FREDERICTON (CNB) - A new wellness initiative for provincial government employees working in departments was launched today by Premier Shawn Graham at the annual workplace wellness conference of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick.

"As premier and as someone devoted to physical activity and healthy living, I am proud that our government is among the first in Canada to launch such a comprehensive wellness initiative," Graham said. "As a major employer in New Brunswick, we are committed to being a leader in the promotion of workplace wellness and work-life balance in the province."

Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert and Human Resources Minister Rick Brewer also attended the launch of the initiative, known as Live, work, play…be well. The four-year campaign is being led by the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport as well as the Office of Human Resources.

  • The initiative has five goals:
  • to improve the wellness of public employees;
  • to reduce modifiable health risks and decrease the high prevalence of chronic disease;
  • to identify initiatives and activities to promote a healthy workplace;
  • to encourage success in achieving personal and corporate wellness goals and milestones; and
  • to improve morale and job satisfaction.

"Our department is working diligently to ensure that employees in communities across the province are given the opportunity to participate in Live, work, play...be well," said Albert.

Since most adults spend at least one-third of their daily lives at work, the workplace is considered an excellent environment for promoting wellness.

"As an employer, we care about our employees and promote health and wellness in all aspects of their lives, which ultimately results in a better workplace," said Brewer. "We have made workplace wellness part of our new corporate human resources plan for our employees, and we will follow the progress of this initiative over the next three years."

Brewer said the provincial government believes that, by offering employees opportunities to practice healthy choices at work, there will be a carry-over into homes and communities, resulting in a healthier New Brunswick.