Employee Wellbeing in Lockdown

Have you started to plan for 2022 yet?

In the current hybrid model of work it seems that workplaces are toggling between reactive wellbeing initiatives versus strategic long term planning with an eye on 2022.

My colleague, Josh Lambert, has decided to write up an eBook (download in here) to simplify the required steps to setting up a successful and engaging wellbeing program to suit the current working environment.

If listening is more your thing, we’ve also made our debut on the Well Workplaces Podcast in Season 2. In this episode, Josh talks about what’s working in employee wellbeing right now, he discusses some of the common themes and issues with clients and shares some great leadership examples at the moment in large and SME clients.

Please have a listen or share the episode with a colleague. It might stimulate some discussion and ideas for 2022.

Check it out on Spotify or Apple Podcast

All caught up on our podcast?

NEW RELEASE Ep 23 Re-energise your work day with Lizzy Williamson, Founder of Two Minute Moves 

Ep 22 Tired but wired with Natalie McCann, Executive Sleep Coach

Ep 21 Are you languishing right now? with Dr Natalie Flatt, Clinical Psychologist

Overcoming social anxiety and finding reflection

Overcoming social anxiety and finding reflection in 2020 – Dr Natalie Flatt PhD

Do you find time to reflect at the end of the day?

In this Live on Linkedin, Tom Bosna and Dr Natalie Flatt team up to talk about overcoming social anxiety and finding reflection.

This conversation is all about creating a healthy discussion around mental health in the workplace and in the wider community.

Listen out for:

  • The insight into what actually is social anxiety and how this has been going in 2020
  • The four key questions you should ask yourself everyday to reflect and build confidence

If you are an individual in need of support, check out https://connectmymind.online/

If you are a workplace and interested in exploring how you can support your workforce, head across to Connect Psych and review their innovative solutions for workplaces.

About us:

Well Workplaces is a movement by Pinnacle Health Group.  Our vision is for a world where workplaces lead and create healthier communities.  Well Workplaces podcast has been designed to create genuine wellbeing conversations in the workplace and share expert knowledge in practical ways.

Connect with Well Workplaces on LinkedIn or connect with hosts Tom Bosna and Josh Lambert and we would love your feedback so please rate us on Apple podcast so we can be of service to you.

Diet Myths with our Corporate Dietitian

Diet myths with Gemma Monaghan, Corporate Dietitian

When it comes to diet, nutrition and cooking, everyone is an expert!

In a world full of misinformation, it can be hard to find the right information and make the right choice.  When it comes to food and eating healthy, we all know what we need to do, but sometimes new diets come up in mainstream media that we see and need to understand.

Our guest, Gemma Monaghan is an accredited practising Dietitian, with qualifications in low FODMAPs and spends her working week educating corporates on all things nutrition.

In Episode 11 of Well Workplaces Podcast, our guest Gemma shares her insights on:

  • Her journey into Dietetics and Nutrition and love for cooking
  • What Intermittent Fasting is all about and the pros and cons
  • How Keto diet is one of diets she talks with clients about
  • Alternative milks and there nutritional value
  • The future trends in food, dining and nutrition

This was an interesting conversation with some great science to back it up.

About us:

Well Workplaces is a movement by Pinnacle Health Group.  Our vision is for a world where workplaces lead and create healthier communities.  Well Workplaces podcast has been designed to create genuine wellbeing conversations in the workplace and share expert knowledge in practical ways.

Connect with Well Workplaces on LinkedIn or connect with hosts Tom Bosna and Josh Lambert and we would love your feedback so please rate us on Apple podcast so we can be of service to you.

Is resistance training the best anti-ageing intervention on the planet?

Is resistance training the best anti-ageing intervention with Senior Physiotherapist, Riain Casey


We have all seen Physiotherapists for many different reasons. Sometimes, it’s simply for pain relief and other times it’s for rehabilitation of an injured area. For modern day health practitioners, though, there is a growing body of evidence that points towards the benefits of exercise therapy in maintaining optimal health and preventing a range of chronic diseases. In fact, almost 25% of the worlds adults are classified as physically inactive – it’s a big issue! It’s also interesting that almost everyone knows that exercise is good for them, but some of us simply don’t get enough movement in our day.

