Workplace wellness programme success

Two Otago Polytechnic students have been chosen to ''Live the Dream'' after developing a workplace wellness programme trialled at the Otago Corrections Facility.

Kirsty Currie and Hamish McDonnell were selected to take part in the ''Live the Dream'' programme for their workplace health and activity management programme, piloted with the Corrections Facility and Otago Community Probation Services this year.

The programme was so successful Ms Currie has been employed one day a week to continue her involvement with the staff.

The pair, both bachelor of applied science students at the Otago Institute of Sport and Adventure, will go to Wellington for 10 weeks over summer, and be provided with resources and business mentors to help develop their idea.

Ms Currie said ''workplace wellness'' was often overlooked.

''We set about making small changes, including nutrition and exercise, and addressed social habits, including smoking.

''A team of eight people lost a total of 32kg and three people stopped smoking. It was a real success and testament to the staff members who wanted to make a positive change,'' she said.

Mr McDonnell said they were both ''stoked'' to be chosen after recently travelling to Wellington and pitching their concept to a panel of entrepreneurial experts.

''It's been a lot of hard work to get to this position, but it's been worth it,'' he said.

- vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz