage employees to use Canada’s Food Guide to determine appropriate serving sizes. Follow up this activity with a seminar on appropriate portion sizes and the importance of [...]

Feature Interactive Displays or Bulletin Boards in High-Traffic Areas

Colorful and attractive displays on nutrition and heathy eating easily draw the attention of employees.  Create posters or bulletin boards that advertise healthier  meal choices, healthy tips for food preparation, and favourite healthy recipes.  The same strategy can be used for many other topics including being active, being smoke free, responsible drinking, reducing stress, shiftwork, [...]

Encourage Employees to Exercise—Even When Sitting at Their Desks

Host a seminar on “Deskercise,” a series of stretching exercises that employees can call upon while working to reduce the strain caused by sitting and typing for extended periods of time.  Some examples include neck rolls, shoulder shrugs, stomach squeezes, hip twisters, wrist curls and yawning.  Challenge employees to keep a log of how many [...]

Establish a Workplace Walking Route

As a strategy to encourage employees to take walking breaks, map a 10-minute walking route that explores the streets and landmarks around your workplace.  Advertise the route to interested employees using posters and maps.  As a fitness and promotional activity, host team walking challenges along the route. Source: County of Lambton, Community Health Services Department

Healthy Recipe Contest (Kit)

A healthy recipe contest  promotes employees to cook appetizing  and healthy meals.  Participants are encouraged to submit their favorite  healthy recipe to activity coordinators, who will then judge each recipe based on its nutritional value, inventiveness, and taste.  The employee who has submitted the most mouth-watering  healthy meal is declared the winner.  Following the contest, [...]

Material Safety Data Sheets are a Must

These documents list the ingredients contained within workplace chemicals and describe proper handling procedures for each substance.  As an employer, make sure to familiarize yourself and your employees with these documents and the hazards associated with using each chemical. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Provide Clean Facilities for Handwashing

Make sure that employees have access to facilities and supplies with which they can wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.  It’s important that support staff keep these facilities clean and operational according to the highest standards. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Create and Implement a Dangerous/Infectious Materials Policy

Such a policy should clearly explain what managers and staff should do if they identify or come in contact with bodily fluids, spoiled foods, or other infectious materials in the workplace.  The policy should emphasize strategies that employees can use to prevent infection and reduce the incidence of infectious materials. Source: Brant County Health Unit

Healthy Eating Habits, Around the Clock

Encouraging healthy eating during shiftwork can optimize employee health and well-being.  Host a seminar or activity that promotes healthy eating strategies designed especially for shiftworkers.  Programming should emphasize the value of three meals per day, healthy snacks, foods that are mild in flavor and easy to digest, and plenty of fluids.  If possible, suggest that [...]