This is where our expert Riain Casey comes in.  Riain is the definition of a modern-day health practitioner that sees his role as a Physiotherapist, as much more than pain relief. In fact, he defines his purpose as to facilitate movement through physical activity promotion.

The big question for Riain is: How should we train and why?

In Episode 5 of the Well Workplaces Podcast, Riain Casey drops so many knowledge bombs on all things resistance training and physical wellbeing.

  • Riain shares his journey from Ireland to Australia and his experience in treating people in various lie stages from couch potato, to athletes, corporate and elderly.
  • He shares a story about realising the huge benefits of strength training during University and how he worked with one of Irelands most respected strength and conditioning groups to learn his craft.
  • Riain discusses how resistance training in its basic form can be done by most of us with very little equipment
  • He talks about the top five ingredients for any resistance programs
  • He shares the analogy that resistance training is the best anti-ageing cream going around and all the amazing benefits
  • Riain talks about how in 2020, he has had to adapt and pivot in his Physiotherapy role and how soft skills and exercise prescription have allowed him to navigate telehealth and corporate programmes

This was such a detailed and passionate discussion between Riain and Tom that I think you’ll agree that we should unpack further topics from this man.

To connect with Riain Casey please head across to @the_phit_physio on Instagram and follow his great content and expert tips on all things wellbeing and physical health.

About us:

Well Workplaces is a movement by Pinnacle Health Group.  Our vision is for a world where workplaces lead and create healthier communities.  Well Workplaces podcast has been designed to create genuine wellbeing conversations in the workplace and share expert knowledge in practical ways.

Connect with Well Workplaces on LinkedIn or connect with hosts Tom Bosna and Josh Lambert and we would love your feedback so please rate us on Apple podcast so we can be of service to you.

The Right to Disconnect with Dr Kristy Goodwin – Digital Wellbeing Expert

Chasing dopamine and the lost art of deep work with Dr Kristy Goodwin

 

 

Are your workplace technology tools making you more productive?  The digital tools that we use in the workplace such as emails, social media platforms and project management software are designed to enhance our output and productivity.  Or at least, that’s how they are sold!  I would argue, that the technology we rely on is reaching peak saturation levels and is now making us more socially isolated, less effective and “dumberer” – see what I did there?

How did that happen?

Do you often end up down a digital rabbit hole wondering how you got there?

Introducing Dr Kristy Goodwin, one of Australia’s leading digital wellbeing and peak performance experts.  Kristy is a researcher, author, speaker and media commentator who provides science-backed solutions to optimise wellbeing and productivity in a digital world.

In this fascinating discussion, Dr Kristy Goodwin, educates us on some of the ways digital wellbeing is impacting our lives and how we can improve our overall wellbeing with some evidence based strategies.  In this episode listen out for Dr Kristy Goodwin’s tips and advice on:

  • Her passion for her ‘why’, her research and why the digital wellbeing message is important to her
  • Remote working and the latest research
  • The neuroscience of multi-tasking
  • Some of the key strategies to improve digital hygiene
  • Future of work – the major need for leaders to drive the communications strategy and message and how organisations can lead healthier teams with some simple strategies

To connect with Dr Kristy Goodwin head across to https://drkristygoodwin.com/ and follow her awesome content on her social media channels – LinkedIn and YouTube. Be sure to download her e-book on Five Digital Productivity Hacks.

About us:

Well Workplaces is a movement by Pinnacle Health Group and our vision is for a world where workplaces lead and create healthier communities.  Well Workplaces podcast has been designed to create genuine wellbeing conversations in the workplace and share expert knowledge in practical ways.

Connect with Well Workplaces on LinkedIn or connect with hosts Tom Bosna and Josh Lambert and we would love your feedback so please rate us on Apple podcast so we can be of service to you.

Well workplaces

Founder well-being: Check your health, before you wreck yourself!

This is a public service announcement for founders and the startup community.

Let’s be real about the treacherous lifestyle you have chosen. It is a roller coaster, one with many big dips, ups and loop the loop moments. Your friends and family think you are insane but you secretly love it. You know the startup grind requires courage, decisiveness and endurance.

Do you think you’re ready for the physicality of the startup grind?

Let me elaborate with a story about my mate Joe, an amazing entrepreneur from Melbourne.

Joe is a larger than life personality by nature, very likable and an extremely confident networker. Over the period of twelve months he successfully launched a health technology platform to the market and as any entrepreneur would do, he drove sales and joint ventures quickly.

Joe set the pace of the business and in year two his team grew very rapidly. Running on enthusiasm, adrenaline and excitement Joe started to find it a little difficult to switch off and get enough sleep. But there was no time for rest, exercise or time zone adjustments as he expanded into Singapore where he spent three months raising funds, networking and leading product expansion.

Joe’s friends and family were so happy for him, he was an overnight success until one night the fast-paced lifestyle had caught up with him. After an intensive Asian banquet for dinner and a few beers, he suddenly felt dizzy, had severe chest pain, headache and serious stomach pain.  Joe was instantly scared and worried.

Was it the dumplings, beers or a heart attack?

Let’s talk about three key components of well-being that Joe has neglected.

Don’t Forget to Fuel the Fire

An internal fire burns inside the heart of an entrepreneur like Joe.

It burns, it burns and then it runs out. What I failed to mention was that Joe was living on a diet of long macchiatos and espressos during business meetings (at least four a day). For dinner, uber eats was too convenient, not to mention pizza deliveries and coke zero for all-nighters with the team!

With so much caffeine and fast food fuelling his lifestyle, Joe was literally running on empty and the stomach pain was the symptom of a greater issue, his diet.

To the startup community I highly recommend consuming at least three glasses of water for every coffee you consume. Coffee in any shape or form is a stimulant, anti-diuretic and acts on the central nervous system to increase alertness.  Combining high stress work with caffeine and foods high in sodium, carbohydrates and fat will result in weight gain, sluggishness and decrease your performance. If you are a go-getter and want to excel like Joe, you want to consume foods rich in protein and low glycaemic index (GI).

Low GI foods can improve your ability to concentrate, sustain energy and make you feel fuller for longer – curbing the carbohydrate cravings such as pizza. Pick the right fuel for your engine.

No rest for the wicked

Founders are not immune to sleepless nights, feeling worried and working long hours. The founder lifestyle typically demands plenty of travel, early morning starts and late-night finishes, sleep becomes a liability.

In the case of Joe, his sleeping patterns became erratic. Over time, his sleeping pattern got so bad that four hours a night was considered the norm! Sleep can affect every part of your life. Your mood, energy and even your weight can all be influenced by the amount of sleep you achieve.

For founders, committing to healthy sleeping habits such as going to bed and waking at a consistent time is essential. Seven to nine hours minimum a night for healthy adults is required to perform well. Stay wicked but make sure you rest!

High intensity lifestyles require physical resilience

With less than ideal amounts of sleep and terrible food habits – Joe did not feel up for exercise. Prior to launching his business, he was an F45 member and attended six times a week. It was cult-like! His preference for fitness was high intensity and variety was important. But with the success of his business and growing travel requirements, even getting out for a short run became difficult.

Founders, please know one thing, the more physically active you are the greater your ability to think and create. If time is your excuse, then do a short burst of high intensity exercise for fifteen minutes daily. Being a brilliant entrepreneur requires creativity and resilience. Physical fitness will aid and improve these two areas dramatically.

Summary

Founders, you have chosen a difficult and challenging lifestyle. Fuelling, resting and staying fit will enhance your performance and help you achieve your dreams. Don’t be like Joe and burn out over dumplings and beers you are better than that!

