Many organizations are encouraging healthy eating for employees
Thursday, 21 July 2011 16:00Good mental and physical health is known to be influenced by three factors: diet, exercise and low stress levels. Research has shown that when one aspect is lacking, it may affect overall wellness.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has reported that organizations should be concerned about their staff's eating habits because a healthy diet may cut risk of serious illnesses like cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
Additionally, good nutrition can provide individuals with a more positive mood, higher self-esteem and lower anxiety and stress, the CCOH stated.
This may be the reason why a recent survey found that 40 percent of U.S. businesses have policies or practices in place to encourage healthy eating in the workplace, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Of the organizations that made efforts to provide and encourage healthier foods, 97 percent reported that their staff responded favorably or with great enthusiasm to the effort.
Achieving optimal employee wellness requires a multi-faced strategy that addresses all of the factors that affect well-being. Employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management as well as tips for healthy living may help companies achieve their goals of reduced workplace stress and strong employee performance.
Time management may be essential to reducing workplace stress
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 16:00A recent Gallup article presented findings that an estimated 28 percent of American employees are strapped for time, possibly leading to increased stress and a lower sense of well-being.
Workers who tend to be more likely to say that there are not enough hours in the day have children, work in high-status positions and are women. Additionally, a high income appears to correlate with the perception that daily tasks cannot be completed within one day.
"The relationship between lacking time and a lower sense of well-being, especially higher levels of stress, suggests that factors beyond professional and family obligations may be at play and need to be explored further," wrote author Magali Rheault.
The Mayo Clinic provided some tips for individuals who are in need of time management skills. The organization reported that planning and prioritization are key to avoiding an overwhelming workload.
Also, the medical resource suggest that workers weed out tasks that are not essential to their positions, and possibly delegate some of those jobs onto less-strapped employees.
Employee wellness programs may also be a helpful resource for organizations with stressed workers, since they provide tools and resources for stress management and well-being.
A healthy diet may help reduce workplace stress
Monday, 18 July 2011 16:00There are a multitude of ways that employers can help maintain a healthy staff, including implementing employee wellness programs, encouraging physical activity and providing nutritious food in vending machines and cafeterias.
Researchers at Ohio State University recently conducted a study which suggests that a healthy diet may do more than improve the physical health of an employee - it can also help reduce workplace stress.
A team of scientists tested the effects of daily omega-3 supplements on a group of medical school students, to see whether the fish oil would have any effect on their anxiety levels.
"The supplement was probably about four or five times the amount of fish oil you'd get from a daily serving of salmon, for example," said co-author Martha Belury.
The researchers found that participants who were taking the supplements experienced 20 percent less anxiety when compared to students who were given placebos. Additionally, fish oil appeared to significantly reduce markers of inflammation, excess levels of which have been associated with cancer and Alzheimer's disease, among other conditions.
Results of this study suggest that educating employees on healthy eating habits may improve employee wellness while cutting down on workplace stress.
Majority of employees say work tips the balance between personal and professional lives
Monday, 18 July 2011 16:00Many workers struggle with striking a healthy work-life balance, which may be increasingly difficult given higher demands of workers and shared responsibilities in the modern household.
When asked whether they thought their job or their family was the cause of an imbalance, the majority of workers pointed to their career, according to researchers at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis.
A total of 64 percent of study participants said their job was to blame for detracting from personal matters, while 22 percent said that their family role infringed on their job responsibilities and just 3 percent said both aspects affected each other equally.
Additionally, 5 percent of the workers blamed any imbalance on external factors, while 6 percent said they held responsibility for a skewed work-life balance. Those who pointed a finger at external sources were more likely to become angry or frustrated than their counterparts who shouldered part of the blame.
"This study is valuable because focusing on details helps us better understand the mechanisms and processes of conflict," said lead researcher Elizabeth Poposki, Ph.D.
Employee wellness programs that provide information on time and stress management may help workers strike a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives, which may, in turn, strengthen employee performance and reduce workplace stress.
Sleep disorder may affect 25 percent of shift workers
Thursday, 14 July 2011 16:00Employees who work late hours or long shifts have been found to be significantly impacted by their jobs, experiencing high levels of stress, fatigue and irritability, as well as a compromised work-life balance.
A recent study conducted by the Men's Health Network (MHN) discovered that an estimated one-quarter of these employees may have a condition known as shift work disorder, which occurs when natural sleeping rhythms are disrupted by working late-night hours.
"It is easy to ignore the overall health impact of our work schedules, but it's so important that people experiencing excessive sleepiness or insomnia or both take the time to see a doctor and mention that they work nontraditional shifts," said MHN representative Jean Bonhomme, M.D.
He noted that often, the disorder is not diagnosed because neither physician or patient are able to associated illness with a work schedule.
A total of 61 percent of employees surveyed said they would be more likely to make a doctor's appointment for cold or flu symptoms than they would for long-term fatigue.
Results of this study suggest that workers on the late shift may be in need of employee wellness programs that help them determine when they are becoming overly tired or stressed out. Such interventions may help improve employee wellness and reduce workplace stress.
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