Australia’s Top Five Unhealthiest Habits

David Contarini is Happening People Work Place Human Health Specialist Consultant. His newest program Nourish is a presentation which helps employees to make better health choices – to improve their well-being and vitality through smarter eating and the uptake of exercise in order to make a meaningful difference to work and life. Below is just a taster of what you can expect from David when he presents at your organisation

Congratulations Australians take a bow, we are at the top of our game.

Unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons.  A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals that, as a nation, we are fatter, lazier and unhealthier than ever before.

What does this mean for productivity in the workplace?  And what can you do about it?  If you sit in front of your computer screen most of the day then this blog by our workplace Health expert David Contarini gives you some food for thought.

Here is David & Happening People’s top 5 on improving your health:

  1. Less  Sugar
    The prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes is increasing.  Diabetes has more than doubled from 1.5 to 4.1 per cent in the last 20 years with the disease to become the number one health burden in Australia by 2030.  This debilitating metabolic condition is caused by insulin resistance – in other words, the body cannot transport sugar into the body cells because it doesn’t ’recognise’ it – so it stays in the bloodstream in high concentrations.  This can lead to blindness and kidney disease.  If you are concerned consult your GP.
  1. Move More
    We are doing less exercise.  Over the last decade the number of adults not getting enough exercise rose from 69 to 72 per cent with women less likely to exercise than men. In 2008, 69 per cent of men failed to get 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week.  By contrast, 76 per cent of women didn’t get enough exercise.  Cultural norms are probably restricting exercise opportunities for women at the expense of raising children and general home duties.  The up-side is that women are in a strong position to positively influence the entire family by preparing healthy meals and reinforcing healthy habits in children.  Getting at least 30 minutes of continuous exercise at least 5 times a week will help you be more alert and productive at work.
  1. Up the fruit & veg
    We don’t eat a healthy diet.   An incredible 91 per cent of adults don’t eat at least five serves of vegetables everyday – up from 86 per cent four years earlier.  Forty-nine per cent of the population don’t eat two serves of fruit compared with 46 per cent less than a half a decade previously.  We live in a ‘food swap’ – food is every-where and ‘every – when’.  We are lucky enough in Australia to be exposed to fresh, wholesome fruits and vegetables year round so making better food selections is a matter of choice rather than availability.  Vegetables contain vital nutrients for wellbeing – eat them often.
  1. Watch the waist
    We are getting heavier. In 2008, 61 per cent of Australian adults were overweight or obese compared to 57 per cent in 1995 with men generally fatter than women.  This situation is a worldwide problem with its own name – ‘The Globalization of Illness ‘.  People in developed nations are eating the same, living the same and now we are dying in the same way.  Due to our obesity heart disease and strokes are still Australia’s principle cause of death.  A situation that is largely preventable through regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  1. Spread it around
    Our kids are getting heavier.  One in four children is now overweight or obese and for the first time in Australia’s modern history, are now dying from this condition prior to their parents.  This is perhaps the most alarming statistic to emerge over the last 10 years.  The reason? Our children are eating foods high in energy yet moving less than ever before.  We all play a critical role modelling healthy eating and lifestyle behaviours with our peers as well as our next generation.

So, what to do? Simple.  If you are sitting in front of a computer screen all day (let’s face it, most of us do) get 30 minutes of continual exercise at least 3-5 days per week, eat vegetables and fruits every day, limit sugar and saturated fat intake and drink at least a litre of water each day.  Remember, good health happens not by default but by design.

If you want to see your workplace with healthier, happier and more productive people who will live longer call Happening People 1800 68 67 69  as our health and well-being program can also improve your bottom line.


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