Who to Watch in Workplace Wellness in Ireland in 2019

Who to Watch in Workplace Wellness in Ireland in 2019

There’s been some really positive progress in the health promotion landscape in Irish workplaces in recent years. Companies are slowly beginning to move away from box ticking wellness initiatives and two healthy workplace accreditations have been launched (with a third on the way) that promote a longer-term approach to workplace health promotion. There’s still a considerable way to go if we want to catch up with our international counterparts, particularly in the US, but there’s no doubt we are on the right path.

I see 2019 as an important year for health promotion in Irish workplaces.  I’d love to see Ireland lead the way and develop a world class ecosystem for workplace health promotion and I don’t see why we can’t. I’m doing my bit with the Workplace Wellness Ireland community which is going from strength to strength with a very exciting schedule of events planned this year.

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Why Ireland’s Business Leaders Should Follow Operation Transformation

Why Ireland’s Business Leaders Should Follow Operation Transformation

It’s a new year and an opportunity for a new beginning. A fresh start. Lots of people have been setting goals and resolutions for the year and a great many of them will be health related. New year resolutions often face their stiffest test on the cold long January days when we’re back at work after the festive break. That’s why I always love to see the hugely underrated Operation Transformation programme back on RTE. There’s no other show that I know of that provides so much positivity and inspiration to those looking to make healthy lifestyle changes. The show is a brilliant motivator for people up and down the country looking to introduce (and stick with) healthy behaviour changes at the start of the year.

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Video Highlights of Workplace Wellness Ireland Launch Event

Video Highlights of Workplace Wellness Ireland Launch Event

Delighted to be able to share the highlights of the launch event for the Workplace Wellness Ireland community which took place on September 4th. I’m busy preparing for our next meet up on November 13th so it’s nice to reflect back on what was a really great evening. For a full review of the September 4th event you can click here.

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Review of The First Workplace Wellness Ireland Meet Up

Review of The First Workplace Wellness Ireland Meet Up

On Tuesday September 4th we held the inaugural meet up of the Workplace Wellness Ireland community at the Bank of Ireland in Grand Canal Square in Dublin. I was blown away by the attendance and by the positive feedback following the event. The atmosphere and energy in the room was something I had hoped for so it was extremely pleasing to see my expectations not only met but exceeded on the night. Thanks to everyone that came along and contributed to the positivity.

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Schedule Exercise Into Your Working Day

Schedule Exercise Into Your Working Day

Finding the time, energy and motivation to exercise is one of the great challenges faced by the busy office worker. I've found that juggling work, family and social commitments with your health goals requires dedication, planning and preparation. I haven't discovered a 25th hour in the day but there are some simple tactics that I employ to find the time to exercise during my working week.

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Workplace Wellness: Where Do We Start?

Workplace Wellness: Where Do We Start?

There’s quite the buzz about workplace wellness at the moment. Organisations of all sizes are switching on to the fact that healthy and happy employees have a positive impact on company culture, morale, engagement and productivity. Ensuring the wellbeing of staff can increase employee attraction and retention, reduce levels of absenteeism, improve team spirit and reduce costs. Why then are so many companies reluctant to start a wellness programme? And for those that have started, how come so many of them have been unsuccessful?

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Why Is Wellness So Important?

Why Is Wellness So Important?

An overview of Irish demographics tells us that the average age of Ireland’s population will increase significantly over the next 20 years (by as much as 85%). It is projected to be the fastest increase in Europe. Add to this the projected upturn of 40% in the incidence of chronic disease between 2007 and 2020 (cancer is now categorised as a chronic disease). This will result in increasing healthcare costs and significant impacts not just on the healthcare systems but also for our health in general.

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Workplace Wellness Ireland

Workplace Wellness Ireland

Health promotion in the workplace has come a long way in Ireland in recent years. The vast majority of employers that I work with now appreciate the fact that a yoga class and a lunch and learn here and there does not constitute a wellness programme.

The reason why organisations introduce wellness initiatives is slowly changing too. Historically the end goal was simply to save money; to minimise absenteeism rates and to reduce health insurance premiums. Cost benefit is still a factor for many and a properly executed wellness programme WILL deliver long term savings but I don’t believe this is the main driver any more.

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Workplace Wellbeing Certification - The KeepWell Mark

Workplace Wellbeing Certification - The KeepWell Mark

It’s an exciting time for workplace health promotion in Ireland. Businesses are coming around to the fact that healthy workers are happier and more productive. This trend has not gone unnoticed by a number of organisations. Ibec, the business and employer association, launched a national workplace wellbeing accreditation called the “KeepWell Mark” late in 2017. Later this month the team behind Great Place to Work are launching a new programme called “Healthy Place to Work” and the government body Healthy Ireland are working on a project called the “Healthy Workplace Initiative”. So within a 12 month period it looks likely that we will have gone from no recognised certifications to three separate bodies offering an award for workplaces with a real heath focus in Ireland.

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Radio Interview - Health and Wellness in the Workplace

Radio Interview - Health and Wellness in the Workplace

It was a real pleasure to chat with Mary Mullins from the In Business show on Radio Kerry during the week. We spoke about the role employees and employers have to play in making workplaces healthy places to spend time in, we discussed the recommended physical activity guidelines for healthy adults and we even had time to consider what the office of the future might look like with Fitbit's Dublin offices providing the inspiration for that.

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