Central West Health & Rehabilitation
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Love boosts health Feb 14th, 2014

Medical Observer

AUSTRALIANS shot by Cupid's arrow are the happiest and healthiest in the land — until they get engaged. After that things tend to get a bit stressful, particularly for the bride-to-be. But the honeymoon glow lasts longer than most people think.

Couples with up to two children and people in same-sex relationships are among the happiest and healthiest, according to the Alere Wellness Index made up of scores for exercise, psychological wellbeing, nutritional health, alcohol, smoking, medical conditions and body mass.Couples with three or more children aged under 16 have increased stress, according to the index, which is based on 50,000 surveys a year conducted by Roy Morgan Research.Men in a same-sex relationship are prone to drinking too much and putting on weight.Separated and divorced people are the least healthy, with poor psychological scores and high rates of smoking.

Single people, particularly women aged 35 –49, do worst on a psychological level, according to the index. But things improve for single people aged 65 and older.In general, people who describe themselves as planning to get married do more exercise than others and are less likely to smoke or drink to excess. 

The people in the best psychological shape are those aged older than 65 who are planning to marry. Younger engaged men and women are slimmer than other groups, but husbands-to-be perform less exercise and have a less healthy diet than average. Younger women also have better than average overall health but score badly on psychological wellbeing, with more than four in 10 engaged women saying they feel stressed.

Young Couple

List of Approved Workers Compensation Insurers Feb 13th, 2014

Work Cover Image

Insurers are integral to the workers’ compensation system in Western Australia. They have a role in assessing claims made by workers, and indemnifying employers of compensation for accepted claims.

Approved Insurers

Effective Injury Management System Feb 13th, 2014
Injury Management Guide

All employers must have an Injury Management System. An Injury Management System is a written description of the steps you will take when there is an injury in your workplace. An employer is also required to develop a formal (written) return to work program for a worker when the medical practitioner:

advises the employer in writing that a return to work program should be established for the worker

signs a medical certificate indicating that the worker has partial capacity to return to work

signs a medical certificate indicating that the worker has total capacity to return to work, but for some reason is not able to return to the position held immediately prior to injury.

Employers are encouraged to read WorkCover WA’s Injury Management: A Guide for Employers publication which provides information to assist employers to understand their legal obligations and contains a three step approach to effective injury management.

Five men’s issues to watch - Medical Observer Feb 12th, 2014

WHAT'S ahead for men’s health? Here are five issues to watch as the year unfolds.

A focus on men’s health in Australia has been reinvigorated in recent years with the launch of the 2010 National Men’s Health Policy. But new issues continue to emerge, so it is important to remain vigilant in addressing areas of need. In particular, health issues facing younger males — including drugs in sport and pressures around body image — have gained growing media attention.


Until recently most us of may have thought the major male health issue around sport was participation levels. But 2013 was the year that performance-enhancing drugs and ‘supplements’ came to the attention of the mainstream media.

The health consequences of drugs in sport can get lost within the media hoopla and the drama of high-profile sports people implicated in these activities, plus the associated legal and sporting regulatory issues. And let’s keep in mind that what takes place in the elite levels of sport often propagates throughout the amateur ranks as well. The use and abuse of ‘recreational’ drugs and alcohol also has a long but not particularly glorious history in Australian sport. It will be interesting to observe how the major sporting codes will approach the use of social and performance-enhancing drugs in 2014 and beyond.

Body image

Recent evidence suggests that body image concerns are more prevalent in boys than previously thought, and that boys may manifest these concerns in a different manner to girls.

The finding that boys tend to be concerned about muscularity (rather than concerns about thinness observed in females) has significant implications for diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders in men and boys.

Dads get the blues too

Becoming a parent for the first time marks a major life milestone, and is also a time of significant lifestyle upheaval. Health professionals are beginning to recognise that the mother and the father both share the emotional and psychological impacts of new parenthood. Postnatal depression in men is now on the health agenda with support services being developed, albeit in the early stages.

Prostate cancer

Several promising new approaches to the diagnosis of prostate cancer are under investigation. While the venerable PSA is not likely to fall into disuse any time soon, we can look forward to a future where more specific markers for prostate cancer may play a role in diagnosis and management.

In the meantime, the use of the PSA test will continue to be a contentious issue, as will recommended treatment and management practices. Careful analysis of quality evidence must remain the cornerstone of this debate.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is more than just old blokes worrying about their sexual performance. Men who experience ED face a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to men who do not. The degree of risk for a cardiovascular event after developing ED is said to be similar to that of current smoking or a family history of ischaemic heart disease.

