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28/01/11 Employee Engagement Summit

Employee-Engagement-2011-thumbWorkplace Healthcare are exhibiting at the forthcoming Employee Engagement Summit at Canary Wharf on 3rd March 2011.  The key to nurturing your talent and ensuring your people are delivering is paramount in the current climate, it is important to keep an ear to the ground and the test for Managers is delivering performance in a whirlwind of cuts and budget restrictions.  The conference will look at ways to keep engagement during restructure, methods of measuring employee engagement and ways to boost engagement through your corporate brand.

The Workplace Healthcare team will be on stand, to talk about the importance of happy, healthy employees in engagement and how a little budget can go a long way.  What’s more you can try a free on site massage with one of our team, the perfect way to spend the day.

26/01/11 Health & Wellbeing @ Work 2011

Visit the NEC on 8th & 9th March 2011 to learn from the experts in the field of employee wellbeing.

With 16 mix and match conference programmes running, including Occupational Health, Employee Wellbeing, Sickness Absence Management, Health Screening and Health Promotion and speakers to include Dame Carol Black, Steve Boarman and Prof Mike Kelly along with an exhibition area covering all areas of health and wellbeing, if you visit one event this year, we recommend this one!

We have exhibited since the start and find it a great environment to meet with our existing clients along with those that are interested in our services and we invite you to visit us and receive a complimentary on site massage on our stand. Open to all HR Managers and Occupational Health Nurses, we look forward to seeing you there.

24/01/11 Attendance Management – free on site massage

Join the industry experts in the field of Attendance Management tomorrow (25th January) in Canary wharf. With presentations from ten speakers with direct experience in creating productive working environments, the conference focuses on teaching you what works, and more importantly what hasn’t so we don’t all keep making the same mistakes! Both private and public sector organisations are looking at creating employee wellbeing, and what’s more Workplace Healthcare will be there, come and visit us for a free on site massage, we will also be on hand to discuss your wellbeing issues and investigate ways of boosting performance through fit and healthy employees. For your free on site massage, visit us in your break, be quick though, don’t miss out!

19/01/11 On site Massage – before and after

Our corporate massage team cover the UK and Ireland practising seated on site massage, reflexology, indian head massage, reiki and sometimes, for those lucky few who have 30 minutes, aromatherapy oil seated massage.

99% of the companies we work with pay for their employees to benefit from this service, and we have worked with many of our clients for over 10 years, a wonderful endorsement of the status the on site massage service has within the business world.  The companies we work with don’t do things because they are pressured into it,they do it because it makes real business sense.

Providing an on site massage programme can greatly benefit the working environment.  Having happy, healthy employees is something we all will agree is the key to increased productivity and profitability, and providing 15 or 20 minutes of seated massage or half an hour reflexology sessions helps to broadcast a worthwhile message to employees ‘we value you’.

Time and time again I wish we took before and after photos of our clients.  They visit us often in despair, too much work to think straight, shoulders which are acting as earings, lower back aching from sitting all day, wrist and arm problems, and I am certainly not saying we are magicians, or maybe we are!  You would be amazed at the difference just 15 minutes can make.

During the on site massage treatment, employees are seated on a fully supported massage chair, after we have checked for contraindications (reasons why we can’t massage or must alter our routine) we start by warming up the back and shoulders.  Our routine then works key muscle groups and pressure points and we must be magicians as we have a cunning knack of finding those spots that really make a difference.

The after… well we sit you up and perform an energising percussion routine, this is designed to leave you feeling invigorated and ready to take on the day with renewed energy and a clear mind.  And boy does it show!

If you would like further details of our on site massage service or are interested in reflexology in the workplace, or any other treatments, please don’t wait to call!  0845 2263391

13/01/11 Stress Down Day Mind Map


13/01/11 Resolutions? A little at a time

An overwhelming urge to change.

That’s what I hear year after year from people after the festive time.  Have to lose weight, tone up, get fit, get healthy, be better, learn more, rush around in circles and not achieve anything!  My advice:  Relax, Chill out a little, and make a plan.

I want to talk a little about basics really.  So many of us spend fortunes on vitamin pills, personal trainers, fashion, hair, beauty, and I believe our wellbeing building blocks start at such a simple point, if we miss this we are missing out on the foundations on which to develop our bodies, minds and souls into more rounded, resilient beings.

I am talking Oil, Water and Balance, believe it or not.

No performance engine will run efficiently without the right oil.

In today’s society we have become “fat free” in our search for losing weight.  In my opinion, the quickest way to gain weight is to eat these “fat free” foods as they are all high in sugar or worse still in my opinion, artificial sweeteners.

When we eat processed, packaged and fast foods we often consume a high level of ‘bad fats’ (saturated fats), and then forget or become fearful of fats in general, actually we have to give our bodies some ammunition in the form of ‘good fats’ to deal with the outfall from the baddies!

