Archive Posts

The Silent Truth: It’s Time To Act

Posted on

With a life lost every 40 seconds, the prevalence of suicide is increasing at alarming rates around the world. Despite numerous programs and national campaigns aiming to raise awareness of the warning signs, there is sometimes little indication of the tortuous thought and mental turmoil that brings some to breaking point.

Mental health around the world is declining. The World Health Organisation defines depression as the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. Sadly the symptoms of the illnesses most common to result in suicide are comparatively invisible alongside other global mortality and morbidity causes such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and cancers. Medical technology is not yet advanced enough to detect suicide like we can malignant cancer, nor is treatment as immediately effective to offer a life-saving procedure like a coronary bypass. Mental health conditions and suicide are comparatively deceptive and silent, yet far less exclusive on who it grips.

Diagnoses of stress, anxiety and depression disorders are escalating, a good sign that people are seeking assistance and accessing treatment before reaching the point of no return. Physicians globally are prescribing counselling sessions and medications like never before, but we’re still losing ground against suicide with the global suicide rate predicted to double to one every 20 seconds by 2020.

The burden of suicide is harsh, heavy and long-lasting. It’s a haunting thought that the loved ones left behind relentlessly castigate themselves with reflections of “I should have known”, and “I could have done something if I knew”. Worst still is the resounding narrative of regret from survivors of a self-selected death, with frequent cases of jumpers in particular who speak of wishing they could change their mind mid-fall. There’s no doubt death is soul shifting, but the hurt on those left behind from death by suicide is often felt more solemnly.

“Global suicide rate predicted to double to one in every 20 seconds by 2020.”

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year olds around the world. Lithuania has the highest rate in Europe at 32.7 suicides per 100,000, three times that of the mean rate of suicide at 11.6 cases per 100,000 people, and the second-highest suicide rate in the world in 2018, behind South Korea.

Popular sociological opinion points to the decline of the family unit, the rise of atheism, alcoholism and easier access to drugs, increases in loneliness, financial pressure, career stress, and social media as contributing factors to the suicide pandemic. Despite the increase in stressors, we are still relying on the same resilience education and support as 100 years ago – which is largely nothing – and it’s clear traditional treatment methods are not coping with increased demands of modern society.

Mental health-related issues are not restricted to the poor, the untalented, or the homeless. Everyone is vulnerable, even the world’s financially elite – multi-billionaire James Packer, a major shareholder of Crown Resorts and Casinos stepped down from the board due to mental health reasons. 

“Suicidal behaviour does not discriminate between race, age, gender, colour or status.”

Olympic stars Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe as well as Premier League footballer Aaron Lennon have all publically announced their battles with mental health. Entertainers Ellen Degeneres, Lady Gaga, and Prince Harry have publicized their battles with dark mental periods; none more famous than the timeless actor Robin Williams who eventually lost his battle with depression to suicide in 2014. 

Suicide contagion is studied and recognised phenomena, and there have been documented spikes in cases following a celebrity suicide announcement in the media. Emmy-award winner and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found just days after renowned fashion designer Kate Spade tragically chose the same self-determined death. In the month following Marilyn Monroe’s death by barbiturates overdose in 1962, there was a jump in suicide deaths by as much as 12%, according to the Center for Suicide Prevention. Unfortunately, with the increase of digital news outlets and the speed at which social media can spread a story, copycat suicides, also known as suicide clusters are on the rise, with adolescents being the most affected. 

Suicidal behaviour does not discriminate between race, age, gender, colour or status. It has the potential to affect us all. No one is immune and people across the globe are struggling right now. While it is possible to improve our own mental resilience through wellbeing programs and self-education, the issues surrounding and leading up to suicide are becoming increasingly supported by governments, NGOs, startups and employers. Canada was the first country to legislate a standard of workplace psychological well being, spearheaded by Dr Joti Samra. Other forward-thinking governments include Australia, Sweden and the UK. Encouragingly, after seeing the reported self-selected death figures, the Lithuanian government have tasked suicide as a priority for change in their next term. 

