Few people would believe the toll that work place stress takes on many. From physical problems caused by poor diet to mental health issues the symptoms are wide ranging.
The cumulative effect of increased working hours and a busy lifestyle is having an important effect on the health and well being of many people which can be detrimental to their physical, emotional and mental health.
Pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture in the UK is one of the biggest and most pressing challenges to the mental, emotional and physical health of the workforce.
The cumulative effect of increased working hours and a busy lifestyle is having an important effect on the health and wellbeing of many people which can be detrimental to their physical, emotional and mental health.
It is estimated that nearly 3 in every 10 employees will experience a mental health problem in one year and this can be closely linked to the long working hours’ culture – 15% of the UK working population work 49 hours a week or more.
The Mental Health Foundation is concerned that a majority of people are neglecting the factors in their lives that help make them more resilient to mental health issues.
A recent 2015 YouGov / Simplyhealth survey stated that stress / anxiety is one of the top 3 health concerns overall and the top health concern for women in particular.
Self-reported work-related stress, anxiety and depression account for 11.4 million lost working days in the UK alone (HSE). Work place stress is costing £26 billion per annum in lost days, staff turnover and lower company productivity (MIND).
Staff disengagement is costing the UK economy £64.7 billion per year (Gallup).
The human costs of unmanaged work related stress extends far beyond this and a key way to protect mental health is to ensure a healthier work life balance.
Changes in health and eating habits can help to prevent mental health issues and illness.
A professional wellbeing service can help provide support around any of the health and wellbeing lifestyle issues which includes the following factors:
• Fast paced and busy work and home life for some
• Too much to do, feeling overloaded, running on sugary foods and drinks
• Lack of energy and tiredness during the day, especially during mid-morning and late afternoon
• Sleep problems connected to worry and anxiety or connected to shift-pattern working
• Lack of exercise and keeping active; sedentary lifestyle for many
• Muscular aches and tension
• Issues with weight and diet – especially weight loss or maintenance
• Eating on the run; irregular eating habits that could be affecting mental resilience
• Reliance on sandwiches, crisps, snacks and sugary drinks for lunch
• Lack of time for self, especially when juggling work and home
• Relationship issues at work and at home
• Coping with pressure leading to feelings of anxiety and potentially depression
• Impact of technology on our working and personal life
• Caring for elderly or ageing relatives
• Use of alcohol and nicotine to help relax and switch off
• Silver drinks – rise in drinking amongst over 50’s
• Coping with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes
Our health and wellbeing tip of the day:
Stay hydrated because a loss of 1-2% of fluids means that the thirst mechanism kicks in and this is often mistaken for hunger. If we ignore it or mistake it for hunger, dehydration may continue to around 3%, where it may affect both mental and physical performance. A loss of 3% of body water may result in an 8% loss in muscle strength.
The recommended daily intake of total fluids is 1 ½ to 2 litres. This can include 2 caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee. The balance could preferably come from water, watered fruit juices (75% water 25% juice), herbal and fruit teas and Rooibos (redbush) tea, these drinks contain no caffeine.
The only time to drink more than 2 litres is when perspiring such as exercising or taking a hot bath for example. A 250ml fluid intake above the recommended amount would be helpful in replacing lost fluids. This, of course, is not suggested for performance athletes who may need more relevant detailed advice for their performance requirements.
The Holistic Life Coach
Holistic & Natural Solutions for Health and Wellbeing