Good fats are a special sub group of polyunsaturated fatty acids, known as Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). They are called ‘essential’ as they are not easily manufactured by the body and must be provided by food. They are split into two groups:

Omega 3 – These are found in oily fish, fish oils, some vegetable oils and some nuts and seeds.

Omega 6 – These are found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and grains.

In general we get sufficient Omega 6 fats in our diet from vegetable oils used in cooking, polyunsaturated spreads, nuts, seeds and grains. Omega 3 fats, however, are found in fewer foods so it is important to ensure we get enough.

What will the oils do for me? Many clinical studies have been conducted and researchers have found a multitude of benefits of omega fatty acids in human diets. Omega consumption in our diets benefits our bodies by protecting against heart disease, by improving our brain cells and brain function, and by helping our cell membranes remain healthy, here is some further research information:

  • A reduction in inflammation and prevention of chronic heart diseases can be attributed to consumption of omega 3 in diets, benefits include the lowering of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides and the increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol. There is also strong evidence that fatty acids help reduce high blood pressure, and by inhibiting the development of plaque and blood clots, help prevent and treat atherosclerosis. This evidence also strongly suggests that omega-3 fatty acid intake, primarily from fish, helps protect against stroke by the same process.
  • Infants benefit from omega 3 that promotes developing vision and nerves during pregnancy. Infants are at risk for developing problems in these areas, if they don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers.
  • In rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition, studies have shown benefits of fatty acids in reducing joint tenderness, decreased morning stiffness, possible decreases in medications that control this chronic disease. Along with this joint condition, omega-3 benefits people with osteoporosis by increasing the levels of calcium in the body and by increasing bone mass and bone strength
  • People are at risk for suffering depression if they do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids. The benefits of omega-3 for this illness work by helping nerve cells to communicate, an essential step in achieving good mental health. Cell membranes must be healthy in order to improve brain function and the overall condition of our brain cells. Studies showed that people hospitalized for depression had lower levels of fatty acids than people who ate a healthy diet with omega-3. When treated with an appropriate amount of fatty acids, these people had reduced feelings of depression and hostility and improved brain function. The same studies found the same omega-3 benefits for people suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Other studies suggest that people not suffering from depression may experience improved brain function with omega-3.
  • In studies of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it was determined that those children may have low levels of essential fatty acids. Some of those children exhibited learning and behavioural problems. More studies are needed to determine if omega-3 benefits children with ADHD by reducing their symptoms and improving their general condition.
  • There have been preliminary studies conducted that show omega-3 benefits for people with the chronic disease, asthma. They show that fatty acid supplements may decrease the inflammation in the lungs and improve overall lung function in adults.
  • More omega-3 benefits include a lower incidence of macular degeneration in people who consumed a significant amount of fatty acids from fish in their diets.
  • Other omega-3 benefits are being studied in regard to colon cancer, inflammatory bowl disease (IBD) and Crohn’s disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Some studies have preliminary findings that support the argument that the diseases are prevented from worsening by consumption of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Women with the highest dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids were found to have the mildest symptoms during menstruation in a study performed in Denmark.
  • Preliminary research seeks to determine whether there is an omega-3 benefit in fighting infections, and in treating ulcers, migraine headaches, lupus, emphysema, and glaucoma.

How can I add Omega 3 to my diet? Omega 3 fats occur naturally in seeds as alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and in oily fish as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Good sources of ALA include: linseed (flaxseed) oil, linseeds, soya bean oil, pumpkin seeds, walnut oil, rapeseed oil and soya beans.

The body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, but not very efficiently. This is why oily fish plays such an important role in our diet. Oily fish contains EPA and DHA in a ‘ready made’ form that the body can use easily.

The main sources of oily fish in the UK include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers, either fresh, frozen, canned or smoked. Watch out though, tinned tuna does not count as it does not contain the high levels of oils found in fresh and frozen tuna.

Omega Table

I understand that some of the health benefits, primarily the ones linked with cardiovascular health, have only been achieved through Omega 3 derived from fish sources.  If you are vegetarian, you may consider a supplement, Cod liver and fish oil capsules are a good source of EPA and DHA and in some cases contain vitamins A and D as well. If you are taking a supplement that contains vitamins A and D it is important not to exceed the recommended dose. If you are taking any medication you must seek your doctor’s advice.

The great thing is, if you like fish, a tin of sardines is a great cost effective lunch and can sit in your drawer (unopened please!) for months – the perfect long life fast food snack.

13/01/11 Sup up

Now, I don’t want to go on about it, as people tend to glaze over when I mention it, but water water water!

Our bodies are around 70% water and because we do not store excess water, we must ensure that our daily diet contains a sufficient supply to maintain adequate health.