While specific treatments to promote erectile function, usually starting with options such as PDE5 inhibitors, are effective, management of any identified cardiovascular disease or risk factors should follow a diagnosis of ED. It is hoped that awareness of the role of a man’s penis as a barometer for his overall health will become more widespread in 2014.


Safety management for heavy vehicle transport Feb 12th, 2014
Mooren et al (2014)Safety management for heavy vehicle transport: A review of the literature. Safety Science 62: 79–89

Big TruckThis paper reviews the literature concerning safety management interventions, that have been effective in reducing injury outcomes in occupational health and safety (OHS) and road safety, and assesses their applicability to reducing crash and injury outcomes in heavy vehicle transport. The operational and management characteristics that were associated with reduced crash and injury risk included: safety training, management commitment, scheduling or journey planning, size of organisation or freight type, worker participation, incentives and safety or return to work policies. Other characteristics that might be associated with lower incident and injury rates were risk analysis/corrective actions, prior safety violations, crashes or incidents, vehicle conditions or physical work environment, vehicle technologies, recruitment and retention, pay and remuneration systems, communications/ support, safety or quality management accreditation, financial performance, and worker characteristics and attitudes. The review also highlighted gaps in the literature requiring further research.

Pilates training results in improved flexibility Feb 12th, 2014
Pilates ExercisesSegal et al (2004)The Effects of Pilates Training on Flexibility and Body Composition: An Observational Study. Archive of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 85:1977-1981

Pilates training may result in improved flexibility. However, its effects on body composition, health status, and posture are more limited and may be difficult to establish. Further study might involve larger sample sizes, comparison with an appropriate control group, and assessment of motor unit recruitment as well as strength of truncal stabilizers.



Workers Compensation Insurance Policies & Premiums Feb 12th, 2014
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Workers’ compensation insurance protects employers from financial costs when a worker sustains a work-related injury or disease. It also protects injured workers by providing weekly payments to cover loss of earning capacity, payment of reasonable medical and rehabilitation expenses, and other entitlements.

Take out insurance

You can obtain insurance cover from any of the insurers approved by the Minister to underwrite workers' compensation insurance. It is important to shop around to get the best policy for your business.

Standard workers' compensation policy

All insurers are required to issue workers' compensation policies in an approved form. WorkCover WA has issued a Standard Employer Indemnity Policy (PDF - 70kb) which is the basis of all workers' compensation policies.

How your insurance premium is calculated

WorkCover WA determines and applies recommended premium rates to each industry classification, and updates the rates annually. However, insurers can discount these rates or load (increase) them by up to 75%.

In determining the premium rate for your business, your insurer will:
Request a wages declaration as the recommended premium rate applies to the aggregate amount of wages, salaries or other remuneration paid to an employer's workers

Assign an industry classification to your business - all premiums for a particular industry are calculated on the same rate

Examine the risk factors (claims history, safety and injury management policies etc) associated with your business

Discount the recommended industry rate by any amount, or surcharge it by up to 75%, depending upon an employer's individual risk factor

Insurers may surcharge more than 75% with approval from WorkCover WA, dependent upon the claims experience and risk associated with the operation of an employer’s business

Apply your premium rate. Only one rate applies for each ‘establishment’ - defined as a unit covering all the operations of a company conducted at or from a single location. If an employer conducts more than one industry at the same single location, the classification of the employer's predominant industry (based on gross remuneration) applies.

Adjust your premium following the submission of your actual gross wages, depending on whether the actual wages were more or less than the estimate you first provided. If you wish to renew your policy with the same insurer, you need to submit (on the same declaration) an estimate of gross wages to be paid the following year.

Display and device size effects on the usability Feb 10th, 2014

Notebook setup

Lai and Wu (2014) Display and device size effects on the usability of mini-notebooks (netbooks)/ultraportables as small form-factor Mobile PCs. Applied Ergonomics. in press:1-10

A balance between portability and usability made the 10.100 diagonal screens popular in the Mobile PC market (e.g., 10.100 mini-notebooks/netbooks, convertible/hybrid ultraportables); yet no academic research rationalizes this phenomenon. This study investigated the size effects of display and input devices of 4 mini-notebooks (netbooks) ranged in size on their performances in 2 simple and 3 complex applied tasks. It seemed that the closer the display and/or input devices (touchpad/touchscreen/ keyboard) sizes to those sizes of a generic notebook, the shorter the operation times (there was no certain phenomenon for the error rates). With non- significant differences, the 10.100 and 8.900 mininotebooks (netbooks) were as fast as the 11.600 one in almost all the tasks, except for the 8.900 one in the typing tasks. The 11.600 mini-notebook (netbook) was most preferred; while the difference in the satisfactions was not significant between the 10.100 and 11.600 ones but between the 700 and 11.600 ones.

