September 2022 | In this edition

Welcome to the September edition of the Healthy Workplaces newsletter!

We thank you for your involvement and continued interest in learning how to create healthy, safe, and thriving workplaces. The Collaborative Partnership for Workplace Health and Wellbeing SA has continued work on updating tools and resources to support workplace health and wellbeing and we look forward to being able to share some of these at the upcoming September Community of Practice Event.

September Community of Practice Event

You are invited to the next Community of Practice event on Tuesday 27 September 2022, from 9.00-11.00 am ACST at Business SA, 136 Greenhill Road, Unley or online.

The Healthy Workplaces SA Community of Practice event aims to facilitate discussion about workplace health and wellbeing and showcase the best practices through learning from others in the field.

Join us in-person or virtually to hear from guest speakers, share evidence-based approaches and problem solve to support SA workplaces to be healthy, safe and thriving. This free event will include:

  • an update on the Collaborative Partnership initiatives
  • a case study presentation from a Community of Practice workplace member
  • a spotlight on musculoskeletal disorders
  • the latest evidence-based workplace psychosocial risk assessment tool
  • opportunities to connect with other people responsible for workplace health and wellbeing.

Spotlight topic: Musculoskeletal Disorders

Stand up for your Musculoskeletal-self

By Ashley Platt, UniSA Centre for Workplace Excellence
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect workers across all age groups and can impact an individual's ability to attend work. They account for over half of all compensation claims and are the single largest source of lost-time costs in Australia. 

The threat of MSDs is especially relevant in today’s working climate. COVID-19 has forced workers to adapt to changing workplace demands. Workers have been encouraged to work from home in conditions not designed to reduce the risk of MSDs. Workloads have also increased from new work and to cover worker absences. These changing working conditions contribute to physical risk factors and also psychosocial risk with increased emotional stress and social isolation. 

Symptoms of MSDs can include:
  • pain
  • joint stiffness
  • muscle tightness
  • redness
  • swelling of the affected area and numbness. 
The development of MSDs is multidimensional, and interventions must focus on both psychosocial and physical components of working environments to decrease the risk of MSDs.

The good news is individuals and workplaces can both make small changes to reduce the risk of developing MSDs. To find out what you or your workplace can do to reduce the risk of MSDs, read the full article in the link below.
Read more

Take part in the Billion Steps Challenge 2022

Wellbeing SA is excited to launch the third annual Billion Steps Challenge, starting 1 October 2022. The challenge invites all South Australians to track their physical activities to collectively reach one billion steps. This step-count is also the distance to the moon and back, which is this year’s theme, and South Australians are encouraged to help us achieve this lofty goal.
The Billion Steps Challenge presents a perfect opportunity to encourage employees within your workplace to be more physically active. By organising a workplace tournament, you can challenge your employees to make every move count during the month of October.  

You can even listen to a pre-recorded webinar that explains the ‘why’ and ‘how to’ organise a workplace steps tournament.
The challenge starts on 1 October and will run until South Australians collectively reach one billion steps. The challenge is open to all workplaces, regardless of staff fitness levels or abilities.
To register a tournament in your workplace, or to learn more, visit the Billion Steps Challenge website.
For more information or questions about South Australia’s Billion Steps Challenge, contact Alyson Crozier, Principal Project Officer (Physical Activity) at

Useful Information and Resources

Wellbeing SA's Workplace Consultation
Key Findings Report

In 2021, Wellbeing SA surveyed 280 workplaces to better understand the factors which enable, hinder and motivate organisations to act on workplace health and wellbeing.

The key findings were: 
  • Importance of workplace health and wellbeing is recognised but overall understanding is limited
  • Understanding correlates to a degree with action
  • A number of enabling and impeding factors exist such as capacity, capability, skills and
    knowledge and leadership/empowerment 
  • Additional support would be welcomed
  • Advisory service concept viewed favourably.
Read more

Mentally Healthy Workplaces Blueprint Release 2

The Blueprint for Mentally Healthy Workplaces, Release 2 was published on 2 July 2022 as part of the National Workplace Initiative. It aims to define a vision of mentally healthy workplaces that all organisations and businesses across Australia can share. The Blueprint defines the core principles and focus areas for creating environments that protect, support, respond to, and promote mental health at work.
Read more

Be Upstanding Resources

Don't wait to stand up and sit less! The Be Upstanding website has a range of free resources, tips and tools to help you and your workplace stand up, sit less and move more throughout their work day. 

