Workplace Wellness: 5 Unique Actionable Strategies to Increased Return on Investment

In this time poor but stress rich society we live in, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. This is likely contributing to the rising rate of depression and anxiety.

We now spend the majority of our lives working and with the progression of technology and the ever connected world, it has become difficult to manage and disconnect. With technological advancements the norm has shifted, the 9-5 pm no longer exists!

With smartphones our emails, phone calls and overwhelming workloads slowly start to seep into our personal lives outside of the office. This is not all bad but this is the new reality we face and something that currently needs to be addressed

Think Different:

Our aim for this article is to arm you with easily implementable strategies that will not only allow you to cope with this new reality but perform at a higher level with minimal to no outlayed cost but massive return on your time investment.

 

  1. Remove LED Blue Light

Light is a nutrient that plays a significant role in signaling your mitochondria (cellular powerhouses) to spring into action.

Different light frequencies trigger different signals in your cells. Blue light which mostly comes from LED lights places the body under a significant amount of stress.

Newer artificial light bulbs lack many of the sun’s frequencies that our bodies and brains need. Artificial lights, have eliminated most of the infrared, red, and violet light found in natural sunlight, and are amplifying the blue light beyond anything we have evolved to handle. Most LEDs and compact fluorescents emit about 5 times the blue light we’re used to.

Where to start:

Reduce blue light or what is now known as Junk light in your workplace. Download a bluelight filter app like F.LUX for digital devices (Mobile & laptop) and switch all the lights in the office to halogen and incandescent. They aren’t perfect, but they’re better. Your white LEDs might be saving your power bill but they are sapping yours and your staffs energy levels which in the long term is costing you a lot more!

This is especially important if working late at night as it will greatly impact sleep!

 

  1. Workstations: Sit to Stand Desks

With all the craze of standing desks at the moment, may fool you into thinking standing is better than sitting desks. However, believe it or not standing can be just as detrimental as sitting all day!

Our body’s are not designed to remain in one position for long periods of time, we are designed for locomotion. Therefore, instead of one being better than the other we want the ability to shift between sitting and standing on regular periods, to keep the body moving and using a wider range of muscles instead of overusing a specific muscle group.

If it is not viable in your current workplace to replace traditional desks with sit to stand desk. No stress! Set up a few hot desks around the workplace that will increase the  options to those who want the ability to stand

 

  1. Introduce Walking meetings:

Join some of the best minds in the world including: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, Aristotle, & Sigmund Freud. All were renowned for their walking meetings.

We are sitting on average 9.3 hours per day are we are only getting 7.7 hours of sleep! The human body is designed for locomotion and we are now sitting more than we are sleeping. When is the movement happening?

Sitting is killing us! The World Health Organisation(WHO) has even listed sitting to much as the 4th leading cause of death globally, that is 3,200,000 deaths annually!! A recent study even stated that sitting for 10 hours a day can cancel out 90% of a positive effects of a 1 hour workout! Some other interesting stats associated with sitting for more than 10 hours a day include:

  • 112% increase in risk of diabetes
  • 147% increase in cardiovascular events
  • 90% increase in death due to cardiovascular events
  • 49% increase in death due to any cause.

Get moving with walking or standing meetings and watch the creativity and engagement thrive. Even better move them outside to add in fresh air, sun (Vitamin D) along with nature. Why nature? Nature and changes of scenery trigger new neuro-pathways in our brains which yield new ideas, and new solutions to problems. I am sure we have all experienced this at one point or another.

 

  1. Remote / Flexible Work Hours

In the coming years with the development of technology bringing the world closer together remote based work will become the norm. Technology is changing the way business is functioning and those who adapt to these trends will reap the rewards.

Businesses who really want to future proof their success need to consider how this can be established across their workforce and within their workplace.

It has been shown that a workplaces that offers flexibility around were their staff can work will have staff that have the following characteristics:

 

  • Greater job satisfaction
  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased stress
  • Plus they often work more hours as a result of this freedom.

 

  1. Mindfulness, Become Present:

What is Mindfulness? It is a practice that teaches you to detach yourself from both the past and future and become truly present in the moment.

Sadly in this fast moving world we are losing this ability to be present, this is even more prevalent with ever increasing workloads.We cannot reduce our the past nor can we change what will happen in the future, but if we truly want to be productive with the task at hand we need to be truly present in the now. In our opinion this skill is one of the leading, if not the best productivity booster!

 

Where to Start?

There are many ways to train mindfulness from breathing, instructor guided practice to self guided practice.

I suggest everyone begins with an instructor guided practice to help educate and help grasp an understanding around mindfulness. There are a number apps that offer a free trials and then lead into a paid version (eg. Headspace, Calm). Test each of them out and find the one that suits you. At the cost of less than 2 coffees a month (Calm: $4.99/month; Headspace: $7.99/month) what do you have to lose? I personally have tried majority of the apps on the market but Headspace was favorite due to it customizability. I highly recommend upgrading to paid versions as it becomes a lot more personalised and you can select packages that you require as you progress and it often offers further education. This will give you the skills you required to make your mindfulness practice easy and stress free.

I have talked about mindfulness extensively in other articles if you want to learn more follow these links:

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/mindfulness-where-to-start/

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/the-science-behind-mindfulness/

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/mindfulness-living-in-the-present-moment/

 

Take Action:

If you are passionate about performance and the health in the workplace these 5 simple strategies will make a profound effect and future proof your business. It all starts with a solid foundation and with inmproved health comes improved performance.

 

Corporate Wellness

What is your employee wellness strategy?

 

The necessity for health and wellness in the workplace is now well documented. In Dr. Roger Sahoury book “The Gladiator’s Guide to Corporate Health and Wealth” Sahoury stated that companies who strategically manage wellness see: 60% greater retention of employees, 200% more revenue per employee, and 38% increased employee engagement. Now that is massive! If that is not enough incentive to establish a wellness program, nothing will be.

With these new found benefits it is no surprise that there has been a significant growth in companies abroad offering corporate wellness programs. In the United States 70% of employers now offer corporate wellness, up from 58% in 2008. However, within New Zealand there is no direct local statistics, as NZ has been a slow adaptor to this movement. However, the estimated cost of absenteeism and presentisms (working while sick) which equates to $1500/person/year (Southern Cross and Statistics NZ).

Providing employees with Health Care is a great start but it is not enough. Organisations are no longer relying on the employees to be proactive of their health, organisations are now taking responsibility and are facilitating in-house wellness programs. These programs have become a fundamental feature in many major organizations, most notably Google, which offers employees on-site physicians and nurses, nutritious food options, nap pods, mindfulness program, and complementary fitness centers, among other perks.

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Return on Investment

Corporate wellness is preemptive measure, it costs money to establish but long term it pays for itself several times over. The best analogy is instead of having the ambulance down the bottom of the cliff, waiting for the inevitable, act now and prevent/minimise the occurrence in the first place. Not only is it preemptive, it will take your business to a new level. With happy energetic staff, no task will be too big.

Several studies within the United States have identified for every $1 spent on an employee wellness the ROI (Return on investment) is on average between $1.50 – $3.80!

Johnson & Johnson another leader in corporate wellness, invests in their employees’ and have strategically designed a program that caters to physical, mental, and social health.  The leaders at Johnson & Johnson estimate that wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company over $250 million on health care costs over the past decade. Receiving a ROI of $2.71 for every $1 spent between 2002-2008.

 

Where to Start

Create an environment that breeds healthy and happy employees that are mission based instead of job based. A healthy body and a healthy mind inspires a positive work ethic. Your employees will think more clearly and will be able to problem solve easier than if they are bogged down by sickness.

Every companies needs will vary but every effective wellness program should be well rounded and incorporate physical, mental, and social health. Clarity and consistency are key when it comes to corporate wellness. Any confusion will only cripple the program.

 

Need Help Establishing a Wellness Program?

Please Contact:

Luke (Health & Performance Specialist)

Info@TayloredHealth.co.nz

Pre-Season Training: Are you Prepared?

It is hard to believe we are already heading towards March. With the winter sports season rapidly approaching, what are you doing to prepare yourself for the forthcoming season?

The biggest concern to every athlete  is injury, yet it is prevalent across all sports. In fact, according to ACC injury rates are increasing year by year!

ACC STATISTICS

  • 471,980 claims where related to sports and recreation injuries in 2014/2015
  • Claims in the Waikato increased by approximately 1000 more than in 2013/2014
  • Injuries to the knees where most common followed by ankles, shoulders (including clavicle and blade), and lower back.

Injury is often a result of deviations in movement. These deviations can be detected through a variety of different methods, the simplest and most cost effective being a movement screen. There is numerous movement screens the are easily assessable, we have found the most effective to be Grey Cook’s Functional Movement Screening (FMS). The FMS can help identify compensatory movement patterns that are indicative of increased risk of injury.

THE OVERHEAD SQUAT TESTIMG_0255 (2)

One of the seven tests within the FMS, the Overhead Squat, as it is a useful functional screening tool that can highlight motor – control problems and mobility restrictions. Research on the FMS is beginning to show that an individual who scores poorly on the Overhead Squat test has an increased risk of injury. This position combines a deep squat with an overhead press and identifies bilateral symmetrical mobility of the hips, knees and ankles as well as the shoulders. Mobility of the thoracic spine is also highlighted within the test.

How to Test: 

You will need a PVC pipe or a dowel to administer the test as well as a 2 x 6 piece of timber. The test is as follows:

  • Stand tall with your toes pointing forwards and feet shoulder – width apart.
  • Place the dowel on top of your head so your elbows and shoulders are at 90 degrees angle.
  • Press the dowel directly overhead.
  • While maintaining an upright torso, descend down into a squat as deeply as you can comfortably go and hold for a count of one.

Try this test with a partner and have them film you from the front and side. This will help you in analysing the movement.

Common Implications & Deviations:

  • If the foot collapses and your heels rise in the assessment, ankle mobility restriction will be present. This could be in the joint itself or tightness in the tissues of the lower extremities like the gastrocnemius, soleus and the anterior tibialis.
  • If the knees should deviate either in internal or external rotation then we can assume this to be a symptom of both hip mobility and hip instability. This could indicate weak/inhibited gluteus medius/maximus, and a tight adductor complex.
  • If the lower back were to hyperextend or excessively arch in the test, we can identify a lumbar stability issue in being a weak inner and outer core. This could further suggest to us the individual may have a tight iliopsoas or other flexors of the hip. Other possible explanations in the deviation would be poor thoracic spine mobility, which indicates tight latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major and minor.

GET AHEAD THIS SEASON: Two Week Deal!

FREE Functional Movement Screen

The first six individuals will receive a FREE Functional Movement Screen with Nathan. First in first served!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lifestyle: Tips for the Holiday Season

Hi folk, the team at Taylored Health & Performance have compiled their top list for a healthy summer – 2017. So, read along and adopt some of the strategies (in no particular order) that we have utilised throughout 2016 to maximise your summer ahead. Remember to not sweat the small stuff, indulge a little and relax – you all have earned it! Enjoy.

DON’T STRESS
Your body is a homeostatic, finely tuned machine. Without a doubt you will consume more calories than necessary over summer, but don’t stress! Your body will ultimately find potential uses for the excess, consider this: heat production or reduction through sweat; new protein and bone production; increased heart rate; energy for exercise. Your body has a way of navigating its way back to its original state to maintain internal stability by eliminating excess calories.

HYDRATE
It is vital to be well hydrated this summer. Water is the most essential component of the human body through its many important roles including, assisting with transportation of nutrients and regulation of body temperature through sweating. Try the following to help keep you on track: Your body weight (kg’s) x 0.033 = litres to drink per day. Water drink reminder apps are also useful tools to help maintain your hydration levels, and always remember to have a drink bottle filled with water on hand.

MINDFULNESS
There are a number of techniques you can try to achieve a calm state of mind including moving forms like Yoga and Tai Chi. Two apps worth mentioning for to help you live in the present moment and remove stress are Insight Timer and Headspace. Both are free to download and only require a small amount of your day. Like a habit of regular exercise, aim for 10 minutes each day this summer to find that zen.

LOOK AFTER THAT GUT!
We advocate lemon juice/apple cider vinegar to help stimulate digestion through stomach acid and bile production. Start your day with the juice of half a lemon in warm water or apple cider vinegar. Why not throw in some bitter foods to aid digestive support this summer too. Some popular recommendations include turmeric, (turmeric lattes), good quality sourced dark chocolate, and leafy greens like Spinach and Kale.

STAY CONSISTENT
It is fair to say there will be a few late nights over the break, but try to not make it a habit. If you are camping outdoors, stick to the routine of going to bed when the sun has completely fallen, and rise when the sun rises. Stay consistent with 7 – 8 hours’ sleep on most nights. Try to stay within 2 hours of your normal sleep cycle, otherwise this will affect your circadian rhythm.

EXERCISE & MOVE
Whether it is brisk walking or practicing a Squat pattern, any form of movement will increase blood flow to organs and oxygenated blood throughout the body, helping remove accumulating toxins and wastes. Plan ahead and incorporate some incidental exercise like cycling or walking with the family. A beach run followed by a swim in the water is a must this Kiwi summer.

KOMBUCHA
Try drinking this delicious probiotic soda this summer to assist your stomach in breaking down and digesting food better, while also eliminating toxins and removing excess hormones from your system. It is suggested to begin slowly and wean yourself into it. Try this delicious recipe adapted from BePure:

BePure Kombucha Mocktail                                                                                                                   

  • 150 ml plain or ginger flavoured kombucha                                                                                       
  • 100 ml sparkling mineral water or unflavoured soda water                                                 
  •  1 sprig of mint                                                                                                                                                
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Garnish with 1 Tablespoon of pomegranate seeds, fresh blueberries or strawberries, 2 slices of ginger.

Method: Place kombucha, mineral water, mint and lime in a tall glass with ice. Muddle to mix it all.

Reflect and Plan
With everything wrapping up for the year, now is a great time to reflect on the past year and set your intentions for the year to come. Review all pillars of your life: Work, Family, Personal/Social, mind, Physical/Health, Financial & Spiritual. Once you have completed where you are at currently then do the same for where you want to be in a years’ time. Once completed identify 3 key areas that are most important to you, that you want to improve. From here make these your 3 key intentions for the year to live by. Don’t stop there, the most important step is to recite them each morning and live with purpose!

 

Wherever you may be this summer, ensure it is a safe and happy one.

 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the team at Taylored Health & Performance

Maximise Your Next Surf

Are you ready for your next surf?
Mother Nature will not wait, so you need to be prepared both mentally and physically for that next pumping surf.  Here are my three key tips to maximise your next surf.

1. Body Prep:
Surfing is a physically demanding sport. You need to be physically ready to reduce your injury risk.
The focus for this section is to undo all the lifestyle stress you place on your body daily and get you ready to surf. These stressors involve sitting, bad posture, lack of activity.
Each of these exercises require minimal equipment and are key to keeping you injury-free and surfing.

Door Stretch

Door Stretch

Door stretch: 45sec
1.  Place arms at shoulder level on either side of a door frame.
2.  Step forward.  You should feel a stretch across the front of your chest.
3.  Begin moving your body by extending and shortening arms to search for tight spots.

Deeps squat: 2min+
This position may not be comfortable at first, that just means you need this more. If 2 minutes is too much gradually build the time.
1.  Squat deep (If needed hold onto something, eg – pole , this will make it easier to search for tight spots)
2.  Use elbows to push knees wide

Pop-Ups: 30reps/day
1.  Start on the ground, in press up position.
2.  Pop up to your feet, remain low to ground with bent knees and upright posture.
3.  Use a line on the ground and on mirror if possible to insure you are centred.
4.  Extend legs to standing position then drop into a squat and back to standing.
5.  Repeat

Deep Squat

Deep Squat

2. Mindfulness and surfing

Surfing is as much a mental game as it is physical. To surf you must be present, if you are not present you will never surf a wave to its full potential.

What is Mindfulness? It is a state of awareness in the present moment.

How do I develop this? I always advocate to my clients who are new to mindfulness to begin with guided mindfulness mediation (GMM). Start small (5-10mins daily), build the habit, then build time. It is important to understand that GMM is a practice, therefore consistency is key. Pick a time that you know you can achieve and start there.

Pop-Ups

Pop-Ups

Guided Mindfulness Mediation (GMM)? GMM is a practice where someone guides your thoughts and shifts your focus, teaching you awareness of the present moment. This practice sets the foundation for overall mindfulness.

Where do I find GMM? There are many application; websites, classes etc.

My three favourites are: Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer.

3. Planning and forecasting

Learn your local spots: At any given time, everything in a surf zone is moving: the shoreline, sea surface, wind, tide, varying water depths and water flows. With the forever-changing environment it is not easy to forecast. Take the time to learn through experience, talking to locals, forecasting apps. If you really want to be that step ahead, become efficient in reading and predicting weather maps.

Surf spot selection: Be honest with your surf ability and intention. By selecting the wrong spot, you will most likely disrupt others, end up frustrated and surf poorly.

Session goal: Regardless of your level you are always learning. Pick one thing to work on each surf. For example: lead with the eyes.

Crew: A good crew can make or break a surf. Surround yourself with a good group of mates who push your ability to grow.

Understand your board: Board technology has come a long way. Today there is enormous variation in boards. There are factors which affect board selection: ability level, style, swell size, location and type of wave. It becomes easy to get lost in the options available. The biggest mistake I see is people starting or transitioning a board which exceeds their ability level. This can become crippling to your development as a surfer. Talk to someone within your crew who knows about boards and has seen you surf, as they will understand your need better than most. If you don’t have that person, any good surf store will be able to help you out.

Respect: Always respect the locals and always obey surf etiquette

Have fun: Mother Nature won’t always deliver, so make the most of each surf. Remember it is the bad surfs which make the epic surfs memorable.

 

Published in Fitness Journal