It’s not just government’s opening up about this issue, with NGO’s like beyond blue, the World Health Organisation, Movember, the International Association of Suicide Prevention and many others raising awareness. The British Royal family are behind Heads Together – a super-charity consolidating 8 established charities charged with changing the conversation on mental health. New Zealand’s government recently pledged the world’s first wellbeing budget of $1.2 billion towards mental health services. Two international days have been set – World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), on 10th September and World Mental Health Day on 10th October and most countries hold a national day such as Australia’s RUOK day on 12th September. 

There is a long list of guidelines by some of the above mentioned NGO’s that support an integrated approach towards healthy lifestyle habits, earlier intervention technologies and more advanced treatment and support. Confidence in finding newer, more innovative solutions is being further fuelled by a study in Europe proving that new technologies can be useful resources and should be incorporated into suicide prevention programs. The solution must be multidisciplinary, evidence-based and most importantly translated from difficult to understand psycho-babble to relatable easy-to-digest soundbites.

“New Zealand’s government has pledged $1.2 billion towards mental health services in their new budget.”

Mental Health First Aid courses are now being rolled out in 26 countries, a training course that teaches members of the public how to offer initial support until appropriate professional help is received or until the crisis resolves. There are solutions out there for less than the price of a coffee per person per year, and new technology can now educate and coach people towards mental resiliency from their mobile phone. Being so accessible means anyone with a smartphone can gain a proactive communication gateway for early intervention through tele-support and virtual counselling.

Modern-day suicide prevention solutions are integrating a range of wellness and medical technologies including gamification, telemedicine, wearables, education, incentives, community connections, charitable causes, data analytics and machine learning. Although the velocity of suicide statistics is heading in the wrong direction now, the tragic facts are demanding attention, and innovators across the world are finding new solutions faster than ever.

We’ve overcome our complacency inertia and as a result momentum for positive change is now growing. There is an opportunity at hand for prominent global figureheads in government and corporate business to lead from the front and plan ahead to engage with experts and make headway on the largest illness of our time. Awareness has been raised, and now is the time to act, follow-up and create meaningful change that will improve the lives of generations to come.

Interested to find out more? Contact the team now to book a confidential discussion about how to support your workforce with an integrated wellbeing program.

Read More

Women’s Health Week Special: 3 Top Tips To Treat The Top 3 Troubles

Posted on

We thought we’d take this opportunity to reflect on a couple of health concerns that women face and the benefits of making just a few healthy life choices. At the turn of the century, most of the illnesses that affected our lives were a result of infection. Modern medicine has meant we’ve conquered most of those problems in developed countries, however, our lifestyle choices play a massive impact on our health.

With the three different concerns to women’s health that are discussed here, there are modifiable (lifestyle choices) and non-modifiable risk factors that may make some women more predisposed than other women. Although there are some things we don’t have control over (non-modifiable), it’s important to feel empowered by the choices you can make which will positively influence your quality of life.

1. Heart Disease

This affects both men and women and is a major concern across most developed countries. In fact, in cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of illness and death among Australian and American women. Australian women are almost three times more likely to die from CVD than breast cancer. Although heart disease is responsible for one in every four female deaths in the United States, only 54% of women recognise it’s a concern. Risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease include a poor diet, lack of exercise, overweight and obesity, diabetes, smoking and genetics.

Visit heart foundation to understand more about the different factors linked to CVD.

2. Breast Cancer

Breast cancer, which is more common in developed countries is becoming more treatable. The biggest factor for survival is early detection! So please, check yourself for lumps, keep up to date with the recommended screens from your doctor and remind your female friends to do the same. If in your family history, someone has had breast cancer or other forms of cancer you can be more susceptible to breast cancer along with weight gain post-menopause, being overweight or obese, smoking and the consumption of alcohol and processed meats.

Click here for more information on the different risk factors.

3. Osteoporosis

This is a condition in which a person loses bone density and increases the risk of fractures. 89% of people diagnosed with osteoporosis are women. Due to the rapid decline in oestrogen during menopause, women lose bone density at an earlier age and at a faster rate than men. Your risk of osteoporosis is increased by age, alcohol, genetics, lack of exercise, low body mass, smoking and steroid use. Women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis from the age of 60, whereas men are more vulnerable once they reach 70 years of age.

