Nutrition Should Play a Core Role in Your Occupational Health Program
Mentally and emotionally, the demands of intense physical labor can create stress that leads to unhealthy behaviors and unsafe situations.
Building a foundation for good health begins with how we fuel and nourish our bodies. Just like a home or any other building, the foundation is essential to ensuring the structure can withstand the pressures it faces. For today’s workers, nutrition is a key component of establishing a solid foundation of health. Yet, too many industrial professionals overlook the critically important role that nutrition plays in keeping them safe on and off the job. To address this, more and more organizations are realizing their role in fostering healthier nutrition habits as part of larger workplace wellness initiatives.
After all, today’s modern worker is both highly skilled and highly challenged by the physical, mental and emotional demands of the job. Physically, many industrial workers suffer repetitive motion injuries, strains and sprains that proper nutrition and fitness can help prevent. Mentally and emotionally, the demands of intense physical labor can create stress that leads to unhealthy behaviors and unsafe situations. Addressing these challenges takes a proactive perspective. Proper nutrition and education around healthy choices is a cornerstone of that proactive approach and they key to preventing injuries, fostering wellness and safety and alleviating stress. Regardless of the industry, what workers eat has a major impact on occupational health and plays a vital role in preventing workplace injuries. Overlooking nutrition and its impact on health and wellness is a significant and costly mistake.
Here are tactics and practices employers and occupational health providers can utilize to create healthier workplaces through smarter nutrition programs.
Focusing on Personalized Wellness
Wellness is very personal and it’s important to offer a variety of programming ranging from condition management to holistic wellbeing. We know that more than 655,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease each year. That is one death every 36 seconds. Some behaviors and conditions that exacerbate heart disease include: obesity, unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol use, smoking and diabetes – all causes that can be addressed with personalized nutrition counseling. Unlike many other health conditions, heart disease impacts nearly every population and demographic and the intense and demanding physical work is associated with higher levels of cardiovascular risk.