Health and the workplace

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Most Australians spend about one third of their lives at work, so being healthy at work can make a big impact on helping to reduce the occurrence of lifestyle-related chronic disease and obesity.

The substantial changes in the rates of overweight and obesity across the whole Australian population are also likely to see a rise in the incidence of chronic disease such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and increased pressure on the health system.

Preventable conditions now account for around one third of the total burden of disease in Australia.

I believe and read often that good overall health has many spinoff benefits for a career.

Supporting good health in workplaces can have benefits for the individual, the employer/business and overall productivity.

It is no surprise that a healthy worker is good for business. Some businesses are even implementing health programs which encourages employees to work together, be engaged in their jobs, and enjoy their work. In the longer term, they have seen gains in staff attraction and retention, improved productivity, enhanced corporate image, and reductions in absenteeism.

When thinking about good health and wellbeing in the workplace, Fitness Australia says the best method is to go back to basics, which rings so true:

Rest: Both the quality and quantity of healthy sleep are important. A lack of sleep affects our mental and physical performance and our mood. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

Exercise/movement: A mix of aerobic exercise plus some strengthening and stretching exercises throughout the week will help keep you stay strong, fit and flexible at any age. Exercise also gives you an energy boost.

Nutrition: The food that you choose should be good for your body. Your body needs regular nutrients and energy to function effectively like protein, vegetables, whole grains and fruits.

Hydration: Water is pure and available free in most workplaces. Ditch the sugary drinks. Limit the intake of drinks that dehydrate you such as alcohol and coffee.

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