What Can YOU do?

Here are just three small changes you can make on a daily basis to greatly improve your health and reduce your risk of lifestyle-related diseases.

1. Exercise Regularly

Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day has been proven time and time again. A World Cancer Research Fund report demonstrated that vigorous exercise (e.g. running or cycling) reduces the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by 10% compared to less active women. Another study found that walking and lifting moderate weights halved the risk of dying of breast cancer.

Exercise also helps to lower blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels and stress which are all contributing factors for heart disease.  A 2013 study showed a 29% reduction in coronary heart disease events in women who performed higher levels of physical activity. Regular exercise promotes anti-inflammatory responses inside the body thus taking the pressure off the cardiovascular system.

To look after bone health a combination of strength training and impact based exercise is essential. It promotes bone density growth and maintenance and prolongs the onset of osteoporosis.

2. Eat Well

We’re not asking you to throw out all your treats, give up meat or alcohol but consider what you consume and if it’s in moderation. Food is fuel and making decisions about what you put in your body has a direct effect on your health.

We have the simple 80:20 rule. Eat plenty of unprocessed food 80% of the time, and don’t beat yourself up for the other 20%. Aim for as many fresh fruits and veg as possible, steer clear of processed meats and refined carbohydrates and try to avoid sugary beverages – they are a fast way to put on weight and provide no nutritional benefit to your body.

Maintaining a healthy weight is key to avoiding heart disease and cancers. Having a healthy diet and exercising regularly is the best way to lose unnecessary kilos and maintain a healthy size. Ensure you have calcium-rich food in your diet daily and get enough vitamin D (sunshine) to ensure maximum calcium absorption. 

3. Quit Smoking

Yep. We all know cigarettes are terrible for your health. It goes far beyond lung or mouth cancer. Smoking hardens your arteries thus increasing your risk of heart disease and has been linked to higher rates of osteoporosis.

Happy’s Women’s Health Week! Although we covered some health concerns affecting women, men – you can take the advice too!

Interested to find out more? Contact the team now to book a confidential discussion about how to support your workforce with an integrated wellbeing program.

[av_button label=’Get in Touch’ link=’manually,https://wordpress.wellteq.co/contact-us/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’large’ position=’center’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

Read More

Top 5 Tips: How To Integrate Your Corporate Mental Health Initiatives

Posted on

Over 90% of employees surveyed by Heads Up (2014) believed that supporting mental health is important, but only 52% of people believe it’s being addressed. Here are five ways you can help integrate mental health initiatives into your workplace to raise awareness and increase overall participation in a holistic health program.

1. Discuss What’s Happening In Morning Or Weekly Meetings

It’s one thing to run a program, but for good participation rates, you need to promote it and show managerial support. Tell employees what’s going on and potentially share a ‘people win of the week’.

2. Get Active During Lunch Breaks Or Go For Walking Meetings

Time and time again, exercise has been proven to help with depression and poor mental health. Exercise also helps with problem-solving. Get out into the fresh air either on your lunch breaks or organise walking meetings with others.

3. Hold Healthy BBQs Or Friday Lunch

Organise an event based on a healthy meal. Use this opportunity to discuss food and mood. Too much processed food has been linked to poor mental health and ‘slumps’ in energy levels. Having foods with omega 3’s such as salmon and walnuts can help boost good mental health as well as regular fresh fruit and vegetables. 

4. Host Mindfulness Moments

Organise a 2-minute slot either on the back of a regular meeting or on a Monday morning after lunch where you and your team can pop on a meditation app or a timer and give just a couple of minutes to focusing on your breath.

5. Organise More Work Social Events

Socialising and feeling included is a critical part of good health. Creating different events at work like mini-challenges or group lunches or activities outside of office hours like lawn bowls or a family day is a great idea to create a supportive and inclusive culture.

It’s important to have a robust strategy with a series of different initiatives for a successful health and wellbeing program. Taking on some of the tips we’ve suggested here can help boost awareness and participation as well as showing the connection between mental and physical health.

Interested to find out more? Contact the team now to book a confidential discussion about how to support your workforce with an integrated wellbeing program.

[av_button label=’Get in Touch’ link=’manually,https://wordpress.wellteq.co/contact-us/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’large’ position=’center’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

Read More

wellteq Talks: SDG#3 – Good Health and Wellbeing For All

Posted on

What are the sustainable development goals and what do they mean for the everyday worker around the globe? Dr Sandy Chong from UNAAWA discusses with Scott Montgomery on this latest episode of wellteq Talks.

https://youtu.be/iVAMkqFr4fw

To discuss how our digital wellness solution can benefit your workforce, contact the wellteq team.

[av_button label=’Get in Touch’ link=’manually,https://wordpress.wellteq.co/contact-us/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’large’ position=’center’ icon_select=’no’ icon=’ue800′ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ admin_preview_bg=”]

Read More

The Negative Impact of Stress

Posted on

Did you know that between 75%-90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints? For this reason, it is important to understand the many different ways in which stress impacts our health and wellbeing.

This infographic guide provided by Aris Grigoriou of Study Medicine Europe shows how stress affects the body and also offers some practical pointers on stress management.

The reality is that stress itself isn’t bad. No, you read that right, stress really isn’t. Humans have evolved to recognise a stressful situation that might put their survival in danger, thus producing the fight-or-flight response and releasing hormones to either fight off the threat or flee to safety.

Good stress, called eustress, can actually be beneficial to you. Unlike bad stress, or distress, good stress can help with motivation, focus, energy, and performance. For some people, it can even feel exciting.

Encountering one or two stressors can usually be dealt with easily by most people in a typical day, but when the stressors build-up and there’s not sufficient time to rest and recover, the repeated activation of our natural physiological response starts to take their toll on the body and mind.

Research suggests that chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction. More preliminary research suggests that chronic stress may also contribute to obesity, both through direct mechanisms (causing people to eat more) or indirectly (decreasing sleep and exercise). Harvard Health

Chronic stress (the constant over-activation of the stress response) can be difficult to identify. Some of the more common signs include:

  • rapid heart rate
  • elevated blood pressure
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • fatigue
  • difficulty sleeping
  • poor problem-solving
  • persistent thoughts about one or more stressors
  • changes in behaviour, including social withdrawal, feelings of sadness, frustration, loss of emotional control, inability to rest, self-medication and increased alcohol usage

There are a number of techniques that can be used to combat stress including

Relaxation Response

Dr. Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, has devoted much of his career to learning how people can counter the stress response by using a combination of approaches that elicit the relaxation response. These include deep abdominal breathing, focus on a soothing word (such as peace or calm), visualization of tranquil scenes, repetitive prayer, yoga, and tai chi.

Physical Activity

People can use exercise to stifle the buildup of stress in several ways. Exercise, such as taking a brisk walk shortly after feeling stressed, not only deepens breathing but also helps relieve muscle tension. Movement therapies such as yoga, tai chi, and qi gong combine fluid movements with deep breathing and mental focus, all of which can induce calm.

Social Support

Confidants, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, relatives, spouses, and companions all provide a life-enhancing social net — and may increase longevity. It’s not clear why, but the buffering theory holds that people who enjoy close relationships with family and friends receive emotional support that indirectly helps to sustain them at times of chronic stress and crisis.

How are you managing stress within your workforce?

Read More

The Rise of Mental Health Recognition in the Workplace

Posted on

WellteQ was recently asked to write an article for the United Nations on how we support mental health initiatives in the workplace. Zoe Cole explains how we deliver on Sustainable Development Goal #3 – Ensuring healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

Current State of Affairs

  • 1 out of 5 Australians take time off work every year due to poor mental health (ABS, 2018)
  • Average cost of mental health claim is $24k, 266% higher than all other claims. (SWA, 2018)
  • Workplace health programs have proven to reduce stress at home up to 37% (WellteQ, 2019)
  • Workplace health programs have increased perceived job performance by 54% (WellteQ, 2019)

The Global Rise of Depression

Understanding and investing in the health of employees is rapidly accelerating around the world. Companies are aware of the impact poor physical and mental health in their workplace and the influence they may have, good or bad, on the overall health and wellbeing of their staff. Globally, around 264 million people suffer from depression which is the leading cause of disability and many of these people also experience symptoms of anxiety (WHO, 2019).

All 17 sustainable development goals created by the UN


Poor mental health is costing Australian businesses approximately $11 billion annually (PwC, 2014). Within a 12 month period, one in every five Australians will experience a mental health condition requiring them to take time off work (ABS, 2018). The major mental health concerns vary across industries from substance abuse in FIFO industries to anxiety in IT, media and financial institutions. Mental health claims are approximately $24,000 each compared the average of $9,000 for all other claim types (Safe Work Australia, 2018). Australia isn’t the only country suffering, the World Health Organisation (2019) believes working environments unsupportive to mental health is costing the world economy $1 trillion annually.

It seems that long hours and unpaid overtime are becoming more common in a range of industries. 91% of workers’ compensation claims for a mental health condition were linked to work-related stress or mental stress (Safe Work Australia, 2018). Burnout is a major factor for turn over of staff as they feel overworked and unrelenting pressures at work.

How Do We Fix This?

It’s important to approach health holistically. The most successful programs include physical health (exercise and nutrition), mental health, social health and financial health. More than 9 out of 10 employees believe that mental health in the workplace is important, yet only 52% of people feel like it’s being addressed (Heads Up, 2014).

Programs need to be fun, engaging and meaningful to the employee in order to see long term, sustainable behaviour change. The services involved should be strategic with specific KPI’s to achieve goals, however, leave these pieces of information in the boardroom and outwardly promote the personal benefits of being involved in a health program. Research has proven mentally healthy workplaces not only improve the mental condition of the employees but their families as well.

There are some great success stories and organisations already tackling mental health. In the blue-collar space, Mates in Mining play a huge role in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and normalise the ability to recognise and talk about it. In fact, just last year a study was published by the University of Newcastle assessing Mates in Mining’s impact.

Integrated Wellbeing Programs Have Better Success

Eight Australian mines engaged in the research with 1,275 miners participating in the program. It offered both general awareness and connector training to employees and a more in-depth training for supervisors to help them recognise and support someone experiencing poor mental health.  The findings supported peer-based programs tailored to the male-dominated workforce with participants feeling a lot more confident to talk and support their peers. Beyond Blue (non-profit organisation supporting mental health) has a workplace branch to their organisation, Head Ups, who are also spearheading support and research for mental health alongside the federal and state governments and RUOK.

WellteQ understands that good mental health is vital in the workplace.  It goes beyond providing an ROI, it generates a positive work culture through creating support systems, trust, staff retention and good morale. As companies mature in their understanding of health at work,  WellteQ provides digital health support focusing on team challenges, personal health journeys, increasing physical activity and understanding the mind and body connection. Results from WellteQ’s multifaceted programs have included

  • Overall health: 44% improvement
  • Energy levels: 29% improvement
  • Resilience: 15% improvement
  • Perceived job performance: 54% improvement
  • Stress at home: 37% reduction
  • Stress at work:  10% reduction

Nutrition And Exercise Play An Important Part In Mental Health

Research has proven that good nutrition and regular exercise improves mental health. Therefore encouraging employees to make better food decisions and move more significantly improves mood as well as approaching mental health head-on. Arming employees with tools to manage stress and increasing their health literacy is key to caring more for their health, recognising the signs and symptoms of stress or behaviour change and may become more resilient to certain situations.

Variety Is The Key To Success

Although there is still a long way to go to improve the wellbeing of workers, there is some fantastic research and current programs showing successful intervention. Remember that variety is key. Consider the demographics of your workforce and peers: gender, age, industry and cultural background to name a few. Tailor your program and ensure you capture data and track changes to best understand your workforce to provide the support they need.

What are you looking at for next year’s programs?

