How physical health supports wellbeing
Wellbeing at work is more than just the absence of illness or a problem.
It’s about promoting physical health, to a point where people are thriving, physically fit and feeling resilient.
So what do organisations need to focus on to encourage healthier lifestyles? And how does this impact psychological health, and thus wellbeing?
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Physical health and wellbeing
Hi, Andrew from SACS.
And welcome to video number one in our video series about wellbeing at work.
Here are the topics that we’re going to be dealing with in this series.
Physical health and well being, happiness, engagement at work, recruiting for engagement, leading for engagement, giving you some statistics about whether engagement varies from industry sector to industry sector, and against issues like age.
Talking about resilience, stress and finally recognition and wellbeing.
So it’s a series about what we know from the world of research about wellbeing in the workplace.
But this particular video is about physical wellbeing.
More than the absence of illness
Now, you see, we mentioned here (refer to the video) the medical model, the absence of illness.
For many years, the definition of wellbeing has been the absence of a problem. Pretty depressing way of looking at wellbeing, if you ask me.
And we take a more positive view these days that we should look beyond the absence of illness to physical health, to things like thriving, to things like fitness, to things like resilience.
So that’s where we’ve moved beyond the idea of that medical model.
Occupational health & safety
The second point is about occupational health and safety.
And certainly one of the things that we know from the world of psychological research is that occupational health and safety is sponsored by higher levels of wellbeing, such as engagement at work.
A happier workplace tends to be a safer workplace.
Healthy lifestyles & wellbeing
Then we turn our attention to healthy lifestyles. And it’s interesting to see that organisations often find the need to sponsor things like healthy lifestyles, such as healthy eating.
There is strong research evidence, by the way, if you eat largely what are called high glycemic carbohydrates, so that’s really refined starches, the things that you get in pizzas or sugary foods, sugary drinks, that tends to increase levels of anxiety and depression in people.
And so there is a psychological link to physical wellbeing in that sense. So healthy eating is something that organisations sometimes sponsor.
In addition to that, they often have exercise programs, and organisations will sponsor exercise clubs where people will go for a walk at lunchtime, or maybe they’ll be involved in some sort of a team sport which the company supports, that kind of thing can be helpful as well.
Then you have healthy body weight. And in many organisations across the world now, that is emphasised.
So there are some characteristics which might come into the category of healthy lifestyles.
Substance abuse & addictions
Then you’ve got the abuse component. And the abuse component can include things like tobacco, drugs, alcohol or other drugs.
And obviously it’s very hard to have high levels of wellbeing if you are dependent on some sort of artificial substance. Not to mention the kind of collateral damage that this can cause to your health, both physical and psychological.
Mental & psychological health
And then we move on to issues like sexual health, mature health, mental health and wellbeing.
The key point I want to make in this brief video is that psychological health and physical health are extremely closely intertwined and so to think of the human being, where you’re looking at physical health, separately from psychological health.
No. The two are extremely closely intertwined.
In the next video we’ll be talking specifically about what we know about happiness.
Happiness at work and in general life. What is it that causes people to be happy? What does it mean and what’s its effect?
Please join us.
Watch the next video in this series to find out more about wellbeing at work: