Mother & Baby Magazine August 2019
1) Pilates can help realign your posture after a day sat at your desk
Think about how you sit at your computer. Do you hunch your shoulders? Is your head forward as you look at your screen? Do you overuse one side of your body too? For example if you use your mouse or your phone often. If we stay in these positions for long periods of time, this can cause muscle imbalances. All the muscles across your chest and front can get tight, and back muscles can become elongated and weakened. During a Pilates class you’ll stretch and strengthen your muscles helping to realign your spine and negate the effects of sitting slumped at a desk.
2) Pilates is great for your mental health and general wellbeing
Taking an hour during your working day to focus on yourself, your body and your breathing is a fantastic way to help reduce stress. Pilates is a ‘mind body’ exercise. You focus on your movements as you go through the exercises and have to think about the muscles you’re working so you engage and work them correctly. This can help clear your mind and worries as you concentrate on your body during the class. There is scores of research and studies which have highlight the benefits of exercise for good Mental Health. Find out more on the NHS website here
3) You will see the benefits
As quoted by Joseph Pilates (the creator of Pilates!)
“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”
Every body is different, so Jo’s time scales may vary!.. However after a couple of months practising Pilates regularly you will definitely notice more tone and definition in your abdominal muscles (you’ll be on your way to a six-pack!), arms and legs. Pilates exercises focus on strengthening and stretching to encourage longer leaner muscles.
4) Pilates can help with back pain
According to Public Health England, 28.2 million working days are lost per year in the UK due to Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions and 1 in 10 employees report having MSK conditions. Pilates is safe and effective workout if you experience back pain (though check with your GP first). Exercises focus on working and strengthening your ‘core muscles’ (the muscles that support your spine and pelvis) and increasing mobility and function of movement. This can help to relieve pain and strengthen your spine to prevent further problems.
5) You can do Pilates anywhere
All you need is enough space to throw down a mat and away you go! We’ve taught Pilates in reception areas, meeting rooms and even tiny offices between desks.
6) All levels welcome
Pilates instructors are highly trained and exercises are safe for people with injuries or anyone new to exercise. It’s often recommended by Doctors and Physiotherapists. If you’re very fit already and/or practice other sports and exercise, Pilates is a great compliment. Exercises will always have a few options to challenge those wanting to work harder. If you’ve never tried Pilates before or think it might be easy… have a go at the Ab series and let us know what you think!
Team Christmas lunches, tins of chocolate by the photocopier, mince pies in the kitchen… As we get closer to the festive season the workplace can be filled with temptation.
Here are our five top tips to help you stay (a little!) healthier whilst at work
1) Get some air and natural light
With shorter days it’s harder to get our dose of Vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin. Especially if you commute in the dark. From early April to the end of September most of us get all the vitamin D we need from sunlight. But between October and March we don’t get enough*. So take your lunch break, get outside and go for a walk.
We need vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet which is important for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. NHS website has information on how you can get more vitamin D into your diet.
2) Drink plenty of water
Alcohol consumption may increase a little around this time and your next day headache is a sign you might be dehydrated! NHS guidelines advise about 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day. TIP: It’s important not to sit all day, so rather than just keeping a litre bottle of water by your desk, use a glass that you physically get up and refill.
3) Include some Festive Fitness to your workplace party celebrations!
Why not do something different for your office Christmas activities and organise one of our workplace festive fitness classes! You could get your party started with our ‘Desk to Dance’ class or Rock your Asana (Power Ballads meets Yoga!) … or perhaps you might need to recover the morning after with a restorative Yoga session.
As well as burning off a few extra Christmas calories, it’s a great fun team building activity and will energise you in preparation for your office party (or recovery after).
4) Avoid the office germs
We’ve had a glorious long summer and the sudden drop in temperature means sniffs and sneezes around the office are rife. Try and reduce your risk of catching colds by; washing your hands regularly, staying warm (keep a spare jumper of cardigan in your bag) and avoid snotty tissues on your desk. If your colleague is sneezing next to you, ask nicely that they bin used tissues as quickly as possible!
5) Find your balance
Life is all about balance and the odd day of indulging yourself is not going to harm you. It’s a fun time of the year after all, and it’s no good for our wellbeing if we spend time stressing about how much we’ve eaten or feeling guilty. So don’t completely deny yourself Christmas treats. Make the most of this festive period and your relaxed office vibes.
Reference *NHS website – Vitamin D advice
Top Santé Magazine November 2017
Our Founder Julia featured in Top Santé Magazine this month with her fit tip for keeping more active in the workplace during the festive season.
Team lunches, office parties, chocolate everywhere!… with so many temptations in the workplace, it can be hard to find the time and motivation to exercise in December. Find easy ways to be more active during your working day. Anything that gets your heart beating a little faster will help; An active commute – walk, run or cycle to work. Use your lunch break – organise a workplace fitness class or go for a brisk walk with colleagues. Take to the stairs – 15 minutes up and down your office stairwell will burn a few extra calories. Or park further away from work – you’ll be amazed how many more steps you’ll achieve.
We all know how hard it can be to try and eat well whilst at work. Colleagues’ birthday cakes, office bake-off competitions, team biscuit tins… it can be quite challenging to avoid temptations in the office right? Planning and choosing what to eat for lunch every day can be difficult too.
When thinking about yours and your staffs’ Health and Wellbeing, consider also the importance of healthy eating. What you eat and your diet can affect work performance as well as your health. If you don’t have a well-balanced breakfast, lunch or drink enough water during the day, this can lead to headaches, feeling tired or difficulty concentrating.
We’re passionate about making workplaces healthier and making it easy for staff to get active during the working week. Feedr are a business who share our passion and can help your employees to eat well by bringing delicious, healthy food to the office.
We interviewed Feedr Founder, Riya Grover, to find out more about them and her tips for eating more healthily at work.
How did you have the idea for Feedr?
I love eating well and am conscious about what goes into my body, but I know not everyone knows where to find food that is both delicious and really good for you.
The ‘aha’ moment came in late 2015. I saw a line that extended around the block – people were waiting for one of my favourite healthy eateries to open. It dawned on me that preferences have evolved significantly and so many people aspire to eat well. I researched the industry and realised there are so many fantastic food providers with innovative concepts, just waiting to be discovered. So we built Feedr! Our curated online marketplace bringing together over a hundred healthy, nutritious food and snack vendors for Corporates and individuals to purchase.
How do you choose the vendors you work with?
We’re very selective about who we choose to work with. We’re not about cardboard salads and kale-only meals. We find food vendors who have innovative concepts, source high quality produce, strip out bad ingredients and substitute them for healthier ones, cater to varied dietary requirements and have a strong ethos behind their food.
Give us a few examples of the healthy lunch choices you have available?
We’ve hundreds of boxes and buffet options to choose from. I’ve picked just a few examples from vendors; Vita Mojo, Karma Cans and Fork Deli.
- Spicy turkey meatballs with quinoa, avocado, crispy polenta and a kale salad with a spicy thai dressing
- Chicken breast with jewelled cauliflower cous cous, mixed leaf salad and herb dressing
- Seared salmon with za’atar, tahini and pistachio with a kale and spelt fattoush salad
- Sweet potato Falafels, siracha, yogurt dressing, chickpeas marinated in parsley, coriander, olive oil and lemon zest, dark green leaves blanched.
What are your three top tips for eating more healthily whilst at work?
1) Seek variety and ensure balance. Try to fill your week with a range of nutritious foods.
2) Keep healthy snacks at your desk like dried fruit, almonds, carrot sticks or apple with nut butter. Small snacks through the day help you keep focused and avoid you binging on junk food.
3) Plan – it’s not always easy to find healthy meals near your office. Plan ahead by bringing healthy leftovers from home. You can also sign up to Feedr’s Daily Menus .
Find out more about Feedr at www.teamfeedr.com.
We’ve got special offer for you too… Use the code “FEEDR15” to get £15 off a corporate catering order, or £15 off a credit pack of meals for individuals using Daily Menus.
As well as offering healthy lunches and catering for meetings, another great way to promote healthy eating in the workplace is to signpost staff to reliable information. British Heart Foundation and NHS Choices provide the most up to date and reliable advice and have lots of useful resources on their websites.
We can support you too and can organise bespoke Health and Wellbeing days for your workplace to include; fitness and physical activity, talks, healthy food and more. Contact us for more information about how we can help make your workplace healthier.
