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Archive for September, 2011

Wellbeing in the Workplace

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Wellbeing initiatives are fast becoming a major part of employee benefit packages and/or absentee management policies. By providing your employees with the tools they need to maintain their optimal levels of wellbeing you can have a direct effect on reducing the losses that your organisation may suffer due to absenteeism and also have a impact on tackling stress in the workplace. Not to mention the improvements in staff motivation and general workplace morale.

This short article will look at the three main areas that add up to affecting your employees wellbeing. These are health and fitness levels, nutritional standards and stress management.

Benefits of Focusing on Wellbeing

By helping your employees to improve their personal levels of wellbeing your organisation can expect the following benefits:-

  • improved productivity and performance
  • reduced staff turnover
  • reduced levels of absenteeism
  • reduced levels of stress
  • improved customer satisfaction
  • improved organisation reputation

Health and fitness in the workplace

The old saying healthy body healthy mind is very true when it comes to the workplace. Fit and active people tend to be more efficient and effective in the work place. Not to mention the reduced levels of absenteeism amongst healthier employees.

Providing employees with encouragement to maintain good levels of health and fitness can be done in a number of ways:-

  • · Work based wellbeing clinics – short sessions (effective sessions can be as short as 30 mins) where employees can meet with a wellbeing consultant. This time allows individual’s to discuss possible ways of improving their daily physical activity levels and general wellbeing.
  • · Wellbeing testing – many companies now offer their employees the option to have their personal levels of wellbeing assessed. These sessions normally consist of a range of fitness and wellbeing tests allowing individuals to identify areas in their own wellbeing that could be improved.
  • · Work based fitness classes – by providing a range of on site fitness and wellbeing classes at various times, employees can find it more time effective to attend fitness classes.
  • · Work based gym – larger organisations may consider the provision of a on site gym for use of their staff. These gyms range in size and level of service dependent on organisational resources.
  • · Corporate gym memberships – by taking out a corporate membership at a local gym, employees can make substantial savings on membership costs, at a small cost to the organisation.

Nutrition in the workplace

Nutritional standards have a vital role to play in an individuals overall wellbeing levels. By providing healthy options within the workplace an organisation can have a major impact on their employees wellbeing. This can be done by ensuring that snack, meal, and drink facilities include healthy options such as selections of fruit and the provision of easily accessible drinking water.

Larger organisations who have on site catering facilities may also wish to involve catering staff with the process of developing a more healthy workplace. Most people state the major barrier they face to healthy eating is that it is not convenient. So any interventions that you make within the workplace need to be convenient and accessible in order to be successful.

Stress management in the workplace

Stress levels within your organisation can be a major factor when trying to improve levels of workplace productivity via the implementation of a wellbeing policy. Stress is one of the biggest factors that account for employee absenteeism and loss of productivity.

The main problem within the workplace is that employees often do not have a get away point where they can take their minds off work for an all important break. Employees who tend to be un-contactable and can turn off from work during breaks tend to be more effective and efficient when back on the job.

One of the most effective and simplest strategies to have come out of many stress management programs is to turn your canteen or other staff areas into a no work zone. This means no work talk, no taking work into these designated areas, and most importantly no work calls.

Education is also a key element of effective stress management. From top to bottom employees need to be educated in identification of stress factors and coping strategies. Those in a managerial position should also be trained in the identification of stress indicators in their teams and how to manage stress in the workplace.

Conclusions

By implementing a thoroughly thought out wellbeing policy that covers the three main areas of health and fitness, nutrition and stress management your organisation could start to see massive rewards in terms of increased productivity and reduced losses due to absenteeism.

Look out for our new corporate wellbeing site launching next month!

How many Steps a Day?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Hi All,

I was talking to a client today about walking and the massive impact that adding in a decent amount of low level physical activity can have on weight control and weight loss.

Why is walking so good?

  • You don’t have to plan it, so you can be spontaneous! All you need are your feet and a pair of trainers or comfy shoes.
  • You can do it whatever the weather. If it’s raining, don’t be put off, grab a coat and wellies and get out there. The kids will love jumping in the puddles too.
  • It’s sociable – take a friend and have a good natter. Or have a nice long chat with your family.
  • It’s a great way to make short journeys instead of taking the car; and you save money.
  • You’re probably doing it already.
  • It’s FREE!

What does walking do for you?

  • Walking is good for bones and muscles: helping your kids grow up big and strong.
  • It burns calories: in fact a brisk walk burns the same amount of calories as a run over the same distance!
  • It builds stamina.
  • It helps beat stress: walking can make you feel good and more relaxed.
  • It can cut your risk of heart disease by up to 50%, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and the risk of some cancers
  • It boosts your immune system for 24 hours
  • It can even lower your blood pressure.

10,000 steps per day is what would be considered active

12,500 steps per day would be considered very active

It sounds a lot more than you think as when walking briskly you cover about 500 steps in 5 minutes.  These figures include EVRY step you take in a day, so the idea would be that you wear your pedometer from the moment you get up to the moment that you go to bed.  I you do not have a pedometer what we suggest is that you do a 30 minute walk each day, if you find it hard to get in 30 mins then this can be broken down into more manageable chunks for you.

Look out for the Foresight Pedometer Challenge comming soon!

TOM

Personal Training Course Manchester

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Hi All,

Recently i have had a fair few clients and other people ask about how they become a personal trainer, so i thought i would post a link to the personal training course in Manchester.

If you interested in becoming a personal trainer Fitness Industry Education are well worth a look, a great company with some great training options.  I am not on a commission but I do tutor and assess for this company so if you come along to one of the Manchester based training courses you might meet me.

For honest advice about becoming a personal trainer do please feel free to contact me.

TOM

The IDEA World Convention

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Hi All,

For any of you out there who are personal trainers I am sure you will have heard of the IDEA world convention. If you have never been you have to get yourself out to the states and see it sometime.

IDEA is a great organization that represents the interests of personal trainers across the world, well here is a video by Sean Croxton of what you missed.

TOM

Tom Godwin becomes part of the REPs Council

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

HI All,

Just wanted to let you all know about an exciting new development, in June I attended my firs meeting of the Register of Exercise Professionals Council of members.  This body was put together to represent the interests of the some 40,000 members of the register, and is made up of representatives of the membership and the registrar of REPs.

I feel that this is an important role and one that will allow me to focus my passion for the industry into somthing that will help to shape the future of the industry.  I am looking forward to representing the REPs membership and look forward to being part of the REPs council team.

I will be part of the council for the next 3 years before having to be re-elected, so if you are a REPs member and would like me to discuss anything on your behalf or if you have an interest in REPs and how it works and would liek more information please do feel free to contact me.

TOM