A Laverton North company has become the first in Victoria to complete a state government program aimed at battling soaring obesity rates and chronic disease by encouraging better health at work.

Equipment funding company Silver Chef completed the Healthy Workplaces Achievement Program, creating changes to its employees’ eating habits, mental health and wellbeing.

The program encourages healthy eating, regular exercise, safe consumption of alcohol and quitting smoking.

Employee Kelly Gough said being part of the program had helped the business become a healthy workplace.

“The activity-based changes have proved most popular, including classes such as boot camp, an activity bell, funding of equipment and patches for people who want to quit smoking,” she said.

Some of the changes introduced by Silver Chef include discouraging the sale of unhealthy food for fundraising, stocking fridges with low-fat milk, yoghurt and muesli bars, limiting events where alcohol is served and monthly visits from a masseuse to provide stress- relieving massages.

The program was run as part of the Healthy Together Wyndham initiative, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents.