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Louise Mallas - My Story

Date: 10 Jun 2014

A Personal Journey

As the Officer leading the Health Workplace Initiative, I also went on a personal journey whilst driving the initiative through.  Partly driven by a case of leading by example and taking on board the things I was trying to educate the staff about, I took part in the exercise initiatives, and although I knew a lot about healthy eating already, I started to embrace and practise what I was preaching.  I had undergone an operation in 2006 after which I was told to do nothing.  I was a model patient (!) and literally did nothing but it became a habit leading to weight gain and I continued doing very little in the way of exercise.  However, the first year of the pedometer challenge saw me walking out in my lunch hour walking a two and a half mile circuit come wind, rain, sun or hair (mainly rain!).  I carried this on after the challenge had finished and lost a stone without really trying.  Last year in the challenge, the competition between the pedometer teams became stronger and I added a cross trainer to my routine regularly using it for 50 minutes at a time, four times a week in addition to the walking, and that, including some minor changes to my diet, saw me losing a further three and a half stone bringing me into the normal weight category for the first time in a number of years.  One of the benefits is that, the exercise became a habit and I now miss it if, for some reason, I can't carry out a session.  I have learnt that exercise helps me 'pay' for some of the additional treats that I may want to eat and this has helped me maintain my weight for the last seven months.  I also attend spinning classes taking advantage of the low prices and free classes offered.  As someone who had become a hardened 'couch potato', I feel that if I can do it, anyone can.

 Louise Mallas- YMCA Cornwall


 

Occupational Health

Where occupational health was provided, 39% of companies recorded a decline in short-term absence, whilst 28% experienced a reduction in long-term absence [CIPD 2008].

Surrounding Influence

Having plants in and around the office can reduce employee annual sickness absence by as much as 23%, research by the Hortiucultural Trades Association has argued.  The research, in conjunction with the University of Reading, found that green space and planted areas can help to deliver substantial social and environmental benefits for organisations

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