26 PEOPLE | LEGAL SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHT 2018 PHYSICAL WELLBEING Since 1948 the World Health Organisation has defined health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Increasingly medical researchers are finding new evidence of the interdependence between our physical health and other areas including mental and social health. The way many of us work and the demands of modern life combine with our personal choices to put pressure on our physical wellbeing. Legal work, like many modern professions, is predominantly sedentary often involving pressure and long working hours. Long hours in combination with personal commitments can also reduce the amount of health leisure-time and lead to poor choices in other areas including nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse. While some physical health issues can be overcome many others have a significant and enduring impact on individuals lives and life expectancy as well as the collateral effects on the wellbeing of families and partners. Many AusLSA members already recognise their social obligations to their workforce but they also know that improved workplace health and wellbeing delivers real financial savings and productivity through: • increased productivity, alertness and concentration among staff • staff who feel valued with better morale, satisfaction and motivation • decreased mental ill-health and other work and non-work-related illness • reduced sick leave and fewer worker’s compensation claims • increased staff retention and attractiveness to new employees • improved corporate citizenship and image. Many of these indicators are difficult to measure and quantify and the ability to recoup savings to account for a typical ROI means many investments in physical well being go unfunded and benefits unrealised. Employers, in addition to social responsibility and the benefits to organisational health, have a legal duty of care for their employees. FORMAL POLICY PUBLISHED POLICY POLICY PUBLISHED 90% 19% 7% 81% 3% Yes Yes No No Not Reported POLICY PUBLISHED