Water is essential for our health, it is one of the basics, yet it is ignored by so many people, I know so many who will spend a fortune on supplements, and a whole host of beauty products, yet drink maybe a glass or two a day of fresh water from the tap. Although water contains no calories and may contain no micronutrients, it is an indispensable aid to digestion, nutrient absorption and waste elimination . Yep that’s right, if you don’t drink enough water those expensive vitamins and minerals cannot be utilised by your body and will simply be passed out without touching the sides.  It also helps regulate circulation, body temperature and a host of other biochemical reactions. Water lubricates joints and maintains healthy skin. It’s worth remembering that we can exist without food for months, but without water for only a few days.

Even mild dehydration slows down metabolism. Did you know that dehydration can also manifest as hunger?  Feeling thirsty isn’t always a reliable sign for dehydration and before you know it you could experience the following symptoms:

  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness

Guidelines are that you could try and drink around 1.5 – 3 litres of water  a day for an adult, it depends on your size, age, weight, muscle mass etc so this is only a guesstimate.     Coffee and tea doesn’t count, nor do carbonated drinks or alcohol, although many say they do and indeed they do have a water content, this is often completely wiped out by the dehydrating effect of the caffeine in the said beverage, so herbal tea, pure water, perfect.

Have a go at water drinking and see how it makes you feel after a couple of weeks.  We would be really interested in your feedback, if you would like further reading, Dr Batmanghelidj’s book ‘your bodies many cries for water’ is controversial, has been pulled apart by many and labelled a ‘wako’ idea, I find it absolutely fascinating and believe much of it to be true.

13/01/11 Perfect Balance

Thirdly, I just wanted to express a need for balance in our lives. If your job is sedentary, you must do some exercise, if you are an athlete by profession, some sedentary time is crucial.


For those of us who think all day long and primarily use our left brain (analytical) then we really would do well to stimulate our creative sides a bit, drawing, painting, signing, playing games and meditation are all good right brain exercises.

If you find that you use the right side of your brain more than your left then look at learning language working with mathematics, puzzles or games in those subjects to sharpen the left hemisphere. When you try to solve a word puzzle, for example, electrical and chemical impulses travel among the neurons in the left hemisphere until you identify the answer. Games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles, logic brainteasers and mathematical word problems all exercise the left side of your brain.


Also, it is really important to get out in the fresh air every day.  Grab a colleague, make it a challenge (pedometers), start with once a week and try and increase to at least 3 or 4 times.



Daylight is excellent for keeping you immune system in top shape. ‘You should get between 15 and 20 minutes of sunlight a day so your body can develop vitamin D which is very important for our immune systems,’ says Professor Ingo Froboese from the Centre for Health at the German Sports High School in Cologne.

Sunlight converts the precursor form of vitamin D, which is produced in certain cells in the body, into active vitamin D. That encourages our immune cells to build anti-microbial Cathelicidin which plays an important role in our body’s response to bacterial infection.

That means sunlight can help you stay healthy.  It does not always have to be direct sunlight, which is in short supply at this time of year. Even on an overcast day enough scattered light penetrates the clouds to have a positive effect on our immune systems.

So grab your boots and rally around the office, you may start a healthy trend!





13/01/11 Stress Down Day – ideas and free guide

Get ready to Stress Down on 4th February!  We are promoting the Samaritans Stress Down Day with a free guide to Managing Pressure which will be available to download soon and we will send you the link.

There are some other free ways to support employees throughout the month, perhaps on an ongoing basis, visit our mind map for a full list:


click for full mind map

and for now here are some ideas:

The worry BagShopbag

a problem aired.  Place an old bag/Shopping trolley bag in a communal place in the office.  This bag represents a good friend, a confessional, a therapeutic tool.  Leave your troubles behind. 

Write a note to a lost one; confess a secret; offload a pressing problem, regret, a wish, a hope, a dream.

Employees can write their message on paper and place into the bag, and should be completely and utterly confidential and anonymous and feel light as a feather.

At the end of the week/month, you can take the messages and ceremonially burn them outside, giving thought to sending away the old and bringing in the new, or you can send the papers to us and we will release them into the ether for you!

Music Music Music

Create a music room where you can play relaxing classics or chill out music, you can hire some bean bags or simply make it a space where employees can visit and relax, no speaking, perhaps a nice cup of tea or a herbal.

Get your grove on

SilentDiscoSet up a silent disco!  This is great for creativity and allows full flow of your deepest hidden dance moves!  You can hire equipment so that all employees attending are listening to the same music, or if you are on a big budget then that’s no problem, encourage employees to bring in their mp3’s with their favourite tracks on and off they go, onlookers without headphones will find it quite hysterical and will benefit from their very own laughter therapy.  Dance the lunch hour away.  

Healthy lunch

Each member of staff has to research a food and bring in a tasty dish based on the most health benefits.  Healthy eating discussion should ensue and recipe swapping and vedge growing tips are a must.  I will start you off, did you know that salad is much easier to grow in the colder months, in the summer our leaves just bolt and it is so upsetting!  Look at Winter Purslane, Red mustard Leaf, Land cress, rocket, and pak choi. 


If you would like details of our courses and services tailored to reduce stress and increase performance in the workplace, please do get in touch.