Promoting Healthy Habits
A few weeks ago, I discussed my #100DayChallenge. As promised, I’d now like to take a moment to talk about the positive things we’re doing across the Channel Islands Co-op to promote the wellness of our people.
Our colleague’s health and wellbeing is important to us, so we’ve developed a new wellbeing strategy to help those working within our Society to maintain positive mental and physical health.
Through education, awareness, and new support and training initiatives, we aim to help our people lead healthier lifestyles that will allow them to be the best versions of themselves both in and outside work, creating a more motivated and committed team.
Here are some of the fantastic initiatives currently underway:
Blood Pressure Checks
Having high blood pressure has no telltale symptoms. This makes the condition more dangerous, and makes getting checked essential - especially for older individuals. Bad eating habits, smoking, drinking and leading a generally unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to high blood pressure. With these points in mind, I’m pleased that we are now offering free blood pressure checks and advice at our Co-operative Pharmacy in Jersey. I hope my colleagues will take full advantage of this service and use it as an opportunity to make positive changes to improve their overall physical health.
Future Health Classes
For anyone working in an office environment, it’s common knowledge that sitting for long periods is not good for you. With this in mind, colleagues at Co-operative House are now taking part in a quarterly 20-minute stretch yoga program with Future Health. This has been very well received! Taking part in these classes allows us to improve our physical health together in a fun and interactive way, keeping us mobile and maintaining circulation, improving posture and flexibility, and reducing neck and back pain. On top of the physical benefits, this could also help with mental wellbeing as yoga is a great reducer of stress. It also reduces fatigue and contributes to the atmosphere of positive energy that we want to cultivate in our offices.
There is currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and with our ageing population this number is set to rise over the coming years. We run regular dementia awareness course with Dementia Friends to increase understanding and reduce the stigma associated with this progressive disease.
While encouraging physical wellness is of course an important factor of our overall health, workplace wellbeing goes beyond physical health. Some colleagues recently took part in our Resilience Training initiative. The aim of this program was to develop techniques that can help our colleagues deal with stress in a way that’s both positive and productive. This will equip them with the right tools to deal with and hopefully minimise stress both in the workplace and their day-to-day lives.
According to the latest stats, one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year. Mental health issues can affect anyone. You, me, a friend, a colleague or a customer – anyone! With mental health problems an increasingly topical issue in 2017, Mind Jersey and Mind Guernsey will be running a number of sessions to raise colleague’s awareness of mental health, and we will also be taking part in a Mental Health First Aid Lite training course later this year.
These are by no means the only things we’re doing this year to promote healthier lifestyles and I hope to provide an update on our other initiatives later this year.
Finally, I wanted to provide an update on how my new #100DayChallenge friends are doing! So far, the group have lost an impressive 80.5kg (that’s nearly 12 ½ stone) - and we’re only just over the halfway point. I can’t wait to see the total weight loss at the end of the program!