How does your company currently initiate mental health programs?

How have wellbeing programs worked for you?

Read More

wellteq Partners with Mental Health Tech Company Medibio

Posted on

APAC’s most progressive wellness engagement and analytics platform partners with pioneering mental health technology company Medibio (ASX: MEB) (OTCQB: MDBIF).

Highlights

  • wellteq and Medibio will work together to implement a unique digital solution incorporating Medibio’s mental well-being assessment into wellteq’s personalised and holistic wellness platform.
  • The initial geography will be specific to the rapidly growing APAC region.
  • wellteq and Medibio will maintain ownership of all intellectual property in their respective platforms.

Under the partnership agreement, the parties will create an integrated solution by incorporating Medibio’s ilumenTM digital mental well-being assessment into wellteq’s digital wellness platform. Medibio and wellteq have identified that the integrated solution will offer a unique value proposition and enter into this partnership agreement to design, develop and implement a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Teams will begin work immediately on the integration in anticipation of the platform being available by the end of 2019.

The initial geography will be specific to the rapidly growing APAC Region with potential for additional geographical areas upon mutual agreement. Medibio and wellteq will collaborate on all marketing and promotional activities to promote the integrated solution to prospective clients within this geography. Both parties will maintain Intellectual Property ownership in their respective platforms, including any modifications or improvements realized through the work of this partnership agreement.


What Does This Mean For Employees?

For employers this collaboration brings a new approach to employee mental wellness programs leveraged by technology:

  • An objective approach to mental health that looks at biometrics for early detection and screening of mental health conditions all from a mobile phone, linking physiological measures and mental health in sleeping patterns.
  • Meaningful outcomes integrated with ongoing programs to improve the quality of life for millions suffering from a mental wellbeing issue, from depression to stress.
  • Accelerated speed of diagnosis of mental illness to ensure the employee’s workload and role is correctly managed to minimise unplanned sick leave.

Scott Montgomery, CEO of wellteq, said:

“It’s great to see the enthusiasm of both teams as we finalize this partnership agreement. Our current corporate client portfolio has expressed a strong need for more objective mental well-being to be integrated into a holistic data-driven health solution. This extensive capability is unique promising high growth potential, we are extremely excited to work with Medibio to bring mental well-being to employees and insurance policy holders across APAC.”

David B. Kaysen, Chairman, Managing Director and CEO of Medibio, said:

“We are excited to finalize this partnership agreement with wellteq, a leader in employee health solutions. Both companies are in complete alignment on the significant need for a robust employee health solution that integrates mental well-being. This partnership is a big step forward in achieving our commercialisation objective to integrate ilumenTM into organisations with global distribution channels.”


Who Are Medibio?

Medibio (ASX: MEB) (OTCQB: MDBIF) is a health technology company pioneering the use of objective measures to aid in the early detection and screening of mental health conditions. Through their corporate health product, the company offers mental well-being solutions for businesses and are also developing products to serve the healthcare provider market.

The company was founded in Australia, with offices located in Melbourne (Vic) and U.S. offices in Minneapolis, MN. Medibio is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange Ltd and trades on the OTCQB Venture Market.

For more information please contact stacey@wellteq.co

Read More

Case Study: Construction

Posted on

Read our latest findings from a market leading study conducted recently with a tier 1 construction and engineering firm.

Current Conditions

The construction industry is Australia’s second largest industry behind mining and one of the country’s largest employers, employing almost 1.2 million people. advances in technology and new construction software is not only making the industry more efficient and profitable but more productive, with an increase in output of approximately 2.8% YOY.

The construction industry grew by 9% YOY in total employed personnel (third quickest after Arts & Recreation (17.6%) and Energy and Waste (10.6%), which could reasonably explain the 10.3% reduction in the Public Administration and Safety sector, as HSQ roles move in-house to keep up with tightening legislation.

Risky Business

Despite this, the industry as a whole remains exposed to many risks, most of which are largely outside of its control. A skilled labour shortage, an ageing workforce and influx of inexperienced workers are all factors driving up costly accidents and injuries on construction sites. Fire risks increase as temperatures on work sites soar thanks to climate change. Unexpected and extreme weather patterns affect unattended job sites as materials spoil and leaking and frozen pipes cause water damage.

