A Date with Health Represents Project's Official Beginning

October 23th, 2015

The event officially begun with a welcome address from Stojan Praprotnik, project leader, who greeted and briefly introduced partners, the project and the target public.

The event's program was entrusted to an external contractor, RC IKTS Žalec:

Alenka Ribič spoke about OiRA, the use of free online interactive risk assessment regarding safety and health at the workplace. Iztok Žilavec presented exercises and training for coping with stress, while Karmen Resnik presented 24alife web and mobile app for raising awareness about a healthier lifestyle and monitoring it and 24alife Corporate for planning and monitoring activities within the workplace health promotion program. At the end of the event Damijana Presečnik presented how to eat healthily at work and actively included participants in smoothie making in the ‘Battle Annoying Colds with Healthy Smoothies' activity. The participants were divided in three groups and were challenged on making the tastiest and healthiest smoothie. Votes were unanimous - all smoothies were delicious.

The event and press conference are organized within the ' Health-friendly working environment for healthy, active and motivated office workers' project. In addition to the applicator, Development Agency Savinja GIZ, other partners include Association of Municipalities of Slovenia (coordinator Miha Mohor), Association of Regional Development Agencies GIZ (coordinator Suzana Košir), and Association ZORA – Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia (coordinator Anita Molka). Partners successfully applied on a Public call for funding for health promotion at the workplace in 2015 and 2016, financially supported by the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia with the total value of 100.000 EUR.

The project will be completed on October 31st 2016, and will include implementation of numerous activities (educational and promotional with the support of RC IKTS Žalec d.o.o. experts and 24alife web tool and mobile app), which will be executed across whole Slovenia, including today's press conference and The 1st Date with Health. Prepared guidelines for creating Workplace health promotion program for a chosen workplace are also crucial for its implementation.

Health and Safety at Work Act (ZVZD-1(Ur.l.RS 43/2011)) has been in effective in Slovenia since 2011, employers are required to plan, provide necessary resources and monitor workplace health promotion implementation. The Ministry of Health issued Guidelines on workplace health promotion was released March 2015, and have been helpful in the planning and implementing WHP. The project will strive for workplace health promotion, which will be reflected in improving workplace environment and encouraging employees to take care of their health at the workplace as well as in their free time. Employers will be fined (from 2.000 to 40.000 EUR) if they fail to implement a workplace health promotion plan and include it in their risk management and safety statements. All employers are required to provide necessary resources as a manner for monitoring its implementation.

The project aims to address what employers and employees can do in order for the employees to be more active, motivated and assume greater responsibility for strengthening their own health. This would lead to less sick leave, which will consequently make productivity higher and medical costs lower.

There is prof that the modern working environment in EU and the world are becoming a ‘stressful environment'. A Japanese research found that 40 percent of Japanese office workers were afraid of possible death due to excessive work. This was the result of impersonal, constantly variable and often unfriendly working environment.

Practical experiences of work organizations show that long-term investment into a quality health program for employees regains, reduces or eliminates risk and stress and employee absences. Healthier and happier employees are also more motivated for work and are less likely to search for a new postion. Workplaces that take care of their employees also gain a solid reputation in the local and wider environment.

The project is primarily intended for office workers and persons on similar workplaces and public employees. Within the partnership this specifically represents: 177 municipalities, 12 regional development agencies, 16 local development agencies (around 5000 employees).

And indirectly also for:

  • our users or clients who represent middle, small and micro companies, self-employed
  • representatives of support organizations on local, regional, and national level, micro and small companies in service business
  • counselors for Ministries, Universities, public institutions
  • potential office workers (students, unemployed persons, first-time jobseekers)
  • general public (with the intention of raising awareness about the importance of long-term healthy work conditions for office workers, micro and small businesses and society as whole), and
  • the media.

A number of supporting partners actively cooperate in this project, such as UPI LU Žalec, IHPS, ZKŠT Žalec, and we have also created project's joint web subpage


Additional information: Alenka Doler, Razvojna agencija Savinja, GIZ, Ulica heroja Staneta 3, 3310 Žalec, ra.savinja@ra-savinja.si