Department of Health

Healthy Workers Initiative

How Healthy is Your Industry?

Workplaces vary considerably across Australia by size, location and industry. This section provides information on workplace health relevant to each industry.4

Many workplaces are becoming more sedentary due to labour saving technology reducing the physical effort required, even in industries and occupations that were traditionally very physical. Of all those employed in Australia, around 70% are sedentary or have low levels of physical activity. Be aware of the health risks associated with being sedentary and encourage workers to take regular breaks, stand and walk around.

The data below is an analysis undertaken by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 2010 using results from the 2007/2008 National Health Survey, combined with industry data sourced from occupational health and safety bodies across Australia.

It provides information on the health risks of the working population in each industry sector with a focus on smoking, physical inactivity, weight, nutrition and harmful alcohol consumption.

Prevalence of modifiable lifestyle risk factors

Analysis of all Persons aged 18 or more Current Smoker Inadequate Fruit & Veg intake Physical Inactivity BMI - Measured Waist Circumference Alcohol Increased Lifetime Risk
Overweight OR obese Obese Increased OR high risk High Risk
NATIONAL
22%
49%
71%
59%
23%
55%
31%
24%
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing
20%
40%
70%
64%
26%
63%
47%
30%
Mining
27%
39%
67%
67%
21%
58%
29%
28%
Manufacturing
30%
55%
75%
60%
25%
53%
32%
28%
Utilities
17%
45%
69%
73%
19%
62%
29%
17%
Construction
31%
46%
68%
64%
25%
49%
27%
40%
Retail Trade
20%
54%
75%
50%
20%
51%
28%
20%
Accommodation & Restaurants
27%
56%
74%
48%
17%
44%
27%
22%
Transport & Storage
29%
54%
79%
71%
29%
62%
37%
26%
Communication Services
12%
51.5%
77%
58%
17%
48%
25%
30%
Finance & Insurance
20%
53%
66%
63%
22%
53%
28%
24%
Property & Business Services
16%
49%
65%
56%
18%
51%
28%
25%
Government Administration & Defence
24%
51%
72%
58%
24%
62%
37%
19%
Education
14%
40%
66%
57%
21%
56%
31%
18%
Health & Community Services
19%
42%
75%
60%
24%
62%
37%
12%
Cultural & Recreational Services
13%
47%
62%
60%
24%
52%
35%
20%
Personal & Other Services
26%
53%
67%
56%
22%
51%
26%
27%

NOTE: Highlighted items are significantly different from the national average

4 Industries were classified using the 1993 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification system (cat no. 1292.0).