Figure 1: The Global Risks Landscape 2019 World Economic Forum 14th Edition


Extreme weather conditions, natural disasters and global failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation place in the top 3 spots in terms of likelihood in the 2019 World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, and place in the top 5 for global impact. In fact, there’s been an increasing trend of environmental disasters rising to the top of the likelihood and impact tables over the last 10 year – this is something that can no longer be ignored by business owners, employers and people managers.

Building Foundations

In July 2018, wellteq was engaged by tier 1 construction and engineering firm over a 6 month period to help run the digital elements of a combination wellness program that included initiatives like:

  • Initial health risk assessment & personal goal setting
  • Onsite educational talks relating to stress, active minutes, steps and sleep
  • 2 x 4-week wellteq team challenges with weekly mini challenges
  • Mini on-site exercise and movement challenges
  • Post-program evaluation and results assessment

What worked well about this project was the focus on incorporating a variety of platforms to ensure employees were engaged and educated using a range of tools and teaching methods. Frequently new technologies are deployed into companies with high expectations, heralded as the next silver bullet to fix all problems.

However, looking into the company culture, adjusting pantry snacks to healthier alternatives, appointing cross-department wellness champions, utilising a mix of more traditional onsite health talks and incorporating exercise challenges in parallel with a digital engagement tool can bring longer lasting results that bring more value to the workforce.

Chart 1: Actions taken post -program for ongoing health & wellness improvement

Impressive Architecture

Overall, 77% of participants reported making longer-term changes to their health and wellbeing because of what they learnt during the program, of which improving nutrition and increasing exercise scored top of the list (Chart 1). Improvements in risk categories were found across physical, mental and social wellbeing (Figure 2), health habits and condition of the body (Table 1). This meant that that number of participants moving into lower risk categories increased, and the overall number of employees at risk reduced significantly in a wide range of health metrics.

The impressive breadth and consistency in results demonstrate that a combination of both digital and on-site platforms, individual and group activities and a benchmarking exercise at the start and end to measure improvements all help in encouraging and motivating participants to move the needle on their metrics.

Figure 2: Participants Self Reported Results

Cementing Results

Interestingly enough, this isn’t where the benefits of workplace wellbeing programs stop. When asked what they liked most about the program, responses included comments about feeling more connected to co-workers, improvements in team morale and the thoughtfulness and effort put in from the employer. Participants were more likely to recommend their employer to a friend or family member and were less stressed overall at work.

Table 1: Post Program Health Assessment Results – increases and decreases in each risk category

Polished Finish

Post-challenge analysis was carried out on the group data to find correlations with meteorological data, namely heat-induced stress on site. The study showed that the higher the BMI, the higher the stress* levels and the stronger the impact of higher temperatures on site. Clearly, having a healthy BMI can reduce heat-induced stress (Chart 2) which could be linked to a reduction in workplace-related accidents and an increase in overall site productivity.

Having access to verified data-driven insights like these have a positive influence on how HSQ heads assign budgets and create workplace programs for impactful future initiatives, which ultimately will save lives while driving healthier habits outside of the workplace.

What are you looking at for next year’s programs?

What can your industry learn from construction?

How have wellbeing programs worked for you?

You can download a free PDF version of the case study here:

*Stress measured through Garmin’s Stress Score which is based on heart rate variability (the difference between heartbeats)

Read More

Toll Logistics Wellness Program Launches

Posted on

After months in the making, the personalised wellness program has launched, in time with a newly published corporate video that highlights the data-rich environment the joint platform creates for employers

New Video Supports Launch

wellteq is pleased to update on the April launch of the Toll Logistics application and the newly produced wellness partner video in readiness for a joint marketing push into the 47-billion-dollar global corporate wellness market with MyFiziq.

New video shows the future of AI-driven wellness

Wide-reach Over The Next Year

The platform will be launched on an initial 2,400 employees in April whilst building out the usage to the remaining 18,000 employees over the following 12 months. The newly launched video demonstrates the logistics use case and advanced analytics with the combined wellteq / MyFiziq solution. The video is set to articulate the data-rich environment created when these two applications are brought together.

With the completion of the wellness integration and video, wellteq has commenced marketing to its existing corporate clientele with both Australian multinationals and global Fortune 500 companies including but not limited to Bupa, Prudential, Telstra, Credit Suisse and SCOR to name a few.

Vlado Bosanac, Chief Executive Officer of MyFiziq, said:

“The video is a great tool to have when assisting new potential partners in understanding how we can enrich their data and workplace engagement. Our team worked closely with wellteq in developing this footage to make sure it was on point and explained the capabilities of the combined offering.”

Scott Montgomery, CEO of wellteq, said:

“Offering such an advanced, and comprehensive solution can sometimes come across as overly complex when it’s not. wellteq’s extensive capabilities fall into this category especially in emerging markets. This new video simply showcases the user experience and is helping people, partners and prospects to more simply understand the power of what we do inside two minutes. A powerful tool to help close our growing pipeline”

Being able to very accurately assess and monitor changes in body measurement with MyFiziq, then correlate this data with stress, sleep, activity and environmental data from wellteq enables us to identify health, risk and performance causal factors. This is the only capability of its kind in the world creating a powerful USP for our customers.”

For more information please contact stacey@wellteq.co

Read More

wellteq Forms Official Partnership with Telemedicine Platform Doctor Anywhere

Posted on

APAC’s leading wellness engagement and analytics platform partners with Singapore-based telemedicine platform.

Doctor Anywhere Now Any Time

wellteq is pleased to announce a partnership with telemedicine provider, Dr Anywhere, whose 24/7 virtual consultation rooms allow patients to call in from anywhere for a GP appointment, receive an e-medical certificate that can be sent directly to the employer, and have prescribed medication delivered to their home or office within two hours.

A quick how-to of the Doctor Anywhere app

The Brain Gets Sick Before The Body

The inclusion of telehealth services into wellteq’s digital wellness platform closes the circle of a user’s health journey from point of prevention to point of care. As an additional benefit, all users will gain access to a health and wellness marketplace, an e-commerce platform offering a range of fitness, beauty and wellbeing products including TCM, personal training sessions, health foods, supplements and dental packages.

The APAC telehealth market which includes telemedicine, remote patient monitoring and mobile health solutions, is estimated to reach $1.79 billion in 2020 from $1.02 billion in 2015 according to a study by Frost and Sullivan.


What Does This Mean For Employees?

For employers this collaboration brings a new approach to employee wellness programs leveraged by technology:

  • Reduces the need to visit a clinic when feeling unwell to ensure a quick recovery.
  • Doctor verified sick leave and e-medical certificates which improves accuracy and efficiency in providing evidence for medical claims for HR professionals.
  • Improves employee value proposition by offering integrated employee wellness program that includes point of care.

Scott Montgomery, CEO of wellteq, said:

“We’ve been excited to see the rise in popularity of telemedicine services over the last 5 years. It’s an area of mHealth that is seeing an increased number of players and breadth of service. What impressed us most about the Doctor Anywhere was the quick response times (usually less than 10 seconds) and their value-added marketplace that includes a diverse set of partners and unique services like at-home vaccinations.

I predict we’re going to see a continued growth in the use of digital health services across APAC, particularly as we see more insurance companies investing into value-added services for group health premiums to remain competitive. These services now going digital now allows us to bring healthcare to the individual, rather than the individual to healthcare. It’s a huge accelerator to earlier detection and intervention.”

Who Are Doctor Anywhere?

Dr Anywhere is a healthtech company founded to improve healthcare delivery through innovation and technology. Our digital platform gives you quick access to health and wellness solutions, wherever you are.

With technology, better health outcomes are more achievable than ever before. We are dedicated to making healthcare simple, convenient and accessible, and are constantly tailoring our healthcare services to suit your lifestyle needs.

For more information please contact stacey@wellteq.co

Read More