Ever notice your energy tanking at about 3 pm? It’s pretty easy—especially in an office setting—to reach for a sugary snack to get through the end of the work day. Between the vending machine, the goodies in the breakroom, and the monthly office birthday celebrations, it’s all too easy to find a quick snack. The problem, of course, is that quick snacks are usually not particularly healthy.
With summer in full swing, high temperatures and humidity are prevalent. While this means more time at the beach and the pool, it can also quickly end a fun day in the sun. When it’s over ninety degrees, the risk of heat-related illnesses increases dramatically.
Many companies are discovering the benefits of encouraging a healthy lifestyle. According to Aflac’s 2015 Workforces Report, wellness programs contribute to overall job satisfaction and employees are less likely to look for new jobs when their company has a wellness program in place. However, just like with personal health habits, it is one thing to know that something is good for the company and quite another to know exactly what to do and how to sustain it.
Any organization, regardless of size or budget, can create a corporate culture that nourishes the development of Total Health for every employee. It’s a matter of recognizing that your company is unique and what works for your company may or may not work for others and visa versa. Whether you are just getting your wellness program off the ground or looking for ways to reinvigorate your current program, we recommend surveying employees to find out what they are looking for in a wellness program. You can design your own free survey using a free online survey provider like Survey Monkey.
We also encourage our clients to have fun with their programs and come up with unique ideas that are suited for their culture and budget. Here are just a few ideas:
According to Work Well's "Promoting Healthy Eating at Work," healthier employees are more motivated, innovative, creative, and productive. Encouraging healthy eating habits and exercise are the foundations of a solid employee wellness program. How can employers promote healthy eating? First things first: help your employees understand the basics.
Healthy eating starts with reading and understanding labels. Food labels tell you the types of vitamins and minerals that are in foods, as well as whether something is non-GMO, organic, or natural.
Here’s what your employees should be aware of when it comes to a few popular food labels:
According to the USDA, for a product to qualify as organic, farmers, ranchers, and food processors must abide by certain standards to “preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics.” Animals that produce meat, eggs, and dairy, must have access to the outdoors and cannot be given growth hormones or antibiotics. Produce must be grown without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. Here are 10 reasons people choose organic foods.
Not sure if something’s organic? Look for a USDA Organic seal.
The benefits of daily exercise are so significant and the risks of not doing so are so great that you have to wonder why many people are still not following a daily exercise routine. But the reality is that work, family, and other life commitments make it truly difficult for the average employee to find time to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Toss in the fact that growing numbers of people are working in sedentary jobs and the importance of finding a realistic and practical solution becomes even greater.
What's the harm of one more cookie or another glass of eggnog? As much as we look forward to holiday office parties and department celebrations, many of us end up packing on the pounds because we indulge a little too much.
The average American gains 1-2 pounds over the six-week holiday season. While this might not seem like a lot, those unwanted pounds don’t tend to come off. This additional weight adds up over the years and can lead to weight and health issues in the future.
With a little planning and vigilance, you can maintain your normal weight without sacrificing all the fun of the holidays. Here are a few tips to remember:
- Bring something healthy. Check the sign-up sheet for your holiday office potluck. Volunteer to bring a healthy dish, giving you at least one good option to enjoy. Once you’re there, survey the buffet table before you grab a plate and be sure to take small portions, since it’s easy to fill up your plate to the brim. It’s okay to have a little bit of everything, so you don’t feel deprived.
The statistics are sobering. Each year, more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the US and over 90% are caused by the sun. What may surprise some people is that you don’t have to be actively sunbathing to get a damaging dose of the sun. Sun protection is an important health habit for everyone and is key to preventing skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
With our fast-paced lifestyles, it’s easy to grab whatever sunscreen is on the shelf and head outdoors or worse, forget the sunscreen altogether. But with skin cancer on the rise, there are important facts to consider.
UVA vs UVB
One distinction that sometimes confuses people is the difference between the sun’s ultraviolet rays. UVA and UVB simply refer to the different wave lengths. The important thing to know is that the UVA rays cause the skin to take on a darker shade, whereas UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburns. Both types of UV rays play a part in skin aging, eye damage, and skin cancers and both require a sun protection regimen that includes the correct and routine use of sunscreen.
Choosing a Sunscreen
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, refers to how long it will take UVB rays to burn your skin compared to not wearing anything at all. For example, wearing SPF 15 will take 15 times longer to redden your skin than if you were not wearing any protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using SPF of 15 or higher. That said, SPF gives your 93% protection against UVB rays and SPF 30 gives you 97% protection.
Your A to Z Guide
You’re standing in an aisle at the grocery store surrounded by products, comparing labels. Five minutes later and you still haven’t made a decision. We’ve all been there. We know vitamins and minerals are essential but it’s overwhelming. What does it all mean?
Here’s a quick break down of primary vitamins and minerals, what they do for you and where you can get them. Note: For recommended daily allowances based on age and sex, click here.
- A – Promotes good vision and a healthy immune system. Found in milk, eggs, dark orange and green vegetables and orange fruits.
- B2 Riboflavin - Essential for growth, turning carbohydrates into energy, and producing red blood cells. Found in meats, eggs, legumes, nuts and dairy.
- B3 Niacin - Helps the body turn food into energy and is important to maintain healthy skin and nerve function. Found in red meat, poultry, fish, hot and cold cereal and peanuts.
- B6 - Important for normal brain and nerve function. It also assists the body in breaking down proteins and making red blood cells. Found in bananas, potatoes, nuts, red meats, eggs, spinach and cereals.
Have you jumped on the coconut bandwagon? Is it just a trend or is there a reason why people are going crazy over coconut products these days? Here’s a breakdown of the potential benefits and drawbacks of coconut water, oil, milk and flour.
Also referred to as “Mother Nature’s Sports Drink”, coconut water is the liquid inside an unripe or green coconut. It has gotten a lot of buzz for its health benefit as a “natural” sports drink. Here’s a quick look at the benefits and drawbacks:
For many environmentally conscious families and businesses, water conservation is already an important part of their eco-friendly plan. Given severe drought conditions in the west, local and state governments and water agencies are seeking increased conservation efforts, and in some cases, restrictions.
California Governor, Jerry Brown, has asked all residents to reduce water consumption by 20% and on July 29th mandatory water conservation regulations went into effect in some areas of California. In addition to the importance of conserving this precious resource, infractions in some locations can cost up to $500 each day. This is a good time to review the restrictions and implement conservation efforts.
- Stop and/or repair leaks within 72 hours of notification
- Use recirculated water in fountains and landscape water features
- Don’t hose down driveways, sidewalks, patios
- Don’t overfill pools and spas
- Don’t wash your vehicle without an automatic shut off nozzle
- Check the specific restrictions in your area here