Health and Wellbeing

Spotlight on Health & Wellbeing

health-and-wellbeing-week-2016Health and Wellbeing is taking centre stage across Europe with two weeks of awareness campaigns; Great Britain Health and Wellbeing Week , 17-21 October, and the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, 24-28 October.

It’s no secret that people across the world are living longer than ever before; the Japanese will make it to an average age of 86, while Southern healthy-workplaces-posterEuropean neighbours Italy, Spain and France have populations with an average life expectancy of 85. [1]

Why is this relevant to work? An ageing population goes hand-in-hand with an ageing workforce. As the population in Europe is ageing, the proportion of older people is growing at a faster pace compared to younger age groups. By 2080, people aged 65 and older will nearly double to make up one-third of the European population, leading many countries to raise the retirement age in recent years and begin to look for ways to prolong working lives. [2]

Workplace Health Promotion

running-clubHealth and Wellbeing encompasses physical, mental and social health, those that are considered ‘well’ in these areas are more likely to contribute in the workplace and be more engaged at work. This requires a combined effort from employers, workers and society to improve the health and wellbeing of people at work by means of improving the work organisation and environment, promoting active participation and encouraging personal development.

Integrating health and wellbeing into company policy and encouraging active involvement from management will help ensure a successful outcome. Scientific evidence and practical experience indicate that practices and policies that address both the work environment and the personal health risks of individuals are more effective in preventing disease and promoting health and safety and can bring about positive changes for employers such as a reduction in absences and staff turnover, better working relationships, improved staff morale, higher productivity and a positive reputation. [3]

Health and Wellbeing at Astutis

fruitHere at Astutis, health and wellbeing is a much loved topic amongst staff. Beyond the gym bunnies who regularly make-up half of the local gym population during lunch time, staff members also take part in a squash league, running club, marathons and triathlons, as well as organising and participating in charity activities such as the Cardiff 10k, Astutis Step Challenge and Astutis Office Olympics.

In support of GB Health and Wellbeing Week and the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, staff have been swapping the biscuits for healthy snacks of fruit and nuts and setting personal fitness goals. They have also taken part in a lunchtime yoga and mindfulness session to promote a healthier working environment to reap the benefits – both in work and at home.

yogaLocal Yoga teacher, Diana Brook, gave staff insight into simple breathing techniques and back and hip exercises they can do to help maintain a healthy mind and body throughout the day, including neck stretches, spinal twists, back stretches and leg stretches.

The session also included a 10 minute session on mindfulness – a practice which is quickly gaining popularity thanks to it’s mental health benefits.

For more information on yoga and mindfulness or to book yourself into a class, visit Diana’s website.

Getting involved

Both awareness campaigns have released great resources to help employers and workers understand more about health and wellbeing at work.

Head on over to our website for our Health and Wellbeing guide containing a range of useful information on topics such as mental health, nutrition, exercise and work-life balance.

The Healthy Workplaces website has an interactive, user-friendly e-guide offering simple explanations on the issues of health and wellbeing at work from an employer, worker, HR and OSH professional point of view, with practical examples of how to deal with risks from and ensure all workers remain safe and healthy in the long term.

IOSH is promoting various resources this week, in particular its ‘Wellbeing at Work’ guide offers good advice and guidance on promoting health and wellbeing at work.

References

[1] http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/11/health/oldest-countries-secret-longer-life/
[2] http://worker.eguides.osha.europa.eu/UK_en/why-ageing-relevant-work
[3] http://manager.eguides.osha.europa.eu/UK_en/success-factors-workplace-health-promotion
[4] Healthy Workplaces E-guide
[5] IOSH Wellbeing at Work

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