Many diseases can be linked back to some basic things, what you eat and drink, your activity level, quality and quantity of sleep, your thought processes and managing stress. There are other factors such as genetics, hormonal imbalance, and environment that can impact your health, but the best way to take charge of your health is to identify what you have control over, think about what your motivation is to be healthy, and make necessary changes to move toward wellness.
The thing that we have the MOST control over is what we eat. Diseases such as diabetes and heart disease can often be directly linked to dietary choices that paved the way for the body to stop functioning properly. Although there is no single cause to obesity, again, dietary choices are the most predominant factor to someone becoming obese. Obesity is a leading cause of many other health-related issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer, back pain, joint pain, sleep apnea, gallstones, and many others.
Wellness in the workplace: Obesity among full-time employees cost employers $73.1 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity in 2008. A recent study estimates that an obese person incurs annual medical costs that are over $2,700 higher (in 2005 dollars) than if they were not obese.
Employers are moving toward preventative health and wellness programs as a way to help their employees make better choices to prevent disease, manage disease if it is already induced, and to help their workforce have a better quality of life and thus being better employees. One of the easiest ways an employer (or school or other places) can have an impact is by getting healthier food in front of people. It can be as easy as changing the items offered in a vending machine, moving water to the top of the beverage machine (and making it the predominant choice), having healthy themed potlucks rather than sugar laden birthday and holiday celebrations, and encouraging staff to bring healthy food while on the job. I don’t think we ever need to regulate what people eat, however, I do think we can create a culture of wellness and encourage people to make better choices.
I encourage you to take the lead in your environment and try having a healthy potluck with your friends or at work. If you need recipe ideas, follow me on Facebook for recipes, tips and information. If you’d like help with ideas for workplace wellness, please feel free to send me a message at: [email protected]. I’m happy to help.
Liz Jones is a wellness professional in Rockwall, Mesquite, Wylie and surrounding areas. She is a writer, certified yoga instructor, personal trainer and wellness coach. She holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management, with a graduate certificate in Ethics and Leadership. Her undergraduate studies included communication, business, writing, art, fitness, and dance. Liz Jones can be reached at: [email protected].