Top tips to keep you fighting fit

    • According to a recent survey, the average rate of absence in 2012 was 5.3 days per employee, down from 6.5 days in 2010.

      While SME’s average under five days of absence per employee, (compared to nearly six days for larger employers) there is still room for improvement across all sectors.

      By making small changes to your lifestyle, and encouraging those around you to do the same, you could see a significant change in your overall wellbeing, and help keep you and your business fighting fit.

      Here are our top ten tips to start you on the right path.

      Find out your BMI

      BMI is your body weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres. A BMI of 25-30 is considered overweight and a BMI of greater than 30 is classified as obese. Your doctor can discuss your BMI with you and advise on steps to maintain a healthy balance.

      Watch your alcohol intake

      Healthy alcohol consumption is less than 14 units of alcohol per week for women (with no more than 3 units on any day) and less than 21 units per week for men (with no more than 4 units on any day). As a guide, one pint of ordinary-strength beer is 2 units; one small pub measure of spirit is 1 unit; and one small glass of ordinary-strength wine is 1.5 units.

      Stop smoking

      Smoking damages the lungs and cardiovascular system and significantly increases your risk of developing cancers. Stopping completely is the only way to avoid these risks.

      Get your five a day

      Check to see that you get the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Plan your week day meals in advance and take salads and nutritious snacks with you to work, which will both save you money as well as contributing to your five portions.

      Keeping active

      Keeping your back moving is crucial to recovering quickly.

      • Keep active and try to carry on as normal
      • No matter how fit and healthy you are, being active will help your back
      • Choose the activity that works for you or consult a physiotherapist for some ideas
      • Don’t worry if the activity feels uncomfortable – hurt doesn’t mean harm
      • Avoid bed rest – it’s likely to slow your recovery and could make the problem worse
      • Setbacks are normal, don’t let them get you down, stay positive.
      Watch your saturated fat intake

      Is your saturated fat intake too high? Everybody needs essential fats to remain well, but try to avoid margarines, dairy product fats and meat fats. Stick to vegetable and fish fats/oils wherever possible, and check the nutritional information on labels during your weekly shop.

      Be resistant

      Pay attention to your muscle tone and posture to help prevent bone and joint problems. Strong muscles and tendons promote healthy joints. Do some light resistance training for 15 minutes each day of the week and cover all the major muscle groups, including legs, arms, buttocks and back. Try cycling with light resistance, lifting light arm weights and back extensions/sit-ups (provided you do not have existing injuries or other medical problems).

      Make time to relax

      Make time for proper mental relaxation each day. Consider disciplines such as meditation or yoga, or simply take a gentle walk.

      Sleep well

      Sleep is an essential part of mental and physical healing, so make sure you get enough. Deep uninterrupted sleep is required, and most adults need between six and eight hours a day. Look for ways to turn your mind off before you go to bed at night, such as listening to music or reading a book, instead of switching immediately from working to attempting to get some sleep.

      Evaluate your lifestyle

      Make changes to your lifestyle to give you more relaxation time and space to work on your mental and physical health.

      *Source CBI-Pfizer Workplace Health Survey 2013
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