Many challenges that FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) workers come across are unique to their industry and can potentially impact not only their health mentally, but also physically.
It is important to not allow such challenges to impact your health as a FIFO worker.
Some of the unique challenges these hardworking individuals face include but are not limited to:
- Constant Travel – Back and Forth
- Irregular Sleep Schedules/Patterns
- Underground Work
- Long Shifts Followed by Long Periods of Down Time
- Lack of Variety in Food Options
- Long Periods Away from Family
Staying healthy is crucial in the life of a FIFO worker and these challenges can be managed if the worker focuses on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and balance to the best of their ability. Worker well-being is an important focus in the FIFO lifestyle as the work is often lucrative but it can hugely impact the life of the worker and their family when they return home.
Often times the adjustment between work life and home life can be tough. Keeping up and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in both arenas would be the most beneficial to the FIFO worker and the family members involved. Staying healthy, both while on site for work and at home is a vital part of the worker remaining fully capable of doing their job and not gaining weight during their time away. It is vital to fuel your body not only while away during shifts, but also when at home so you are fully prepared for the hard work that lies ahead once your off time comes to an end.
Many companies are encouraging the healthy life-style balance while working and at home. They are also being encouraged to get in shape if they have allowed themselves to sort of decrease their focus on their health. It is important for these companies to value not only the mental health and well-being, but the physical aspects of their workers health. Some companies are providing their FIFO workers with programs and activities that increase and raise awareness about improving their health and overall lifestyle choices as a whole.
Some companies are even creating these awareness programs and turning them into challenges to spike worker’s interest as well as inform and improve their overall well-being as a FIFO worker. When they are offered these programs on-site, it is likely once they begin the program and are motivated, they will take this idea home with them and continue on their path and journey to maintaining a healthy way of life. They are also encouraging even small lifestyle changes such as walking to catch the bus at the end of a shift or back to camp once you are returning from the bus station to start yet another swing shift. Also encouraging group workouts, cutting out unhealthy drinks such as caffeine, alcohol, and even pushing employees to stop smoking. Also encouraged is maintaining a healthy diet and eating breakfast along with properly portioned meals each day.
The health and well-being of FIFO workers should and is important to the companies that are employing them because obesity, mental health decline, excessive use of alcohol and tobacco, and remaining sedentary are all issues that can potentially affect the health of the individual and ultimately the bottom line of the company. Companies that are providing these programs to FIFO workers are seeing a better return on investment when their employees are mentally and physically healthy.
Whether at home or on the job site, it has been proven by recent studies that healthy employees are much more productive and absent less than their counterparts who are not in the best of shape or health. These work-based health-conscious programs are not only promoting and preventing health awareness and disease prevention but they are providing FIFO workers with the knowledgeable information they can take home and follow as they encourage to maintain these healthy new routines as part of their lifestyle.
(2012). Oesterbroek, C. & Misan, G. “Healthy Tips for Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) Workers). Centre for Rural Health and Community Development UNISA.
(2012). “Fifo Health & Lifestyle Program”. Functionwell Health and Lifestyle Evolution.
(2013). “Fifo Employees Given Support to Get Health and Fitness Back on Track”. Compass Group.
(2015). “12 Tips for the Perfect Fly-In-Fly-Out Lifestyle”.