29 Dec 2011

Take a look back!

Hi folks,

Hopefully you’ve had a great Christmas (& didn’t feel too bloated haha!) & enjoyed  few lazy days this week. Many of us are back at work just clearing our inboxes ready for a fresh start in 2012! So BEFORE we start thinking about New Year resolutions & about what we want to achieve, just stop for a second.

Whilst the positive stresses of setting a goal is important, lets take a minute to assess how we did over the last year. Did you achieve last year’s resolution? (can you remember it?), did you over come any big hurdles, make any life-changing decisions, gain any qualifications, get a promotion or new job, changed your lifestyle, taken up a new hobby or skill? Chances are that you’ve achieved more than you realise over the last 12 months, so now’s the perfect time to sit back with a smug grin & pat yourself on the back.

Some of us may not feel like we have accomplished that much which is great if we are really happy where we are, but if you want to keep moving forward then next weeks blog will be really important to you!

Leaving our personal health aside & looking at the occupational health industry as a whole over 2011, here’s how its changed;

1)      There has been a big focus on worker involvement for SOPs & EAPs. The NHS, 2012 Olympic construction sites, & many HSE led projects are all doing this.

2)      More ‘healthy menu’s’ are popping up in many company canteens.

3)      Charity events involving some sort of physical challenge have become trendy.

4)      Back care is being tackled pro-actively, which is brilliant! We just need to expand this approach.

Hope you have found my blogs useful in 2011, thanks for reading!


22 Dec 2011

Make Christmas last that bit longer

Hi folks,

Most workforces are breaking up for Christmas tomorrow so workforce health advice here is not much use at the moment. I could talk about how to make your Christmas dinner that bit healthier but let’s be realistic – I’m looking forward to all the trimmings too!

One thing I bet a few of us would change is that bloated feeling afterwards though. So here’s my top tactics to help you keep that party feeling all day:

  1. Choose soup as a starter of possible as this will digest quicker.

  1. Choose more meat & veg, - reducing the portions of potato & bread. This will stop you feeling bloated.

  1. Don’t drink liquids with your meal (just sips of water if dry). Try to fully hydrate 30min before hand.

  1. Savour every mouthful – a lot of work has probably gone in to it. Chewing more makes digestion easier & satisfies your hunger.

  1. Get chatty. The more we talk, the longer we take over our meals = a steady gut action.

  1. Space each course out by at least 20min if possible. This allows your gut to cope with the volume of food.

  1. Don’t feel that you have to eat EVERYTHING. Remember what’s left will go towards that tea-time & Boxing Day buffet! (left-over’s are the best!)

  1. Go for a 30min stroll afterwards. This not only gives you a chance to show off your Christmas jumper but the rhythm of walking helps your digestion system work really efficiently. I guarantee you’ll feel much better than being slumped in a chair.

All that’s left to say is have a fantastic Christmas & make sure you relax & laugh as much as possible!


15 Dec 2011

Ooops time for a blog re-call!

Hi folks,

This week I want to pull myself up on a blog I posted a few weeks ago called ‘Don’t in-tolerate it’. In this I was reviewing several ways to find out if we have any food intolerances or not. Two of these involved sending off a hair sample or using a blood testing kit, both of which I was planning to do myself. However, some recent studies now show that these methods are not always as reliable as they may seem.

After further chatting to nutritionists & advice from a GP, the most reliable method is to remove suspect foods from your diet & see what difference this makes. So if you regularly feel bloated, suffer migraines, stomach cramps, or hit energy lows, then try to think what foods you have eaten that day. But what if this suspect food is an important part of your diet? – by cutting it out you may be missing out on its valuable vitamins & minerals. For this reason, I’d recommend asking your GP to refer you to a nutritionist who can help you safely remove suspect foods from your diet while making sure you still get all the right nutrition from other foods.

It’s also worth mentioning that even if the previous tests are accurate, one of their flaws is that they only measure your body’s reaction at one point in time. We know that our body goes through many stages of change, so what you may currently be intolerant to may not cause a reaction if re-introduced as soon as 6 months later.  

At the end of the day, it sounds like the best message is to eat a varied & balanced diet, then listen to our bodies making small changes along the way if necessary.


7 Dec 2011

Have you seen the Headlines?

Hi folks,

I’m bringing you this week’s blog early as new research on cancer prevention is all over the news today. In case you’ve not seen it, a study reports that over 40% (100,000 pa) of UK cancer cases could be prevented by addressing 4 key elements:

1)      Stopping smoking
2)      Eating more fruit & veg
3)      Not drinking to excess
4)      Obesity

We’ve always known this right, so what’s new? Well Cancer Research UK has published the biggest study yet which highlights just how significant these lifestyle changes are when it comes to our risk of developing cancer. Developing cancer is not solely down to genes or a total lottery, we can have a major influence.

Let’s take this news a step further – workforce ownership! Changes are down to the individual however as an employer, these people are in your care for a large part of their day / lives. By addressing the above key elements as an employer, you are also evolving a healthier & higher performing workforce which pays valuable dividends, not to mention an enviable corporate status. If ever there was a win: win situation this is it!

We run short courses specially designed address workplace nutrition & to combat obesity. Contact me now to ‘take the bull by the horns!’


1 Dec 2011

Attitude problem?

Hi folks,

In case you don’t know what my company stands for, then its pro-active health promotion! Many of my methods taught in the workshops are practical stretches, exercises, postures etc which improve our muscular-skeletal health & therefore our work performance. However, my latest research is unveiling that even just having the correct attitude towards work & health can be of significant benefit alone.

Can just having a positive attitude really affect us physically? – well it seems so.  Below is a list of attributes that will help stop you / your workforce suffering ill health:

         Enjoying your job & being positively challenged by it.

         Working around others (rather than being isolated)

         Having good relationships with your managers & other departments

         Not fearing injury or thinking becoming ill is ‘the end of the world’

                       …learn more attributes in our Workforce Workshops.

Every workplace has a unique workforce culture depending on its demographics. Some will naturally be more positive where as others may traditionally be more pessimistic. However being British, a great sense of humour will be a beneficial feature of most. My own thoughts are that a positive attitude is essential & can prevent the onset of many health conditions, but there are still many that also need the physical approach. This is why I have now combined an element of new-thinking in many of my workshops, especially in my ‘Lower back pain management’ & ‘Positive attitudes towards workplace health & performance’ workshops.  

Thanks for reading & why not add your thoughts in the comments box?