Sit less, move more: New physical activity guidelines Feb 10th, 2014

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Australians should aim for around 60 minutes of physical activity per day, double the previous recommendation, according the new national physical activity guidelines, published today.

And for the first time, the guidelines urge the 12 million Australians who are sedentary or have low levels of physical activity to limit the time they spend sitting.

The recommendations aim to prevent unhealthy weight gain and reduce the risk of some cancers. Physical inactivity is the second-greatest contributor to the nation’s cancer burden, behind smoking.

The guidelines emphasise that doing any physical activity is better than doing none, but ideally adults will get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. This includes brisk walking, recreational swimming, dancing and household tasks such as raking leaves.

This could be swapped for 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise that makes you “huff and puff”, such as jogging, aerobics, fast cycling and many organised sports. Ten minutes of vigorous exercise equals moderate-intensity activity.




Health cost of spoonfuls of sugar Feb 10th, 2014


MJAinsight Logo

Click for full story

RESEARCH showing high consumption of added sugar more than doubles the risk of cardiovascular mortality has prompted Australian experts to renew calls for labelling reform to help curb sugar consumption.

Leading nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton said labelling reform was needed to compel food manufacturers to disclose the percentage of added-sugar in their products, rather than just list total sugars.

“The body of research basically shows that it’s only added sugar that’s the problem ... but the food industry has resisted putting added sugar on the label”, Dr Stanton said. “We need something to alert people to how much they are actually consuming, because I don’t think they really know.”

Sit to stand office workstations Feb 9th, 2014
Karakolis and Callaghan (2014) The impact of sit-stand office workstations on worker discomfort and productivity: A review. Applied Ergonomics 45: 799-806

This review examines the effectiveness of sitestand workstations at reducing worker discomfort without causing a decrease in productivity. Four databases were searched for studies on sit-stand workstations, and five selection criteria were used to identify appropriate articles. This review concluded that sit-stand workstations are likely effective in reducing perceived discomfort. Eight of the identified studies reported a productivity outcome. Three of these studies reported an increase in productivity during sit-stand work, four reported no affect on productivity, and one reported mixed productivity results. Therefore, this review concluded that sit-stand workstations do not cause a decrease in productivity.

No equipment needed home exercise programs Feb 9th, 2014



How do leaders motivate safety? Feb 8th, 2014
Griffin and Hu (2013) How leaders differentially motivate safety compliance and safety participation: The role of monitoring, inspiring, and learning. Safety Science 60: 196–202

This study examined the impact of specific leader behaviours on employee’s safety performance. Based on self-regulation framework, we examined three safety-specific leader behaviours: safety inspiring, safety monitoring, and safety learning on two distinct employee safety behaviours: safety participation and safety compliance. While safety inspiring is positively and specifically related to safety participation, safety monitoring is positively and specifically related to safety compliance. Further, we also showed that the relationship between safety monitoring and safety participation can be moderated by the degree to which leaders encourage safety related learning. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


The Psychology of Hunger Feb 8th, 2014
Physiological Hunger is a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food. However hunger also refers to the desire to eat.


Of course the stomach does participate in the regulation of hunger. The stomach empties at a relatively constant rate in all mammals. As the stomach contracts, we feel more and more hungry. Usually, we start feeling hungry when the stomach is approximately 60% empty and we feel very hungry when the stomach is 90% empty.

However very early studies in rats and humans from the 1940's showed that even when the nerves connecting the stomach to the brain are cut or severed, we still feel hunger. Even more persuasive was the finding that when people's stomachs are surgically removed for medical reasons, these individuals continue to experience hunger. Clearly there is more to hunger than just the empty feeling in the stomach!

The following handout gives a number of strategies that many people hve found helpful to promote negative energy balance and weightloss.

Handout Image

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Healthy Snack Feb 7th, 2014

Are your snacks letting you down?  Try this healthy dip recipe and serve with chopped vegetables, corn thins or rice crackers!

