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Healthy Farmers Adviser Project

PPSA has a Healthy Farmers Adviser, Sally Fisher, who is currently funded to work two days per week in this role until early 2017.

This position was funded initially under the Healthy Workers, Healthy Futures initiative and is now supported by SA Health’s Men’s Health Strategy. The project addresses health risk factors for chronic disease, with a workplace focus on smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, inadequate physical activity or exercise and poor nutrition and stress. Sally will continue to promote the Menswatch program, visit workplaces to conduct health assessments and provide health education (e.g. through the Sustainable Farm Families Program) together with the National Centre for Farmer Health, develop farmer-friendly resources with the Freemason’s Centre for Mens Health and continue to work to see that health and wellbeing is at the forefront of farmers’ minds when thinking about Work, Health & Safety.

Farmers and their employees arent as healthy as they are often assumed to be with many having one or more risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

Health in Agriculture Pictogram
Globally, chronic-disease-related deaths account for approximately 56% of all deaths in the working-age population (15 to 69 years of age). Additionally, chronic disease is the prime cause of lost work time in the working-age population. Chronic disease accounted for about 40% of total lost work time in 2005.

The cost to business of poor health and wellbeing is significant :

  • Absenteeism costs Australian businesses $7 billion
    annually, or an estimated $2700, per employee, per year.
  • Unhealthy employees take on average nine times more sick
    days than a healthy employee.
  • Presenteeism (not functioning fully whilst at work, due to
    poor health) is estimated to cost Australian business
    $26 billion per year in lost productivity (2005-2006
    statistics). This is nearly four times the cost of absenteeism.
  • Stress-related claims cost Australian business more than
    $200 million annually.
  • Obesity related poor health is estimated to cost South
    Australian businesses $273 million (in 2008). This health
    condition costs South Australia $4.3 billion.


Are you healthy ? Farmers and their employees can complete a free confidential Brief Health Check which assesses current lifestyle and provides tips and referrals to support change. It takes less than 10 minutes !


To start thinking about health and wellbeing in your business,  farm businesses can use the Healthy Workplace Audit Tool to begin to see where you can influence health and wellbeing within your business.  Sally is happy to assist any business which wishes to improve its approach to workplace health and wellbeing. HealthyWorkplaceAudit_editable

Sally’s contact details are:

Mobile: 0410 473 167

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @HealthyFarmers

Sustainable Farm Families Program

The Sustainable Farm Families program supports farming businesses to address their personal health and wellbeing and traditional Work Health and Safety issues in the farming context. The program is highly regarded and has been delivered throughout Australia by the National Centre for Farmer Health.

The Sustainable Farm Families program was run in 2015/6 with industry support from :

Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group at Minlaton and Partners in Grain at Spalding.