Occupational Health – Workplace Health Management

Workplace Health Management (WHM) There are four key components of workplace health management:

Occupational Health and Safety

Workplace Health Promotion

Social and lifestyle determinants of health

Environmental Health Management
In the past policy was frequently driven solely by compliance with legislation. In the new approach to workplace health management, policy development is driven by both legislative requirements and by health targets set on a voluntary basis by the working community within each industry. In order to be effective Workplace Health Management needs to be based on knowledge, experience and practice accumulated in three disciplines: occupational health, workplace health promotion and environmental health. It is important to see WHM as a process not only for continuous improvement and health gain within the company, but also as framework for involvement between various agencies in the community. It offers a platform for co-operation between the local authorities and business leaders on community development through the improvement of public and environmental health.The Healthy Workplace setting – a cornerstone of the Community Action Plan.The Luxembourg Declaration of the European Union Network for Workplace Health Promotion defined WHP as the combined effort of employers, employees and society to improve the health and well-being of people at workThis can be achieved through a combination of:

Improving the work organization and the working environment

Promoting active participation of employees in health activities

Encouraging personal development
Workplace health promotion is seen in the EU network Luxembourg Declaration as a modern corporate strategy which aims at preventing ill-health at work and enhancing health promoting potential and well-being in the workforce. Documented benefits for workplace programs include decreased absenteeism, reduced cardiovascular risk, reduced health care claims, decreased staff turnover, decreased musculoskeletal injuries, increased productivity, increased organizational effectiveness and the potential of a return on investment.However, many of these improvements require the sustained involvement of employees, employers and society in the activities required to make a difference. This is achieved through the empowerment of employees enabling them to make decisions about their own health. Occupational Health Advisors (OHA) are well placed to carry out needs assessment for health promotion initiatives with the working populations they serve, to prioritize these initiatives alongside other occupational health and safety initiatives which may be underway, and to coordinate the activities at the enterprise level to ensure that initiatives which are planned are delivered. In the past occupational health services have been involved in the assessment of fitness to work and in assessing levels of disability for insurance purposes for many years.The concept of maintaining working ability, in the otherwise healthy working population, has been developed by some innovative occupational health services. In some cases these efforts have been developed in response to the growing challenge caused by the aging workforce and the ever-increasing cost of social security. OHA’s have often been at the forefront of these developments.There is a need to develop further the focus of all occupational health services to include efforts to maintain work ability and to prevent non-occupational workplace preventable conditions by interventions at the workplace. This will require some occupational health services to become more pro-actively involved in workplace health promotion, without reducing the attention paid to preventing occupational accidents and diseases. OHA’s, with their close contact with employees, sometimes over many years, are in a good position to plan, deliver and evaluate health promotion and maintenance of work ability interventions at the workplace.Health promotion at work has grown in importance over the last decade as employers and employees recognize the respective benefits. Working people spend about half of their non-sleeping day at work and this provides an ideal opportunity for employees to share and receive various health messages and for employers to create healthy working environments. The scope of health promotion depends upon the needs of each group.Some of the most common health promotion activities are smoking reducing activities, healthy nutrition or physical exercise programs, prevention and abatement of drug and alcohol abuse.However, health promotion may also be directed towards other social, cultural and environmental health determinants, if the people within the company consider that these factors are important for the improvement of their health, well-being and quality of life. In this case factors such as improving work organization, motivation, reducing stress and burnout, introducing flexible working hours, personal development plans and career enhancement may also help to contribute to overall health and well-being of the working community.The Healthy Community setting In addition to occupational health and workplace health promotion there is also another important aspect to Workplace Health Management. It is related to the impact that each company may have on the surrounding ambient environment, and through pollutants or products or services provided to others, its impact on distant environments. Remember how far the effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear accident in 1986 affected whole neighbouring countries.Although the environmental health impact of companies is controlled by different legislation to that which applies to Health and Safety at work, there is a strong relationship between safeguarding the working environment, improving work organization and working culture within the company, and its approach to environmental health management.Many leading companies already combine occupational health and safety with environmental health management to optimally use the available human resources within the company and to avoid duplication of effort. Occupational health nurses can make a contribution towards environmental health management, particularly in those companies that do not employ environmental health specialists.Coming up. Key steps in developing New Workplace Health Policies

The Benefits of Fitness: How Exercise Helps with Mental Health

Mental health is something that is often discussed, but not always understood. It is not a single state but rather a combination of different factors. Mental health can range from how we manage stress to the balance between our rational and irrational thinking. Not everyone has perfect mental health, but with time and effort it can be improved. The positive effects of exercise on our physical wellbeing are well-documented, so much so that many now recognize the benefits of fitness on mental health as well. Athletic activities have many positive effects on your brain and general wellbeing, which is why adding some form of exercise to your weekly routine is recommended for maintaining optimum mental health. Keeping active has been scientifically proven to improve concentration, memory, learning capacity, and problem solving skills.

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Understanding Mental Health

Mental health is a broad term that refers to our psychological wellbeing. Stress, mood, and anxiety levels, as well as our ability to handle daily stressesors, are all indicators of our mental health. A mental disorder is a condition that disrupts a person’s ability to function normally. These disorders can be mild or severe, and can affect people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic groups. There are many factors that can impact mental health. Genetics, environment, and life experiences can all contribute to how we view and manage stress, our emotional state, and our ability to cope with challenging situations.

