What is Working on Wellness?
Working on Wellness (WoW) is a pilot program which Iridia will be helping to implement at BC oil and gas camps. It is part of a larger project to adapt workplace wellness programming for specific groups in BC, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Working on Wellness is based on the WellnessFits program (wellnessfits.ca), that was developed and run by the Canadian Cancer Society.
Before WoW started in November, camp employees were asked to complete a survey or participate in a group discussion to identify which health and wellness topics are of the highest interest to those working on-site. Potential topics included: healthy eating, physical activity, healthy minds, early detection, tobacco reduction and UV/Sun Awareness.
In June, baseline surveys were conducted and analyzed. Results suggested that camp workers were most interested in learning about healthy eating, physical activity, screening and early detection. Camp workers also stated that the most important change they would like to see in a workplace wellness program would be an increase in physical activity and improved eating habits.
Based on the results and discussions with Iridia medics in camp, action plans surrounding the concepts of Educate, Act and Support were developed:
- Educate – Sharing stretching information and tips at safety meetings, on posters around the camp and/ or hosting education times to present information about health screening, healthy options at camp, or healthy meal ideas for home.
- Act – Providing opportunities for employees to practice making healthier choices, for example, running a healthy eating challenge and/or organizing an evening workout group.
- Support – Making changes to the work environment and/or implementing policies that support employees in making healthier choices such as implementing a respectful workplace policy or working with food services to increase uptake of healthy foods.
The first component started in November using the theme of “Protect your Equipment.” Blood pressure clinics and physical activity initiatives soon followed and in the New Year we will begin nutritional and mental wellness trials. WoW will wrap up in the Fall of 2016, leaving behind resources to continue running the program through a model which involves onsite health personnel.
Benefits of Working on Wellness
The camps that participate in the program will receive:
- Assistance with planning the program to ensure learning opportunities are available
- Assistance to determine interest in changes within the worksite or policies to support healthy choices
- Training and ongoing mentoring for a worksite champion
- Program resources (posters, booklets, handouts etc.)
- Financial support for incentives and events to celebrate throughout the year
The Canadian Cancer Society has chosen Iridia as a partner because of our unique position of having health care providers living or working in camp environments. This is a very exciting opportunity for us as little research has been conducted in these types of environments. It is an opportunity for us to promote healthy workplaces while developing new partners and relationships in the healthcare sector.