Spotlight falls on health and wellbeing in the workplace

Spotlight falls on health and wellbeing in the workplace

The UK’s National Director for Work and Health will pass on her expertise to staff and industry leaders at the University of Aberdeen today (Wednesday March 31).

Dame Carol Black will be the keynote speaker at Health and Work: Insights and Inspiration – a one-day seminar which aims to promote the importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The event will combine research and practical advice and will provide a platform to showcase some of the work undertaken in the field at both the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian.

Over 100 people are expected to attend the conference ranging from University and NHS staff to local businesses working towards the Healthy Working Lives Award.

Dame Carol, who is also Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, will open the programme with Health, work and wellbeing – have we made progress?

The spotlight will also fall on the Scottish Government’s scheme for the promotion of health and safety themes in the workplace when Dr Lesley Wilkie, Director of Public Health, NHS Grampian, presents The Healthy Working Lives Programme - Benefits not Barriers.

Other speakers will include Dr Alex Johnstone, from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, who will look at The Scottish Diet – Do we Have an Appetite for Change?

Professor Mike Greaves, Head of School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen will consider Sport and Exercise – every little helps, while Dr Margaret Watson, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen and Public Health Pharmacist for NHS Grampian,will discuss alcohol screening and interventions in pharmacies.

The issue of mental health in the workplace will be addressed by NHS Grampian’s Dr Elizabeth Murphy, Lead Consultant Occupational Physician, in Wish You Were Here – Why Work is Good For You, and Nina Torbett, Health Promotion Development Manager at the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives in Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland - The importance of mentally healthy workplaces.

Professor Stephen Logan, Senior Vice-Principal, University of Aberdeen, said: “It is in everyone’s interests to ensure that workplaces offer employees healthy and active lifestyle choices.

“At the University of Aberdeen this includes measures such as free membership to Aberdeen Sports Village and a commitment to the Healthy Working Lives initiative, for which we have recently received a bronze award.

Health and Work: Insights and Inspiration will provide further opportunity to showcase the pioneering work undertaken here at the University of Aberdeen and at NHS Grampian, not only to staff but to industry leaders from across Aberdeen city and shire.”

Nina Torbett, Health Promotion Development Manager at the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, said: "The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives fully supports the goals of the Scottish Government's national health promotion strategy.

"Healthy Working Lives provides free, confidential advice to employers across the country to help improve safety and promote better workplace health.

"Improving mental wellbeing at work is a particular priority. The Centre delivers a wide range of programmes to help employers develop and implement more positive policies, practices and attitudes to mental health issues."