Ageing Workforce Online Resource Hub

Ageing Workforce Ready has recently launched its online resource hub. The resource hub gives easy access to a wide range of resources designed for front-line managers, employees, HR professionals, and senior leaders.

 Articles of Interest

Comcare's Emerging Evidence Alerts - August 2022

Comcare regularly provides a comprehensive bank of the latest research on the health benefits of work, recovery at work, return to work, and work health and safety issues. This Emerging Evidence includes peer-reviewed articles, reports and evidence on a range of relevant prevention, and workplace health and wellbeing topics that were recently published. Read the August 2022 issue here.
Moving minds: Mental health and wellbeing benefits of a 50-day workplace physical activity program 

Recent research published in Current Psychology assessed changes in mental health and wellbeing measures across a 50-day, 10,000-step daily, physical activity workplace program. 2903 Australian workers were engaged in the program. Results showed good program engagement, and in individuals who provided pre and post-program data, there were significant improvements in anxiety, wellbeing and sleep-related impairment. More research is required to determine whether the exercise itself or other program variables or external factors led to the mental health and wellbeing improvements.  
Participants of the Transition Support Pilot experience health and wellbeing benefits

A 12-month transition support pilot was provided to 50 injured workers with long-duration workers' compensation claims exiting the Victorian Workers' Compensation system. The pilot involved a Transition Specialist identifying and providing relevant support services to build participants' confidence, independence, and job readiness. 

 What's On

ReturnToWork SA's Employer Skill Building Program
- a new series on mentally healthy workplaces

15 September 2022

The 2022/2023 ReturnToWorkSA free skill building program has plenty to offer Return to Work Coordinator’s (RTWC’s) and employers in South Australia, including a new series of virtual mentally healthy workplaces workshops by SuperFriend
The series of workshops has a key theme in helping RTWC’s and other participants to focus on their own self-care by understanding the Five Ways to Wellbeing, as well as discussing strategies to protect against negative stress, fatigue and burnout. 
You are invited to the workshop series called Supportive Conversations in the workplace - checking in and showing you care. This workshop will provide you with strategies to have a supportive conversation in the workplace, without feeling overwhelmed, an important skill for any Manager, Leader or Return to Work Coordinator.

You can keep up to date with all of ReturnToWorkSA’s free employer workshops, by subscribing to our bi-monthly “What’s on Learning” email here  
For more information, contact Mardi Webber, Mentally Healthy Workplaces Consultant, ReturnToWorkSA,

Return to Work in the Regions - Port Augusta Workshop

20 September 2022 

ReturnToWorkSA is hosting a free fully catered, one day workshop in Port Augusta on Tuesday 20 September 2022. Event speakers will discuss topics such as return to work, managing musculoskeletal injuries and workplace wellbeing.  

In particular, register for the event to learn more about:
  • How to build effective relationships in the return to work process - by Jo Snape, Employer Education Advisor at ReturnToWorkSA
  • How to build effective systems for preventing and managing musculoskeletal injuries in workplaces - by Cassandra Zaina, Physiotherapy Advisor and Fiona Belton, Exercise Physiology Advisor, at ReturnToWorkSA
  • How to build your workplace wellbeing program - by Mardi Webber, Mentally Healthy Workplaces Consultant at ReturnToWorkSA and Kylie Cocks, A/ Program Manager – Healthy Workplaces, Wellbeing SA.
We encourage all regional Return to Work Coordinators, managers, safety and human resources personnel to register early and secure your spot!
If you would like to share your workplace story, please email to 
Thank you for your interest in workplace health and wellbeing in South Australia. Please feel free to send us relevant information to be included in future updates or forward on to those that may like to subscribe. If you have any questions about this newsletter, please contact
This initiative is supported by the
Collaborative Partnership for Workplace Health and Wellbeing in South Australia

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