Is Mince Pie Consumption this Christmas linked to the Performance of your Organisation?

mince pie

If you eat just one mince pie every day in the lead-up to Christmas without compensating with extra exercise, you will be up to a kilo heavier by the end of December. And, given Christmas is traditionally the time to eat, drink and be merry I dare say Mince Pies will not be the only indulgence you allow yourself will it?

In actual fact, the average person gains around 2kg over the Christmas period1, and without a dramatic change in habits early in the New Year, this 2kg will hang around for quite some time.

If an additional 2kg per worker in 2015 was the only issue faced by individuals, and the organisations for which they work, then surely organisational effectiveness would not be affected?

But Corporate Australia IS facing Some Real Challenges from the Health of its Workers

Let’s consider some facts:

  • Obesity is a significant contributor to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers2. I Australia, 16.4% of ALL Australian adults are obese with this figure rising as age increases3.
  • Chronic diseases, which include arthritis, musculoskeletal disease, depression and anxiety, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension, make up more than 70% of Australia’s overall disease burden4.
  • Globally, diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease5. In Australia, it is estimated that 1.5m people are living with diabetes, with 275 people developing diabetes every day5

And how does this affect Organisational Performance?

Evidence shows that healthy workers are almost 3 times more effective than the least healthy workers, working approximately 100 more effective hours per month6:

  • Healthy workers are more productive at work than unhealthy workers
  • Healthy workers rate their work performance as much higher than unhealthy workers
  • Healthy workers have far fewer short-term absences than unhealthy workers

What Can the Individual Do About it?

Chronic disease is linked to INDIVIDUAL lifestyle and is largely preventable. Most chronic diseases in Australia are associated with one or more of the following lifestyle-related risk factors:

  • Unhealthy eating
  • Physical inactivity
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking

Limiting your indulgences this Christmas, whilst maximising your physical activity will most certainly limit the additional kilos you find strapped to your waist in 2015. Using the start of 2015 to adopt an overall healthier lifestyle, eating well and reducing both smoking and alcohol will make a dramatic difference to your risk of chronic disease. Here are some tips:

  • Treat yourself to just ONE cup of coffee per day
  • Never skip breakfast but ensure you eat a protein rich meal to satiate and limit cravings during the day
  • Consider an anti-oxidant rich supplement to provide additional support for your telomeres and to manage your stress
  • Ensure you get between 6 and 8 hours per night of DEEP restful sleep
  • Supplement your diet with Co Enzyme Q10 – an enzyme critical for energy production but not present in sufficient amounts in the body after the age of 30
  • Increase the amount of protein in your diet throughout the day but ensure you also try to limit calories and harmful fats – a calorie controlled whey protein shake might be a useful alternative

And the Role of the Organisation?

Well, strong evidence shows that good employee health and well-being programmes employed by an organisation provide an excellent return on investment:

  • Decrease sick leave absenteeism by 25.3%
  • Decrease workers compensation costs by 40.7%
  • Decrease disability management costs by 24.2%
  • And save $5.81 for every $1 invested in employee health and wellbeing

The message is clear – this Christmas, as you sit back to reflect on your Christmas lunch, take responsibility for your own health in 2015 and minimise your risk factors for chronic disease. And whilst you are doing this, persuade your boss to look at a health and wellbeing staff programme for 2015, incorporating both physical activity and nutrition, to increase the overall effectiveness of your organisation.

About the Author

Liz Stapleton, Oxford and Kellogg Business School graduate, runs her own health and lifestyle business specialising in nutritional programs for the busy professional. A 30-day nutritional program designed to kick start your healthy lifestyle, manage stress, reduce weight and improve energy levels starts at $380 with an average monthly on-going cost of approximately $160. To find out more about kick-starting your health in 2015 please contact Liz on liz.stapleton2@gmail.com to arrange an introductory session.

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