26 Jan 2012

Company 'Health weeks' to Remember!

Hi Folks,

Is your workplace having a ‘health & well-being week’ this year?  Many do & they usually come around March / April time. As you can imagine I think the principle of these are great! So what’s happening in yours? In my experience they usually consist of the chance to have blood pressure, cholesterol, or the dreaded BMI test taken, healthier options in the staff canteen, a few emails saying to cycle to work or to take the stairs, & some extra ‘healthy’ posters up.

Although these actions mean well, are they really going to make any difference? Let’s think about it:

  1. As it’s just for 1 week, it gives us the message that the other 51 weeks per year aren’t important.

  1. How many employees will it impact on? – probably not a high % & even less of the ones that actually need it.

  1. Much of it is reactive rather than preventative. E.g. who wants to have the health tests done just to be told that they are already unhealthy?

Grab hold of your HR staff & let them know what I’d recommend:

  1. Have a healthy Focus week but carry the message / small challenges on in one day of each month of the year.  

  1. Have short & sweet workshops by outside experts on common topics that are compulsory to attend! (this way you are engaging the employees that need it, plus they are more likely to take note of someone external).

  1. Focus on activities to prevent conditions, such as enjoyable physical activities, stress / tension releasers, & new information of what we can do, not what we should stop doing.

I have experience at working in these events so please contact me & lets get something organised!



19 Jan 2012

Big year for back pain!

Hi Folks,

Unsurprisingly lower back pain (LBP) is in the top 3 most common health complaints that GPs encounter. A high percentage of these are of working age = a costly impact on their company’s operation.

So what’s being done about it? Well it’s encouraging to see that one of my 2012 predictions is already taking shape, LBP is a very hot topic this year. Just last week I chatted with several clients about it on a one-to-one basis, it features strongly in professional seminars at this year’s Loughborough conference, plus it’s a key feature at the ‘2012 Health & Wellbeing @ Work’ conference.

Our existing Occupational Fitness ‘Lower back pain management’ workshop is already popular but we continually update it as more information becomes available from such events & new research. In the meantime here’s a hint; The key to preventing / correcting LBP is most often in the hips!

If you would like to know more then please get in touch.



14 Jan 2012

2012 sneak peak!

Hi folks,

You may be aware that the occupational health industry is continuing to evolve & follow a more pro-active approach. From looking back at last year & looking ahead to the industry conferences this year, this is my prediction of what’s big in the way of occupational health for 2012:

         The benefits of external consultants will be realised & therefore sub-contracted by companies to assess & treat their employees. As new techniques continue to develop, ageing occupational health departments will become ineffective.

         Short work-based health & well being related activities become a compulsory (or heavily incentivised) part of employee’s day. This will ‘catch’ those employees who are not self-motivated & cost your company money!

         More companies will offer a variety of pre / post work health & fitness sessions to cater for employees who improve their health.

         A more involved approach to back care & posture, ranging from educational workshops to practical on-site exercise sessions.

As you know, Occupational Fitness is not just dedicated to employee health, but how companies can utilise new training & techniques for significant return on investment. Our services already address all of the above points, so take a look at our website & get ahead early this 2012!


5 Jan 2012

Optimum setup for 2012!

Happy New Year folks,

Whatever you were doing, hopefully you all brought the New Year in with style! Now its back down to business & whether you’ve made official new year’s resolutions (NYR) or just got a few goals in mind, this blog post is essential for you - as mentioned in last weeks post.

The very thought of NYR often brings on negative thoughts as many people don’t reach them. Having goals is so important as it takes us forward; i.e. you wouldn’t jump in the car without knowing where you’re going or how to get there right? So if you’ve got some 2012 goals in mind then here’s how to set yourself up for success:

1)      Give yourself chance, just focus on 1 or 2 big goals at a time.

2)      Make this goal specific; i.e. rather than saying “I want to get healthier”, say “I want to increase my vegetable intake.”

3)      Make it measurable; “I’m going to eat 3 more portions of veg per day.”

4)      Make it achievable; “to do this I’m going to buy more veg from the supermarket.”

5)      Is it realistic? “Yes, I can prepare meals the night before incorporate veg for the next day.”

6)      Essentially, give your self a time frame; “I can make this stick by 2 months.”

If you can’t apply all 6 steps then you’re making it harder for yourself. Here I’ve used nutrition as an example, but apply these steps to any goal. Now after just 5 min, you have a strategy which will hugely raise your chances of success – try it. If it’s going to take more than 3 months to reach your goal, then break it down & use steps 2-6 to focus on short-term / medium-term components of your big goal (e.g eating regular meals, or trying out different veg).

Good luck with your goals & watch out for next week’s blog post as we’re getting back to workplace health.