Live the founder lifestyle with Pinnacle Health Group

Being a founder means committing to your own way of doing things. But you’ve got to be healthy to do it. Be a leader that pushes for better by making sure you’re making wellness and health a part of what you’re building by reaching out to Pinnacle Health Group today.

You can get in touch with the team at hello@pinnaclehealthgroup.com.au or call 1300 2 PINNACLE today.

Are you an active couch potato?

Active couch potato

It is no secret, sitting for prolonged periods is NOT good for us.

With phrases like ‘sitting is the new smoking’ being used in the media, it’s important to really understand the key issues and be able to make informed decisions about how to look after ourselves at home and the workplace.

In 2015, I wrote a small article: 3 easy ways to create movement opportunities at work. At that point in time, new research findings were coming out from the University of Queensland that had caught my attention. According to their study into the effects of sitting for prolonged periods, even when adults met the recommended physical activity guidelines, the positive effects of that exercise were often negated by the amount of time they spent sitting.

In other words: Do you enjoy a High Intensity Training (HIT) session three times a week at the gym, but go back to work and sit like a desk jockey for the remaining 40 hours of the week? Then you are potentially sitting in the active couch potato seat and are not capitalising on opportunities for incidental movement in the workplace.

In 2018, the research continued to show that sedentary behaviours are strongly linked to negative health outcomes such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular, metabolic risks and premature death. The fact that all of the above are preventable is what is really concerning to me!

Based on my research and key learnings from the WELL Building standards study and Movement concept advisory, I recommend three easy solutions to avoid becoming an active couch potato.

Workplace Design

The future of work is technology enabled, hyper connected and agile in design. Gone are the days where you sit at the same desk every day and sit in meetings all day.

Modern workplaces are designed for movement. To help you figure out how your workplace stacks up, consider these questions:

Are your locker, printer and meeting rooms all a walk from where you spend the majority of the day?

Does the workplace have a wellness or fitness centre with exclusive deals for staff?

Are standing desks or active workstations available in break out areas?

If you said yes to all of the above – you are in a well workplace. The key question is are you making the most of the design?

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

As an astute observer of human behaviour and neuroscience enthusiast, it really bothers me when I see people walking with their phones glued to their hand in the early morning. I can see the phone lighting up like a Christmas tree with rapid push notifications jumping out of the screen. When you observe this happening, it really looks like a wave of anxiety, and I worry for the person’s brain and performance.

To address getting past this roadblock, I believe that planning your work and working your plan is essential. That means being diligent with your time management, and working hard to avoid having your time and attention sapped by unnecessary distractions.

Encourage Your People To Get Moving

Movement is great for your performance, mental health and resilience. If it were a pill everyone would be doing it! At Pinnacle Health Group, our teams utilise the walking meeting, pilates hour or exercise club to keep performance and morale high. This type of team activity is planned and organised to get the teams together once a week.

For anyone interested in learning about the neuroscience of brain function at work, I’d highly recommend the book titled “Your brain at work” by David Rock. It is for those of you who are interested in surviving and thriving in the modern workplace.

You Have To Take The Stairs

A wise person once said, there is no elevator to success – you have to take the stairs. You will see it every morning, there are people who take the elevator and those who take the stairs.

Choose the latter every time and this will improve your incidental movement output significantly.

In the modern workplace and cities of the future, active exterior design is critical to influencing physical engagement levels of the community. A nice practical resource on this topic is the walk score.

Summary

Movement is medicine for the mind and body with tangible returns on investment!

We spend 90% of our time indoors and one third of our lives at work. The great opportunity here is incidental movement – make the most of your time.

Learn more with Pinnacle Health Group

Sometimes all it takes is a reminder, but other times I’ve found that making a change takes effort. Our Physiotherapists are experts at designing exceptional treatment plans and have a wide range of treatment options available to you. Don’t delay in booking online today, as the longer you leave your sitting habits the more resistant they become! Experience the absolute Pinnacle in health care with Pinnacle Health Group.

Why the CEO Should Be the Most Physically Active in the Company

By Tom Bosna – Managing Director

Over the past year I have had the pleasure of working with some truly inspiring CEOs and senior leaders in progressive and innovative Australian businesses.

I’ve been blown away by the commitment to wellbeing that I’ve seen. Being leaders in their company, the example that each of these individuals are setting for their people has made a very real impression on me.

Firstly, for the fact that they are investing the time in energy in bettering the lives of their workers. But also, that they are each treating wellness as more than just a people strategy. It has been so encouraging to see leaders take a real interest in creating a culture that cares and creates healthier individuals.

One of the biggest trends I have noted in my experience is that when the CEO and senior leaders are physically active – they statistically have a more engaged workplace and healthier company profile.

While the benefits of being physically active are pretty clear as mentioned in my previously articles – reduced risk of stroke, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression and some forms of cancer. The benefits of having a physically fit and active CEO and senior leadership team are ground-breaking. In practical terms, the ripple effect on the entire organisation is positively linked with great performance and engagement. So, let’s dive in…

 

3 reasons senior leaders should be the most physically active in the organisation

 

Performance Perks

The organisations that had physically active leaders have been found to be more satisfied with their own performance as a team. With a leader that exercised at least five times a week for over 30 mins at moderate exertion, researchers noticed that employees worked smarter and had reduced rates of absenteeism compared to the less active teams.

In my opinion, if the CEO is physically active and is able to discuss the benefits openly in conversation, the entire organisation can benefit. The physical, social and psychological pillars of the organisation can all be positively influenced by the example that an active CEO can set. From a performance perspective, active CEO’s enjoy greater performance across the wider group with case studies revealing higher workforce resilience scores compared to inactive CEO cohorts.

 

Psychological Safety

One of the greatest tasks of the CEO is to create an environment where employees feel psychologically safe. Whilst, the usual focus here is on mental health, I’d like to divert to talk about creating a culture of individual empowerment.

In my dealings, the more physically active CEOs and senior teams have had a much healthier approach to work. Giving their people the freedom to self-manage their workload and leaving space for more flexible working arrangements. Physically active CEO’s seem to trust their workers more, helping to create a culture of psychological safety. We have seen this phenomenon in our corporate wellness centres where staff can access our wellness services whilst at work. Whether that be a Yoga class, a Physiotherapy appointment or a skin check – all is encouraged in a safe culture of wellbeing.

 

Wellbeing champions – the ripple effect

In my consulting work, I have seen CEO’s with teams ranging in size from 50 all the way through to 5000 who have built physical activity into the culture. In one organisation, the core values were created with wellbeing being a key focus – and the subtext being – ‘be the change you want to see’ – how remarkable is that!

With physical fitness being a key pillar for this organisation, organically the CEO and senior leaders have created a culture of wellbeing champions.

One senior leader reported that in their team a team manager of 300 organically started a running group for the Melbourne half marathon. The leader noticed his team drinking too much coffee and sitting for too long and was fed up! The team manager had lost a significant amount of weight in the companies group fitness challenge two years prior and had wanted the team to feel the benefits they had experienced themselves.

Creating wellbeing champions is the mecca of all wellbeing strategy and engagement. The CEO’s who are physically active create a ripple effect of influence and it is embedded into the company culture.

 

The take home!

Physically active CEOs and leaders are high impact individuals, their teams perform better and they create a legacy of wellbeing champions. Get moving, lead from the front and enjoy the ripple effect.

 

Lead from the front – with the help of the Pinnacle Health Group

Creating a workplace culture that encourages the best in everyone doesn’t have to be a battle – not when you commit to leading from the front. If you are interested in learning more about what we do at Pinnacle Health Group to help companies like yours encourage wellness in their people, get in touch by filling out a wellness enquiry form today.

The Sports Injuries That Are Much More Common In Female Athletes

Low section of sportswoman suffering from knee pain while sitting on track during sunny day

Certain sports injuries are much more common among female athletes than their male counterparts. This includes everyone from girls participating in sports at school to professional female athletes. There are specific injuries that are more likely to occur to women, and a variety of reasons that could explain why.

The Injuries That Are More Common for Female Athletes

Many of these different sports injuries are common in both women and men, but are slightly higher among the former:

  • Concussions
  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee injuries, including ACL tears and ligament damage
  • Shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff problems and instability
  • Stress fractures, especially in the foot or lower leg
  • Plantar fasciitis (small tears in the support tissues along the arch and heel of the foot)

Why These Injuries Occur More Frequently for Female Athletes

According to experts, there are a variety of possible explanations for why these injuries could be more common among female athletes than male. However, these are closer to theories than solid, undisputed reasons. Most relate to the biological differences between men and women. For example, female sports players and athletes typically have:

A wider pelvis, altering the angle of the thighbone and alignment of the knee and ankle, potentially increasing the risk of sustaining injuries in those places.

The intercondylar notch, which is a groove in the femur that the ACL passes through tends to be smaller in women than men, making it more prone to injury.

Higher levels of oestrogen, which is theorised to weaken the ACL ligament. One study found that ACL injuries tended to be more prevalent in women during the menstrual cycle when estrogen levels were higher.

A combination of less developed quadricep and hamstring muscles as well as looser ligaments, which allows for greater flexibility but leads to an increased risk of ACL injury.

Female athletes also tend to move differently, which might predispose them to certain injuries. For example, when landing from a jump, female athletes tend to land more upright and with their knees closer together. When women suddenly change direction, they tend to do so on one foot (possibly due to a wider pelvis), while men tend to “cut” from both feet.

Female Athletes and Concussion

Research shows that young female athletes have nearly double the risk of concussion compared to male athletes. This includes a range of sports commonly played in Melbourne, including soccer and basketball. The reason for this is not clear. Possible explanations include differences in head and neck strength and hormonal differences.

It’s essential to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, as delaying treatment can prolong the recovery time. Research does indicate female athletes seek specialty medical treatment later than male athletes for sports-related concussions, and this delay may cause them to experience more symptoms and longer recoveries.

Reducing Sports Injuries Among Female Athletes

Fortunately, women can take steps to reduce the likelihood of suffering these sports injuries. This includes strengthening muscles, especially the hamstring and vastus medialis (muscles along the inside of the thigh and knee) to prevent ACL injuries. Training to change direction using both feet, training to land from jumps in a safer position, and targeted weight-lifting programmes can also help. Bracing can help limit ankle sprain while Orthotics (shoe inserts) may provide more support for those prone to plantar fasciitis or other foot injuries.

Visit Our Wellness Clinics in Melbourne

Pinnacle Health Group provides a range of services including physiotherapy, massage, clinical pilates, yoga and more. If you’re injured or need health advice, book an appointment for one of our centrally based health clinics or join a wellness class near you.

Quick Tips for Marathon Training

Runners run urban marathon in the the city

1 – Look Down

Test out the shoes and socks that you plan on wearing on race day. If the shoes aren’t your regular training shoes, wear them on at least one 12-15 km run at marathon pace. This test run will determine whether you’re likely to develop blisters or get sore feet–before it’s too late. If the shoes bother you on this run, get yourself another pair.
 

2 – Don’t get greedy 

Try to stick to your training plan in the weeks leading up to the race. You’re not cramming for a test so running more KM’s than you’re used to late in your training can hinder your performance rather than help it. 
 

3 – Taper

During your final week you should feel like you’re storing up energy, physically and mentally. Keep runs short, try to get good sleep and keep stress at bay. Get work projects under control, decline late night invitations and try to avoid long flights if possible. You should arrive on the start line feeling fresh and ready to smash your goals! 
 
The Melbourne Marathon is only a couple of weeks away. If you have any questions, niggles or need some more personalised advice get in touch today!