Public hospital builders strike a yoga pose as part of the new healthy eating and exercise campaign.
Public hospital builders strike a yoga pose as part of the new healthy eating and exercise campaign. Patrick Woods

Tradies swap pies and smoko for yoga and smoothies

BREATHING deeply through a yoga pose after a green smoothie might not be what you would expect on a worksite.

The meat pies and chocolates have disappeared for the tradies on the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital site after funding by the Queensland Government's Healthy Worker initiative.

The Healthy Living Made Easy program targets the poor health of construction workers, especially obesity, high blood pressure, and

levels of alcohol use and smoking above the national average.

Construction workers usually work long hours are subjected to the elements of outdoor work and the physical demands of a labour-intensive job.

When they finish after a long day they are often exhausted mentally and physically, not leaving much time or energy for the things that promote a healthy body and mind.

Construction companies Regson, Lend Lease and ConNetica believe it takes a community to support and enable ongoing healthy lifestyle choices.

That is why they have adopted the program.

The initiative involves activities for workers and their families.

Plus at work the on-site canteen, Unique Portable Kitchen Hire, and local businesses Bloomin Lotus

Yoga Studio, Salt Health Club, food retailer Red Hot Chili Pepper and Caloundra Village Fruit Market have come on board.

Regson fabrication manager Nicky McMillan said their workers had been very positive about the initiative and participation was high.

"We don't have to coax the workers. They are happy to jump up and have a go, They are really enthusiastic," Ms McMillan said.

"There has been a big shift in the culture of safety in the industry and there is no reason why we can't make it happen with the health of the workers as well."

She said the program had been tailored around the needs of the worker right down to the yoga poses they take in their breaks.

GET INVOLVED

Activities include free taste-testing of healthy food made by the on-site canteen; subsidised healthy food; guidance on healthy food choices, nutritional information, diabetes, reading food packaging labels and cardiovascular disease; and relaxing yoga sessions.

A website has been developed to track and share all activities relating to this initiative with interested people.



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