1 x 450g can baby beetroot, drained, coarsely choppedDipGraphic

250g low fat Greek-style yoghurt

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

Freshly ground pepper


Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve


The Pilates method: history and philosophy Feb 6th, 2014
Pilates Studio

Latey (2001) The Pilates method: history and philosophyJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 5(4), 275-282

Until the mid-1980s the Pilates Method of exercise was little known outside the world of dance but has grown in popularity rapidly in the last decade: coming out of obscurity. This article traces its history in context and examines the initial principles of the method, with the beginnings of modern developments.

Added Sugar Triples Heart Disease Risk Feb 5th, 2014
Medical Observer. 4th Feb 2014

Sugar Treats

CONSUMING too many sugary sweets, desserts and drinks can triple your chances of dying from heart disease. Scientists in the US have found a relevant association between the proportion of daily calories supplied by sugar-laden foods and heart disease death rates.The researchers specifically focused on added sugar in the diet – that is, sugar added in the processing or preparing of food, rather than natural sources.

One sugar-sweetened beverage a day is enough to increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD). For people obtaining a quarter of their calories from added sugar, the risk tripled compared with those whose sugar contribution was less than 10%. Sugar consumption in the top fifth of the range studied doubled the likelihood of death from heart disease. Dietary guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend that added sugar should make up less than 10% of total calorie intake. A single can of fizzy drink can contain 35g of sugar, providing 140 calories.

The authors concluded: "Our findings indicate that most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet." A higher percentage of calories from added sugar is associated with significantly increased risk of heart disease related death."

Professor Naveed Satta, from the British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre at the University of Glasgow, said: "We have known for years about the dangers of excess saturated fat intake, an observation which led the food industry to replace unhealthy fats with presumed 'healthier' sugars in many food products."However, the present study, perhaps more strongly than previous ones, suggests that those whose diet is high in added sugars may also have an increased risk of heart attack. Of course, sugar per se is not harmful – we need it for the body's energy needs - but when consumed in excess it will contribute to weight gain and, in turn, may accelerate heart disease."Helping individuals cut not only their excessive fat intake, but also refined sugar intake, could have major health benefits including lessening obesity and heart attacks. The first target, now taken up by an increasing number of countries, is to tax sugar-rich drinks."

Sizing up Australia - the next step Feb 5th, 2014
Safe Work Australia is a national policy setting body whose key role is to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. Key action areas under the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012 – 2022 are to promote the role of safe design in eliminating and minimising risks to work health and safety, and research and evaluation.

In January 2009 Safe Work Australia published an independent report entitled Sizing Up Australia: How contemporary is the anthropometric data Australian designers use? (Sizing Up Australia) (Veitch, Caple et al. 2009). Sizing Up Australia identified a need to conduct an Australian Body Sizing Survey to make available anthropometric data that could be used to design safer workplace equipment and workplaces. It proposed making this a public infrastructure project to maximise the use of the data, as even given base data, design and testing are still expensive for designers and manufacturers.

This survey will measure the body size of Australian workers. These measurements will be free to anyone interested in designing for Australian workplaces or choosing workplace equipment from ladders to hospital beds from forklifts to seats in aircraft and cars. Similar surveys undertaken in other countries have helped improve work health and safety, increase productivity and reduce inefficiency. The 2009 Australian Safety and Compensation Council report “Sizing Up Australia: How contemporary is the anthropometric data Australian designers use?’ found Australia needs a body sizing survey if it is to achieve similar outcomes.


Veitch, Fitzgerald et al. (2013). Sizing Up Australia – The Next Step. Canberra: Safe Work Australia

Obesity; the leading preventable risk factor for cancer Feb 4th, 2014

Emily Dunn 4-2-2014. Medical Observer

OBESITY has become the biggest preventable risk factor for cancer in Australia after smoking, a study from the World Health Organization has shown. The 2014 World Cancer Report, last released six years ago, also showed that cancer has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in Australia and almost every other country, killing an estimated eight million people globally each year, including more than 43,000 Australians. This number is expected to rise to 20 million globally by 2025. The report estimated the global cost of cancer to be $1.33 trillion a year in 2010, equating to 2% of the world's GDP, a figure that could be reduced by up to $200 billion a year if more was done to prevent cancer.

“For non-smokers, the single biggest preventable cause of cancer is obesity in terms of the number of cancer sites affected,” Mr Slevin told MO





Pilates Exercise for Healthy People Feb 4th, 2014
Cruz-Ferreira et al (2011)A Systematic Review of the Effects of Pilates Method of Exercise in Healthy People Archive of  Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 92: 2071-81

This study evaluated evidence for the effectiveness of the Pilates exercise (PME) in healthy people. It concluded there was strong evidence to support the use of Pilates to improve flexibility and dynamic balance, and moderate evidence to enhance muscular endurance.

Pilates Graphic

Most GPs not recommending Return To Work Feb 2nd, 2014
There are significant benefits to be gained from offering employees a 'trusted' Injury Management Service.


Collie et al (2013) Sickness certification of workers compensation claimants by general practitioners in Victoria, 2003–2010 Medical Journal of Australia. 199: 480–483

A recent study shows that Victorian GPs are unlikely to recommend alternate duties for injured workers. This is despite a growing body of evidence showing that safe work is good for health and that return to work (RTW) after injury or illness can promote recovery. The study’s examination of over 120,000 medical certificates provided to injured workers in Victoria from 2003 to 2010 found that more than 70% of initial medical certificates issued by GPs advised injured and ill workers to not work. Less than a quarter of medical certificates recommended workers return to work on modified duties. 

The Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s (AFOEM) 2011 Consensus Statement on the Health Benefits of Work suggested the following:

  • Work is generally good for health and wellbeing;

  • Long term work absence, work disability and unemployment have a negative impact on health and wellbeing;

  • Work is an effective means of reducing poverty and social exclusion;

  • Work practices, workplace culture and work-life balance are key determinates of individual health, wellbeing and productivity;

  • Good outcomes are more likely when individuals understand the health benefits of work, and are empowered to take responsibility for their own situation; and

  • Health professionals exert a significant influence on work absence and work disability, particularly in relation to medical sickness certification practices.

Dr Collie says that the working days lost to over-protective medical certificates are highly relevant amidst the current debate on increasing national productivity, as well as scrutiny of the viability of our national compensation systems. “We know that GPs play a front line role in returning injured workers to work as they as the first point of contact with the health care system for many injured workers and the main gatekeepers to workers compensation and disability benefits,” said Dr Collie.

The researchers concluded that the high proportion of medical certificates recommending complete absence from work presents “major challenges” to return to work, labour force productivity, the viability of the compensation system, and long-term social and economic development.

Ten tips for communicating with doctors Feb 2nd, 2014

You can get an injured worker back to work sooner if you build a great relationship with their treating practitioner. According to Occupational Physician Dr Robyn Horsley, that’s all about getting your communication style right.

Making a plan to communicate

“Employers need to sort out who they’re talking to, when they’re going to talk to them and what they’re going to talk about,” says Robyn. “It can’t be about diagnosis, it can’t be about discussing any of the psychological side of things. It has to be about capacity, certificate clarification and when the worker can return to work.”

Many employers might think they can’t get too involved because of confidentiality issues, but Robyn says an employer’s role is as much about being information-giving as anything else.

Top ten tips for discussing a case with the doctor

1.       Ring at the right time.

“Having an awareness of how doctors work can get rid of some of the frustration [of dealing with them],” advises Robyn. Doctors are paid for face to face contact, treating patients - not for things such as phone calls.If doctors are in the middle of a very busy day, they won’t be keen to have discussions with non-patients.

Contact the doctor’s receptionist and ask when the best time would be to call; this is usually not on a Monday or Friday.

2.       Call the right practice location.

If the treating practitioner works from multiple sites, make sure you’re ringing the actual practice where your injured worker sees the doctor. This ensures that the patient file is available, which is crucial.

“For those in the hospital system, you may have to ring them, sort out who you need to speak to, let them know who you are and make an appropriate time to ring them back in a day or so, to give them time to retrieve and read the file notes,” says Robyn.

3.       Ensure the doctor has the correct file.

“If you ring and you talk about a worker, but the doctor doesn’t have the file in front of them, they’re at a disadvantage.” says Robyn. Make sure you’ve notified the receptionist about whom you’ll be referring to, in your conversation with the doctor, so he /she can have the file up in front of them when speaking with you.

4.       Be succinct and clear.

Introduce yourself, where you are from, your role and the reason for your call very briefly. You can also fax or email through details of what you want to talk about prior to the call, such as a list of alternate duties for the doctor’s consideration.

5.       Be precise about what you want to know.

E.g., what the injured worker can or can’t do, or when RTW can begin. You can also ask about increasing work hours, or clarification of medical certificate details. Don’t be intrusive - pushing for medical information - or you’ll risk getting the doctor off-side. 