The study was recently published in the journal Physiology and Behavior. Study co-author Patrick J. O’Connor, of the Department of Kinesiology at Georgia said;
“Office workers can go outside and walk, but weather can be less than ideal…And a lot of people working in office buildings have access to stairs, so it’s an option to keep some fitness while taking a short break from work.”
The research involved female college students who reported having chronic sleep deprivation (less than 6.5 hours of sleep each night). Participants were required to complete tests that assessed their working memory, attention, reaction time, work motivation, and mood states under two separate conditions.
Subjects completed the tests after taking a capsule containing either 50 milligrams of caffeine or a placebo. In the other condition, tests were completed after the participants had walked up and down 30 floors of stairs at a regular pace for around 10 minutes.
The team found that under the stair-walking condition, participants reported greater motivation to work and an increase in energy, compared with those under the caffeine condition.
“We found, in both the caffeine and the placebo conditions, that there was not much change in how they felt, but with exercise they did feel more energetic and vigorous. It was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise, but with the 50 milligrams of caffeine, we didn’t get as big an effect.” said O’Conner.
O’Connor added that there is still much research to be done, but even a brief bout of stair walking can enhance feelings of energy without reducing cognitive function which is more beneficial than a dose of caffeine when it comes to energy and motivation in the workplace.
So next time you feel the need for that third coffee of the day, try taking some time away from your desk and hit the office stairwell!
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have released new quality standards providing advice for employers to help improve staff mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Recommendations and rationale from the standards included;
Make health and wellbeing an organisational priority:
Giving a senior manager responsibility for health and wellbeing shows your organisation’s commitment to a healthy working environment. The named manager can then lead on healthy work initiatives and provide line managers and staff with support to improve working conditions. This can benefit both your organisation and your employees by increasing productivity, lowering staff sickness levels and improving job satisfaction and staff retention rates.
Make health and wellbeing a central part of line management roles:
This can help ensure your employees feel valued, content and able to discuss any concerns before they reach a crisis point. This can also improve productivity.
Ensure employees are involved in decision making:
Empowering your employees to be involved in organisational decisions and practices that have a direct impact on them shows that your organisation cares and values their opinions. It can also lead to improved working practices and, in turn, improved job satisfaction, resulting in a more content and healthy workforce as well as higher levels of commitment and productivity.
We’re working with London Sport supporting the Active Lunch Challenge offering you the chance to win a lunchtime fitness class at your London office.
One of our fantastic instructors will come along to your workplace to teach one of our classes. All you need is a free meeting room or space in your office and some willing colleagues!
How to enter
1) Pledge to get active and sign up to the Active Lunch Challenge
2) Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’ve pledged to get active!
Entries close 28th February 2017. Ts & C’s apply
Why take part
The Active Lunch Challenge is an 8-week national activity logging challenge taking place from now until the 28th February 2017.
It’s a great and easy way to make an active change to your daily routine.
Activities can be anything that gets your heart rate elevated, makes you feel a little bit warmer and gets your blood pumping.
From a brisk lunch break walk, stretching at your desk, taking the stairs instead of the lift to a fitness class in your office… everything counts.
and sign up to the challenge today
A fantastic initiative backed by the London Mayor, the Healthy Workplace Charter provides clear and easy steps for employers to make their workplaces healthier and happier.
Our Founder Julia Scodie was invited to speak at the Awards ceremony held at City Hall last month.
The ceremony recognised and celebrated organisations dedicated to creating healthier working environments for their staff. It was such an honour to be invited to speak and to meet so many employers who are passionate about their staff Health and Wellbeing.
About the London Healthy Workplace Charter
The Charter provides a framework for action to help employers build good practice in health and work in their organisation. It’s essentially a set of standards that organisations must meet in order to receive an official accreditation (and award).
Standards include: Physical activity, healthy eating and mental health and wellbeing. To date over 140 organsations have been accredited with more than 260,000 employees benefitting. The Charter is open to all employers; private, public, big, small and across industries.
Did you know?
Almost 14 million working days a year are lost to sickness absence in London.
An average London firm of 250 employees can lose up to £250,000 a year, or £4,800 per week,
due to sickness absence.
Physically active workers take 27% fewer sick days than non-physically active counterparts and happier workers are 12% more productive than average, with unhappy workers 10%productive.