How Exercise Helps Mental Health

Exercise is commonly associated with improvements to physical health, such as boosting the immune system and strengthening muscles. Exercise is also a great tool for improving mental health and cognition. When we exercise, our bodies produce substances called endorphins. These endorphins are chemicals that are responsible for feelings of euphoria and relaxation. When endorphins are released, they block pain receptors and have a calming effect. Exercise also helps us sleep better, another important factor in maintaining good mental health. It is important to remember that not all exercise is created equally. In order to reap the full benefits of exercise on your mental health, you need to be doing enough activity to get your heart rate up and truly break a sweat.

Exercise and Depression

Exercise has been proven to reduce symptoms of depression. This mental disorder is characterized by feelings of sadness, irritability, and a reduction in interest or pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyed. Some of the biological explanations for how exercise can help a depressed person include an increase in certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, that are known to affect mood. Physical activity also helps to regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which is the connection between physical and mental stress. By doing so, exercise combats the harmful effects of cortisol, the hormone released when we are stressed. It also increases endorphin and serotonin levels. The serotonin in particular is thought to improve mood and alleviate depression and anxiety.

Exercise and Anxiety

Another mental illness that can be alleviated with consistent exercise is anxiety. What causes anxiety varies from person to person. However, there are common themes, such as a fear of the future, or a concern for the safety and wellbeing of loved ones. Exercise is an excellent way to tackle anxiety. It’s important to note that exercise cannot cure anxiety; however, it can help to reduce its symptoms. When you are experiencing the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heart rate or dizziness, exercise can be an outlet to “let off steam”. It also releases endorphins which can help to calm you down. Exercise also improves the way your body functions, including your cardiovascular and endocrine systems. This allows you to better handle daily stressors, which can reduce anxiety.

Conclusion

Exercise and mental health go hand in hand. The benefits of fitness include increased feelings of self-love and self-worth, improved functionality, sleep quality, and a reduction in the symptoms of several mental illnesses. The most important thing to remember while trying to improve your mental health with exercise is that consistency is key. You won’t see results if you don’t make time for it. Keep track of your progress and make adjustments as needed to keep your routine healthy and effective. Above all, remember that you are worth the effort.

Best Skin Care: Top 10 Skin Care Tips

Healthy skin is probably the most important aspect of natural beauty-enhancement. Below you will find the top 10 best skin care tips. Though there are certainly more than 10 important tips to getting the most beautiful skin possible, this skin care tips list is limited to the top 10 that cover the critical points of skin care. Here they are:1. Know Your Skin Type. Determining your skin type is the first thing that must be done because it will determine the products you choose and the daily regimen that you will follow. There is no one product that will suit every skin type. Your type will be classified as dry, oily, or combination. Look for products that specifically deal with your particular type.2. Drink Plenty of Water. This cannot be stressed enough. Drinking lots of water will keep your skin moist and will aid in your overall health. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body and it requires a lot of water in order to be at its best. This is one of the most important tips for overall best skin care.3. Cleanse the skin twice a day. Every day we are exposed to dust, free radicals and outside pollutants that can damage our skin. Even though our skin doesn’t look “dirty”, we must be sure to cleanse regularly and twice a day is the recommended amount. When bathing or cleansing your face, use lukewarm water instead of very hot or very cold water because both of those may damage the skin as well.4. Treat your skin gently. Scrubbing the skin or exfoliating too often is not good for your skin. Never rub, but gently massage the cleanser into your face using upward circular motions. As you age, the skin loses its elasticity and rubbing it or pulling it can actually cause the skin to sag.5. Use a moisturizer. Dry skin looks bad because it’s not getting the proper nutrients that it needs. The dryness will actually cause your outer layer of skin to crack which results in an unattractive look. Choose a moisturizer that is right for your skin type and apply it over damp skin. Also ensure it’s a good quality product that contains the necessary nutrients for best skin care.6. NEVER use body soap on the face. This type of soap is meant for use below the neck. Only use cleansers that are made for the face because they are much more gentle on your skin.7. Use Sunscreen. This point cannot be stressed enough. Using sunscreen will protect your skin against the harmful UV radiation from the sun. You may think that if it’s cloudy that you don’t need sunscreen, but that’s not true. Skin cancer can be caused by exposure to UV rays so don’t forget this very important skin care tip.8. Exercise and get plenty of sleep. Both are essential for great skin and overall health. Lack of sleep and lack of exercise are both causes of sagging skin and wrinkles. Both exercise and sleep will help you to overcome any stress in your life which makes you look and feel better.9. Don’t ignore skin conditions. Be sure to pay attention to your skin and if you notice any abnormalities, consult your dermatologist immediately. It’s best to find out what the condition is before you start self-diagnosing and treating it yourself, which could lead to more problems.10. Try to beat stress. Though we all have stress in our lives, there are ways to lessen it. Understand that stress is harmful in so many ways to your health and to your appearance. It will harm the skin as well so be mindful of this and try to do things to help lessen the stress in your life.