Latrobe Valley Bus Lines driving positive change among employees


LiveLighter is encouraging all Victorians to take a leaf out of Latrobe Valley Bus Lines’ playbook and embrace the Premier’s Active April as an opportunity to incorporate more physical activity into their day.

Understanding that the job doesn’t always make being active easy, Latrobe Valley Bus Lines has fitted out an onsite gym including treadmills, exercise bikes, table tennis tables and sporting equipment to help employees get moving.

The company also promotes walking on a regular basis through their ‘Walk for a Coffee’ incentive. The office has ‘standing’ work stations and leaflets are provided about exercises that can be undertaken on the bus during mini breaks.

Latrobe Valley Bus Lines’ Human Resources and Marketing Manager Ashley Brill has noticed a positive change among staff since making small changes to encourage them to get active.

“Looking at things differently and actually making it easier for our workers to incorporate physical activity into their day has meant that they have more energy and are happier as a result.”

“It’s changed the whole culture of the company as our workers are taking the initiative to get more exercise into their daily routine. Some have joined local sporting clubs while others are embracing the beautiful walking trails on our doorstep.”

“Our monthly newsletters provide a platform for them to share their achievement and even encourage some healthy competition.”

The company has also arranged initiatives to motivate staff, including:

  • Membership at the local bowling club where staff can play socially for free
  • A monthly calendar detailing local sporting, social and health events
  • A company app that provides information on health and wellbeing
  • A Facebook page that promotes health and wellbeing in the local area
  • Free health checks for staff

The bus company has been recognised for their efforts, meeting the statewide ‘Healthy Workplaces’ Achievement Program benchmark for physical activity. 

The company will be getting behind Active April again this year, a Victorian government initiative promoting healthy, active lifestyles encouraging all Victorians to join in the fun of increased physical activity.

With less than half of Latrobe Valley residents doing enough physical activity[1], LiveLighter’s Campaign Manager and Dietitian Alice Bastable is encouraging other workplaces in the region to make small adjustments to help staff incorporate physical activity into their work day, and the Premier’s Active April is a good place to start.

“Working longer hours and increasing commutes is making it harder to get enough physical activity into the working day. The average worker spends more than four hours a week getting to and from work[2]. Many are also spending twice as much time commuting as they are on exercise.”

“More than two thirds of Latrobe adults want to do more exercise, but over half said that lack of time was the most common barrier[3]. So it’s great to see Latrobe Valley Bus Lines promoting physical activity in the workplace and motivating their staff to be more active.”

“Getting employees more physically active doesn’t just make them feel better, a healthy workplace is a good long-term investment. Healthy employees are nearly three times more productive[4] , they  have more energy, higher self-esteem, a lower risk of chronic disease[5]. I’d encourage all workplaces to use the Premier’s Active April initiative as a starting point for implementing long-lasting healthy changes.”

One of Latrobe Valley Bus Lines’ employees, Caroline Lia, has been an active member of the Health and Wellbeing programs. Being diagnosed with breast cancer hasn’t stopped her from achieving her goals.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer and began my chemotherapy at the beginning of the company’s 10,000 step challenge last year. I have been encouraged by Latrobe Valley Bus Lines through their Health and Wellbeing initiatives to continue being active. I have since competed in 5km runs. I just finished my 50th parkrun and finally beat my pre diagnoses personal best.”

“I also competed in the Traralgon Harriers 5km run recently and got my best time ever for a run outside of parkrun. I competed in my first 10km on 31st March. Latrobe Valley Bus Lines are proudly sponsoring me and helping me achieve this goal of mine.”

[1] Victorian Population Health Survey 2014

[2] LiveLighter research analysed the health and nutrition behaviours of more than 2,000 Australians aged 18-55.

[3] 2012-13 Preventive Health Survey

[4] Medibank Private: The health of Australia’s workforce. November 2005