October 22 - 28, 2007 - Canada's 7th annual Healthy Workplace week

           Challenges Canadian Organizations to "Value Your People"

         Multi-component and comprehensive worksite health promotion
        programs, which track return on investment, result in average
        reductions in sick leave, healthplan costs, workers' compensation,
                   and disability costs of just over 25%.

    TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Week's theme this year is "It's All
About Valuing People". It seems that we've forgotten how to value our
employees - with stress both at home and at work, it's safe to say that many
employees feel undervalued and stressed. The Week is about celebrating
employees, their successes, and accomplishments! This Week, employers should
take extra time to recognize their employees and show how vital their
employees are to the success of their organization.
    "The best way to realize the benefits of a healthy workplace is to
experience it. We hope that employers and employees will take advantage of the
activities available to them during the Week", says Sue Brown, Director
Healthy Workplace(R) Programs at the National Quality Institute. "Experiencing
the joy and sense of well being from this weekly celebration will hopefully
encourage workplaces to initiate and/or sustain a Healthy Workplace(R)
strategy that incorporates 3 critical elements: healthy lifestyle practices,
occupational health & safety and the physical environment, and a culture of
fairness and respect."
    The President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and
Safety (CCOHS), S. Len Hong, shows similar support. "Canada's Healthy
Workplace Week reminds us that the health of an organization begins with the
health of its employees. It also reminds us that the impact of healthy
workplaces is far reaching. They contribute to the productivity of our economy
and help to improve the quality of life for families, communities and society.
CCOHS encourages Canadians to get involved and make a difference during this

    About Canada's Healthy Workplace Week (CHWW) - October 22 - 28:

    The Week 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.
    The Week is overseen by the Canadian Healthy Workplace Council (CHWC),
and is administered by 3 partners:

    (1) National Quality Institute (NQI)
    (2) Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS)
    (3) Health Work & Wellness (HWW Conference Inc.).

    The Week is partially funded by the following sponsors:

    Diamond sponsor: Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life
    Platinum Sponsors: Sun Life Financial and Désjardin Financial Security
    Gold sponsors: Purolator Courier Ltd., Ricoh, and XEROX Canada
    Silver Sponsors: Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), Healthcare Benefits Trust,
    and the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

    The website for Canada's Healthy Workplace Week
(www.healthyworkplaceweek.ca) provides short-term practical tools and ideas
for organizations to participate in the Week (and beyond), as well as case
studies and long-term strategies for organizations to adopt as part of a
comprehensive and integrated approach to organizational health.
    The mission of the CHWC, which oversees the Week, is "To promote a
comprehensive and integrated approach to workplace health in order to improve
and sustain the health of Canadian organizations, their work environments, and
their employees".
    The goals for Canada's Healthy Workplace Week 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 tools and resources
      available through www.healthyworkplaceweek.ca to all Canadian
    - Increase the number of healthy workplaces in Canada

    The Canadian Healthy Workplace Council, in conjunction with the
Graham Lowe Group, recently conducted a review of the evidence and research
around workplace health. Here are some of the highlights from an article
written by Allan Smofsky, Chair of the Council:

    - Absenteeism in Canada has increased steadily since the 1990s. Actual
      work time lost for personal reasons in 2006 resulted in 102 million
      work days for all full-time employees. The estimated cost of each
      long-term absence is approximately $8,800.

    - Job stress has been linked causally to chronic diseases, such as heart
      disease, as well as depression, diabetes, asthma, migraines, and

    - Stress and job dissatisfaction are related, and both contribute to
      increased disability days and health care costs.

    - Obesity among Canadian adults 18 years and over increased from 14% in
      1978 to 23% in 2004.

    - The estimated total direct and indirect cost of weight-related major
      chronic diseases to the health system is at least $4.3 billion.
      Workplaces are ideal environments for promoting healthy weights for
      adults, yet few Canadian employers have formal policies encouraging
      physical activity and healthy eating.

    - Workplace health promotion interventions that are comprehensive, well-
      designed, and successfully implemented will have a positive return on
      investment, or cost-benefit ratio.

    - Healthy organizations consistently outperform other organizations
      having below-average rates of absenteeism, accidents, and stress-
      related illnesses. Employees are engaged at all levels and these
      programs also translate into a healthier bottom line.

    We hope your organization will join in the 7th Annual Canada's Healthy
Workplace Week celebration. For ideas, activities, and strategies for the Week
and beyond, visit www.healthyworkplaceweek.ca. Let's value our people so our
people will value their work!

For further information:

For further information: Allan Smofsky, Chair, Canadian Healthy
Workplace Council, (416) 960-2635, asmofsky@towersperrin.ca; Sue Brown,
Director, Healthy Workplace(R) Programs, National Quality Institute,
1-800-263-9648, (416) 251-7600, ext 248, sue@nqi.ca; Lori Balan, Office &
Healthy Workplace(R) Assistant, 1-800-263-9648, (416) 251-7600, ext. 242,
lori@nqi.ca; www.healthyworkplaceweek.ca

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