Canada's 8th Annual Healthy Workplace Week is now Canada's Healthy Workplace Month

    Put your workplace to the test from September 29 - October 26

    TORONTO, Aug. 20 /CNW/ - - Canada's Healthy
Workplace Month (CHWM), formerly a week-long event, is now a four-week long
celebration designed to introduce workplace health to organizations and
support those who are already promoting healthy workplaces.
    CHWM is presented by Great-West Life and managed by the National Quality
Institute in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health
and Safety. GoodLife Fitness is the official fitness provider.
    The theme for 2008 is: Take the Healthy Workplace Challenge. Each week,
organizations will be challenged to participate in an activity based on NQI's
Healthy Workplace(R) elements. The weekly challenge themes are Fit@Work,
Support@Work, Green@Work, and Champions@Work. CHWM will announce winners for
each week, so organizations are encouraged to step up and take the challenge.
    Organizations can register at to participate
in some or all of the challenges.

    Why a Healthy Workplace is Important

    Studies show that healthcare costs are increasing at twice the rate of
inflation. In Canada, more than 50,000 strokes and 75,000 heart attacks occur
every year. Eight percent of workers are taking medication to treat depression
and other mental-health conditions. Mental illness costs the Canadian economy
$51 billion each year. What are companies doing about this?
    With stress both at home and at work, it's safe to say that many
employees feel undervalued and stressed. At the National Quality Institute
(NQI), we know that happy, healthy employees are more likely to treat their
customers well. They are also more likely to stay with their employers, and a
healthy workplace environment improves their health and well-being.
    Canada's Healthy Workplace Month is about celebrating employees, their
successes, and accomplishments! During October, every employer is encouraged
to take extra time to recognize their employees and show them how vital they
are to the success of their organization.
    "We hope that employers and employees will take advantage of the
challenges and activities each week of the month," says Allan Ebedes,
President and CEO at NQI. "Experiencing the joy and sense of well-being from
this celebration will hopefully encourage workplaces to initiate and sustain a
healthy workplace strategy that incorporates NQI's three critical elements:
healthy lifestyle practices, occupational health and safety and the physical
environment, and a culture of fairness and respect."

    About Canada's Healthy Workplace Month (CHWM), September 29 - October 26:

    The Month promotes fostering a workplace culture of trust and respect
where people are happy and healthy at work. In a healthy workplace, people
want to come to work.
    CHWM is partially funded by the following organizations:

    Presenters: Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life
    Champions of Excellence: Sun Life Financial and The Power Within
    Official Fitness Provider: GoodLife Fitness
    Benefactors: Buffett and Company, Purolator Courier, and Desjardins
    Financial Security
    Advocates: Ricoh Canada, XEROX, and Distil Interactive Ltd.
    Supporters: Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and Industrial Accident
    Prevention Association (IAPA)
    Industry Sponsors: Region of Peel and Industrial Alliance
    Media Sponsor: Your Workplace Magazine

    "As presenting sponsor, we are pleased to support the expansion of this
initiative from one week to a full month, helping to further raise awareness
of the importance and benefits of workplace wellness for organizations and
individuals alike. As a leading provider of life and health insurance and as
caring members of the communities we serve, Great-West Life takes special
interest in supporting innovative programs that address the health and
wellness concerns of Canadians." - Jan Belanger, Assistant Vice-President,
Community Affairs for Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life

    The website for Canada's Healthy Workplace Month
( provides short-term practical tools and ideas
for organizations to help them participate. As well, it provides case studies
and long-term strategies for organizations to adopt as part of a comprehensive
and integrated approach to organizational health.
    The goals for Canada's Healthy Workplace Month are to:

    -   Increase awareness of comprehensive workplace health in Canada
    -   Build awareness of workplace health research and how its outcomes
        apply to business productivity
    -   Generate awareness and use of the Healthy Workplace(R) tools and
        resources, available through, to all
        Canadian organizations
    -   Increase the number of healthy workplaces in Canada

    We hope your organization will join in the 8th Annual Canada's Healthy
Workplace Month celebration. For ideas, activities, and strategies for the
Month and beyond, visit Let's value our people
so our people will value their workplace!

For further information:

For further information: Kathryn Cestnick, Vice-President & COO,
National Quality Institute, 1-800-263-9648 ext 240,; Assistant:
Bonita Savard, ext 233,; French: Michele Parent, Senior
Director, Organizational Health and Wellness, CBC/Radio-Canada, (514)

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