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North East Connected

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Good work is good for you – and good for business

ByEmily

Oct 3, 2016

The report, called “Good work – good for you, good for business:  The health and wellbeing of the working age population’’, has been written by Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire with contributions from North Yorkshire County Council colleagues and partner organisations.

“This is my fourth annual report and this year it looks at the health and wellbeing of the working age population, making key recommendations around creating healthy workplaces and building a healthy workforce” said Dr Sargeant.

“In North Yorkshire, the levels of unemployment and numbers of people not working due to sickness or other personal reasons are low compared with other areas. However, this hides some major challenges. The young working age population has reduced and continues to shrink, and we struggle to recruit workers to fill jobs in vital sectors.

“This is a particular problem for the health and social care system that has to prepare for the growing needs of an ageing population – especially in North Yorkshire. Our report outlines how we need to ‘work well’ with employers, health and social care professionals, and potential employees so that we can raise the awareness of the health benefits of ‘good work’ and meet the needs of our residents.

Councillor David Chance, executive member for stronger communities and public health said:  “This year’s annual report asks us to work with local businesses, partner organisations and our residents to improve the health of our communities.  We know the challenges some people face when entering the workforce or staying employed because of ill health or disability.

“There are things we can all do to improve our future in North Yorkshire so that it’s somewhere people want to live and work in 2050. The challenge for us all is to recognise the importance of taking action now.”

The report concludes with a progress update on the 2015 report recommendations and Dr Sargeant’s recommendations for 2016-17 as Director of Public Health. ‘Good work – good for you, good for business:  The health and wellbeing of the working age population; can be downloaded fromhttp://hub.datanorthyorkshire.org/group/dphar

NYCC is committed to being a ‘Mindful employer’ and as part of a wider programme of promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace, its employees have been taking part in the One You 4 Week Challenge over the month of September.  The challenge is run by Public Health England as part of tits One You campaign, and aims to improve employee’s health at work.

NYCC staff were challenged to pick a new health habit and stick to it for a month. Teams from across the council got involved, taking part in a range of new health habits and activities including cycling to work, getting more sleep, practicing meditation and drinking more water.

Some teams started competitions to see who could take the most steps each day and others formed running groups to exercise together after work. At the start of the challenge, a mile logger was set up to track the distance run, walked and cycled by staff over the month. The initial target

was to cover 872 miles, the length from Land’s End to John O’Groats – but this target was broken in just over two weeks.  By the end of the month NYCC staff had covered 1560 miles – the distance to John O’Groats and nearly all the way back too.

By Emily