Is your boss making you sick?

Posted by on 03 July, 2010

Not a perk of the job... a wokplace hazzard

I loved my mate, JT (Justin Tamsett’s) blog on workplace stress and its relationship to weight issues today. (Link below) I’m not sure too many board chairmen or women read my blog (I’m not that narcissistic) but I have to have a quick vent about toxic workplaces.

It all started with my patient – let’s call him Brett. A late 40s dad grinding away at getting rid of his mortgage and finding time to spend with his kids …… and slowly but surely developing a nice little (and eventually not so little) spare tyre and- OMG- diabetes. Yep, it showed up in his last set of blood tests to his (and his wife’s)HORROR.

His diet is not stellar but he has good home cooked dinners and a decent breakfast. But there is one trainsmash in his diet that we have to discuss. I’m going to name and shame here. His boss is QANTAS. Qantas gives ground staff at the airport UNLIMITED access to the softdrink vending machines for free while on shift. So like my patient, other Qantas ground crew are putting away litres of fructose-sweetened, artificially coloured and flavoured ROT into their bodies every day. How can Qantas do that? How can a company in which so many Australians have shares give their workers a short cut to heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure like that?

Another patient - let’s call her Jane is a nurse at a local Health Department run Public Hospital. Overworked and with no time for lunch as well as an endless supply of disgusting, cheap, highly processed, high fat, higher sugar, high carb, nutrient void biscuits has seen her head down the same path as Brett. She’s aware she’s stacking on the kilos, especially around the middle, but she’s so stressed, the biscuits make their way down the hatch faster than she can muster the strength to resist.

This is even MORE bizarre- this is a hospital. Sarah fixes overweight sick people for a living while slowly being turned into one of them by the very place she works in! Hello?

OK that’s too simplistic – we all have to take responsibility for ourselves and ‘just say no’ to drinks, biccies, doughnuts and the like. But surely the workplaces can get on board and stop adding to the problem? How about a water fountain, a fruit box delivery instead of a massive corporate biscuit box?

If you’ll indulge me a fantasy, I’d like to put in a word for employees getting employer funded health checks, bonuses for reaching and maintaining individualized health targets and gym memberships as well…. Sigh. I won’t hold my breath!

OK off my soap box. As you were….

JT’s blog…