Working together for a healthier and happier society

By

01/12/2018

AIA Vitality 4490 Summit brings together the financial services industry to collaborate and find innovative solutions that drive change through the prevention and early intervention of illness

As a nation, Australia’s healthy image is misleading, with some of our lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and smoking contributing to diseases that cause up to 90% of deaths in Australia[1]. In order to continue raising awareness of this issue and to demonstrate the important role that corporates can play in developing new and innovative solutions, AIA Australia hosted its third AIA Vitality 4490 Summit in November 2018.

The annual Summit is part of AIA Australia’s movement to champion Australia and New Zealand to be the healthiest and most protected nations in the world, bringing together a world-class line-up of experts and leaders in the corporate wellness and mental wellbeing space.

Amongst this year’s speakers was David Beckham, the former England football captain, who joined the Summit in his role as AIA’s global ambassador and spoke to his own personal experiences and the opportunity for everyone to make better lifestyle choices to ensure that they are living healthier, longer and better lives.

Damien Mu, CEO of AIA Australia and New Zealand pointed out that the poor health of our nation is not only impacting the ability for Australians to live long, healthy lives but it is affecting businesses across Australia through rises in absenteeism and presenteeism.

Guests at the Summit also heard from some of the world’s leading wellness experts, including Professor Ian Hickie AM, Co-Director, Health and Policy at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, in his address on the state of Australia’s mental health problem. Mental health is a complex issue that is far more widespread than once believed; it’s estimated that 45% of Australians between the ages of 16-85 will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, and this obviously has repercussions on every aspect of their life. The issue is of deep concern to AIA Australia, and the company advocates for Government and business leaders to better understand the devastating impact of mental ill health, remove the stigma associated with it, and to develop strategies that help ameliorate its harmful effects on individuals, families, businesses and the wider community.

Founder of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioural Economics Dr Kevin Volpp talked about the implications of behavioural economics and the design of programs to improve population health. Dr Wayne Derman, Director at the Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine shared his insights on how to achieve a balance that facilitates optimal performance.

Damien Mu called on corporate Australia to play a leading role in tackling issues of wellbeing in the workplace, enabling a supportive culture and ensuring that employee health is always front of mind. The benefit of this is not just a healthier workplace, and improved business performance through greater productivity, but ultimately a healthier, happier society.

More information about AIA Vitality can be found on the AIA Vitality website. Learn more about AIA Australia’s rehabilitation and return to work programs here.

 

Copyright © 2018. AIA Australia Limited (ABN 79 004 837 861 AFSL 230043). All rights reserved. This article is current at the date of publishing and may be subject to change. It provides general information only, and is not intended as financial, health, medical or other advice.

[1] Source: World Health Organization – Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) Country Profiles, 2018.