Duncan Young

Duncan Young is the Head of Workplace Health and Wellbeing at leading international property and infrastructure group Lendlease which has operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. He is a passionate advocate of the positive impact of workplaces on health, and is a thought leader on this.  He believes that health is a journey and that small steps can lead to larger incremental change. He focuses on elements of workplace wellbeing that help individuals to thrive, not just at work, but in life.  

His strategies and programs are based on research and grounded in the workplace environment, making them directly transferable between organizations.   His latest research on stress and energy renewal uses bio-feedback devices developed in elite sports to help ‘corporate athletes’ perform at their best. When he is not travelling Duncan is based in Sydney. Sydney’s temperate climate allows him to pursue his twin passions of surfing and ocean-swimming (his personal tools for keeping in-balance).




Background reading

  • Wellbeing: The five essential elements. Tom Rath & Jim Harter. 2014
  • The Hundred Year Life: Living and working in the age of longevity. Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott. 2016

  • The Blue Zones: Nine lessons for living longer. Dan Buettner. 2012

  • The Power of habit. Charles Duhigg. 2012

  • Focus: The hidden driver of excellence. Daniel Goleman. 2013

  • Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and wellbeing. Martin Seligman. 2011

  • The Shift: the future of work is already here. Lynda Gratton. 2011

  • Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck. Dan & Chip Health. 2010

  • When: The scientific secrets of perfect timing. Daniel Pink. 2018 

  • The Sleep revolution: Transforming your life, one night at a time. Arianna Huffington. 2017

  • Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. Simon Senek. 2009

  • Thinking fast and slow. Daniel Kahneman. 2012

  • Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein. 2009

  • Let my people go surfing. Yvon Chouinard. 2006

  • Flow: the psychology of optimal experience. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. 1990




  • People who have high quality friendships at work are 7 times as likely to be engaged at work. Tom Rath Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements. 2014
  • Applied Theory of Marginal gains – How 1% performance lead to Olympic gold. Harvard Business Review. 2015

  • Israel parole judge decisions during the day. It’s time we broke for lunch. Economist. 2011

  • Exercise and the heart. Early studies linking exercise and heart disease Bus drivers and conductors. Dr Jerry Morris.1953

  • Glasgow Post. Time spent in sedentary posture is associated with waist circumference and cardiovascular risk. Tigbe WW et al. 2017

  • Children born in 2007 will most likely live to 100 or more. Prosperity in the age of longevity. World economic forum annual meeting. 2017

  • Sleep. Worrying about insomnia may be worse than lack of sleep. Journal of Behaviour Research and Therapy. 2017

  • Peer group influencing your weight. Family friends can influence weight and mood. Harvard Health. 2015 

  • The “45 and up study’ 222,000 people shows with increased sitting time there is a correlation with all-cause mortality. Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk in 222,497 Australian adults. Van der Ploeg. 2012.

  • Walking five days a week for half a hour a day may prolong life expectancy by up to three years. Walk More Sit Less – a simple prescription for Good. Australian Medical Association. 2015

  • Reversing the effects of sitting include getting up and walking for 2 minutes every hour will help reverse health effects from prolonged sitting. 2 minute walk every hour may help offset-effects of sitting. Webmd. 2015

  • 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert. The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. American Psychological Association. 1993

  • Hippocampus bigger and more active in Taxi drivers than bus drivers. London taxi drivers and bus drivers. Maguire EA, et all. 2006


Follow what I am reading on the instapaper feed ‘duncanyoung’







If you would like to join my mailing list for newsletters or further research please fill in the form below.