6.       One major question per phone call.

“When you’re ringing a doctor, you don’t want to ring with a shopping list of things,” says Robin. “You’re much better sorting out one or two things that you want to achieve in that particular conversation.  If there are multiple things then you probably need to make another time.”

7.       Check your phone style.

Make sure you’re also being “information giving”.  Avoid opinions about whether the worker’s condition is legitimate – remember that it’s ultimately up to the insurance agent to decide.

8.       Be aware of the doctor’s mood.

"If a doctor is curt,” says Robyn, “they may have had a shocking morning - they’re human like the rest of us. There may have been multiple things that have gone wrong and the last thing they need is another phone call. Or, they may have a room full of people and they’re already behind.”

If you get through to the doctor and they sound tense or on edge, it’s best to keep the conversation brief and suggest you ring at a better time.

9.       Dealing with psychiatrists.

“Psychiatrists are very sensitive about giving any information at all,” warns Robyn. “If the employer wants to give information to a psychiatrist, they probably need to do it in writing. If they want formal communication with a psychiatrist, my advice would be to communicate through a rehab provider or a doctor - with the patient’s consent’.

10.   Record all conversations.

Make a note of what’s been said so that you can relay it to the injured employee. Ideally, the employee should be present while the conversation takes place, via speakerphone or conference call. This might be logistically difficult for a Case Manager, but is a great way to maximise information to the employee and minimise confusion and misunderstandings.




150 minutes of exercise predicts survival Feb 2nd, 2014

Almeida OP, Khan KM, Hankey GJ, et al. (2014) 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week predicts survival and successful ageing: a population-based 11-year longitudinal study of 12 201 older Australian men. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 48:220–225

Physical activity has been associated with improved survival, but it is unclear whether this increase in longevity is accompanied by preserved mental and physical functioning, also known as healthy ageing. This study was designed to determine whether physical activity in 12 201 older Australian men was associated with healthy ageing in later life. The results of this study showed that a lifestyle that incorporates physical activity increases by almost 2 fold the chance men aged 65–83 years remain alive and free of functional or mental impairments after 10–13 years.

Consensus in Workers Compensation? Feb 1st, 2014

WC image

Conventional wisdom is that workers' compensation is a contentious industry. Doctors don't agree with lawyers. Regulators don't agree with service providers.  Injured workers don't agree with insurance agents. We already 'know' that the parties are at odds with one another, so one or another side attempts to impose its 'solution' to create order out of disagreement.

The idea that the stakeholders and service providers in one state could agree on 'what needs to be done' in workers' compensation goes against the grain of conventional thought in the industry.  People from different states can only agree that 'their' system is the best, and the one that everyone else ought to follow, right? Over the course of two years Deakin University invested in the process of asking the people who participate in the system, from regulators and insurance agents, medical and allied health personnel, lawyers, employers and injured workers what they thought would make workers' compensation more successful, and it turned out that they agreed on many important suggestions for systemic improvement.

The Stakeholders Speak: Reflections on a National Stakeholder Engagement Series has recently been published by DeakinPrime. The national report discusses a methodology participants described as "unique in the history of the industry" and the surprising range of consensus opinions that were reached on issues ranging from psychological harm to return to work and from medical certificates to accident reporting statistics. The document also contains the individual reports for each of the state and territory stakeholder engagement events across Australia, so that comparisons are possible. The Stakeholders Speak is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the best ways to improve of the outcomes for injuried workers.





The Couch to 5k in 9 weeks running program Feb 1st, 2014

C25K Graphic

Couch to 5km (C25K), is a phone application designed to help you progress to running 5 kilometres or 30 minutes over 9 weeks. It's a gentle introduction to getting the body moving, starting off alternating between walking and running small distances, and slowly building up until after 8 weeks, you're ready to run 5 kilometre or 30 minutes non stop.

Important to answer no to the following questions before attempting to progress to running:

  1. Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity recommended by a doctor?

  2. In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not doing physical activity?

  3. Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity?

  4. Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you ever lose consciousness?

  5. Do you have a bone or joint problem (e.g. back, knee or hip) that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity?

  6. Is your doctor currently prescribing medication for your blood pressure or a heart condition?

  7. Do you have Type 2 Diabetes?

  8. Do you have an injury?

  9. Do you know of any other reason why you should not do physical activity?

If you answered yes to any of the following you need to discuss this program with an Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist or your Doctor before commencing.