Healthy Malls – A breath of fresh air for Lakeside Joondalup retail staff and customers

As part of a joint study by the North Metropolitan Heath Service’s Public Health and Ambulatory Care Unit and the Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH), a survey was recently conducted which provided insights into perceptions of smoking behaviours at shopping centres.

Conducted with the support of Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City management, the Healthy Mall Project’s objectives were to promote healthy lifestyles amongst retail staff and customers through the reduction of risk factors that included tobacco use, unhealthy diet and active transport in and around the centre.

Measuring both customer and retail staff perspectives, the survey of sixty six participants found that both populations strongly supported enhanced signage and the reduction of smoking near shopping centre entrances, of which 70% of customers reported being concerned about. A total of 48% of customers indicated they had been exposed to cigarette smoke whilst at the shopping centre, as had over 75% of retail staff while working for an employer based at Lakeside Joondalup.

Gemma Hannigan, Centre Manager of Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City said that, “We are proud to be associated with the North Metropolitan Health Service’s Public Health Unit in creating healthy workspaces for centre staff whilst offering our centre customers the healthiest and most enjoyable shopping experience possible.”

As a result of the survey, a number of new health promotion strategies are being discussed and implemented which include anti-smoking endeavours as well as an innovative trial of bike sharing with an external vendor to boost active transport opportunities to and from the centre.

Survey participants were voluntarily entered into a $50 Lakeside Joondalup Shopping Centre voucher competition and the winner Mr Mike Merkel was surprised and grateful to have won the voucher. Upon receiving the voucher, Mr Merkel stated that he was soon to celebrate his 49th Wedding Anniversary with his wife Tessa, and happily “presented” the timely prize to her to enjoy. Congratulations on your special achievement, Mike & Tessa.