Australian workers get red-y for flu season


From high-powered executives to frontline health professionals and construction workers, there’s one sweet incentive getting Australian workers prepared for flu season - lollipops. But, it appears not all flavours are considered equal.

Health insurer Bupa, who also provides corporate wellness programs to Australian businesses, has revealed informal tracking of preferred lollipop flavour reveals red is the colour of choice for people receiving the flu vaccination.

Tamsyn Elder, Bupa’s Head of Workplace Health Partnerships, said while the research was done in good fun, it also came with a serious warning about the need to get the flu vaccination.

“Plain and simple, flu kills. On average 3,500 Australians die from influenza and just under 20,000 are hospitalised every year,” Ms Elder said.

“In addition to the health benefits of the vaccine, the promise of a lollipop as a reward is something that is always well received by our patients. Last year we administered 46,255 flu vaccinations ourselves and handed out just over 40,000 lollipops.

“As we’ve gone around workplaces we’ve tracked which colour lollipop has been the most popular, and hands down red was the winner. Almost half of all people chose a red lollipop, green and orange didn’t even come close.”

Ms Elder added that the increased prominence of flu across Australia this year, including 63 deaths up until 5 May, has seen demand for vaccinations from workplaces.

“There has been a very significant and deadly start to flu season in many Australian states.

“Australian businesses have responded well. Companies who we provide corporate wellness programs to have had a real awareness on the need to be organised and have been actively requesting vaccines to be delivered to their workers. We’ve actually had to stagger some companies to manage the demand,” Ms Elder said.

Want to make sure your workplace is ready for Winter? Get in touch with Bupa Healthier Workplaces here.

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