What Employers Can Do To Alleviate Poor Health At Work

Lack of productivity among employees is often associated with ill health in the workplace and looking at the consequences, it comes as no surprise that more global brands are starting to recognize the impact that workplace health and wellness can have on productivity.

Looking at the high rate of obesity in the country, one has to wonder if this is the case for companies in South Africa.

A study conducted by the [1]Institute for Health Metrics revealed that obesity among South Africans is on the increase.

Another study by [2]Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that a huge number of South Africans are prone to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and cancer. It also found that young adults in their twenties are at a high risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

[3]Augment HR defines corporate wellness as the encouragement of healthy activities and a healthy lifestyle in the corporate environment. This is put forward as a means to reduce ailments in employees, mental and physical stress, and overall costs resulting from the sick day. Examples include the implementation of corporate wellness programs, individual sessions with wellness coaches, etc.

Given that people spend most of their days in the office, prioritizing corporate wellness should not even be a question. Focusing on wellness means a happier, healthier environment in your company.

[4]Benefits Pro offers the following reasons why companies need wellness programs:

  • Employee health affects organizational health: Employee wellbeing is critical to workplace health. A company with employees that are cared for and supported emotionally, physically and mentally can expect productivity.
  • It creates better results: A healthy working environment promotes creativity in employees.
  • Wellness and business strategy aligns: Corporate wellness is inarguably one of your company’s best assets. The healthier your employees are, the more successful your business will be.

According to [5]Everyday Health, implementing corporate wellness programs in your company can result in significant changes in the following areas:

-Reduced Hospital Admissions
-Weight Loss
-Quitting Smoking

If you’re still trying to find the right way to start a wellness program in your company, [6]Benefit News provides the following tips:

  • Customize a strategy for your workplace
  • Offer incentives to get employees to participate
  • Influence the workplace
  • Communicate your program (e.g. using digital channels)
  • Evaluate results and solicit input

Companies with good wellness programs prove the organization’s concern for their employees thus encouraging them to work harder and more efficiently.

It is clear that a corporate wellness program can bring multiple benefits to both small and large corporate businesses. As the world observes Corporate Wellness Week – if your company has not yet jumped on the bandwagon, perhaps it is time for you to also look into prioritizing corporate health.

Remember, implementing this program doesn’t necessarily need a major investment. You can also start small! A healthy employee is a focused, high performing employee!

 

 

[1] https://bit.atkasa.com/2IfvRXI

[2] http://www.hsrc.ac.za/uploads/pageNews/72/SANHANES-launch%20edition%20(online%20version).pdf

[3] https://www.augmenthr.com/blog/why-does-workplace-wellness-matter/

[4] https://www.benefitspro.com/2015/06/30/top-10-reasons-you-should-implement-wellness/?slreturn=20180522080840

[5] https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/reasons-corporate-wellness-programs-are-still-worth/

[6] https://www.benefitnews.com/list/5-tips-for-starting-or-refining-a-wellness-program#slide-2

Almost A to Z – Our top fruit picks

Winter is around the corner, thus it’s time to prepare our immune systems accordingly. Vitamin C is probably the one vitamin that’s most frequently mentioned during winter but you require all vital vitamins and minerals to build up your immune system.

Fruit aka nature’s candy, is the most delicious and nutritious way to consume vitamins. Let’s share some of our favourite fruits for winter from A to Z.

 

Apple: Antioxidants, flavonoids and fibre.

Banana: Potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate and vitamin B6.

Cantaloupe: Vitamins K, B1, B3, B6, fibre and magnesium.

Date: Vitamins A and K, potassium and zinc.

Elderberry: Flavonoids, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Fig: Vitamins A, B1, B2, calcium, iron and phosphorus.

Grapes: Antioxidants and flavonoids.

Honey dew melon: Vitamin C, potassium and thiamine.

Indian prune/plum: Fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium.

Jackfruit: High in protein, vitamin A and calcium.

Kiwifruit: Vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate and potassium.

Lemon: Vitamin C.

Mango: High levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C.

Nectarine: Vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fibre and potassium.

Orange:  Fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline content.

Pear: Phenolic compounds, folate, dietary fibre, copper, manganese, magnesium, as well as B-complex vitamins.

Quince: Vitamin C, zinc, potassium, copper and iron.

Raspberry:  Vitamin C, manganese, dietary fibre, rich in B vitamins, folic acid, copper, and iron.

Satsuma: Vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre.

Tamarind: Thiamin, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.

Ugli fruit:  Vitamin C and fibre.

Watermelon: Vitamins A, B6, C, magnesium and potassium.

Xigua: Vitamin C, vitamin B, Beta-carotene and dietary fibre.

Zuchinni: low score on the glycemic index,  potassium, manganese and  vitamin A.

 

Quick tips on how you can get the most out of these nutritious fruits

  • Squeeze some lemon juice into warm water and drink it every morning.
  • Ensure that you have fruit that is easily accessible. Keep a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter, pack some for lunch to snack on at work.
  • Add some berries or banana slices to your cereal or yogurt.
  • Make a smoothie! There are loads of delicious recipes that can be found online.
  • Enjoy fruit salad as a healthy dessert option.
  • Some fruit such as bananas, for example, can be turned into a great face mask when mixed with honey and oats.
  • Enjoy a melon, cantaloupe or grapefruit fro breakfast.
  • Add some fruit to your vegetable salad.

 

Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to try new fruits!

How Much Do You Know About Lupus?

Welcome To Lupus Awareness Month!

May is celebrated worldwide in commemoration of people living with Lupus and also raises public awareness about the disease. Join us and let’s be in support of those fighting against this wicked illness and put on a PURPLE color this month.

According to Lupus Foundation statistics, it is estimated that at least five million people around the globe are faced with the daily struggles of lupus disease.

Historically, most people died from lupus primarily from kidney failure.  However, over the years lupus treatment had seen improvement and about 80 to 90 percent of lupus patients can live a normal lifespan.

What is Lupus?

According to Lupus Foundation and World Health Organization, lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body including internal organs such as the heart and lungs as well as a person’s skin and joints.

Normally the human body’s immune system produces proteins called antibodies that prevent the body from catching bacteria, viruses and germs.

In Lupus, autoimmune is created, which means that the immune system fails to recognize the difference between healthy tissues, germs, bacteria or viruses.

Usually when that happens, the body’ defense system becomes overactive and creates auto (self) antibodies that destroys the healthy tissues in the body and then the body attacks itself.

Lupus is not a death sentence and yes it is not curable but it can be managed with medication and a healthy lifestyle. Many people around the world today live with the daily struggles of lupus. It can affect anyone, at anytime.

Over the years, we have seen many celebrities come out openly about their health conditions. Toni Braxton is one of the celebrities that disclosed her lupus diagnosis in 2010. She has lived with the disease for about 8 years now. Singer, Selena Gomez also came out about her condition in 2015 and K. Michelle was also recently diagnosed and many others such as Nick Cannon etc. This is proof that lupus can be treated and manageable.

According the South African Medical Students Association some of the general symptoms include the swelling of hands, feet, legs and around the eyes, hair loss, headaches, fever, abnormal blood clotting, painful joints, fatigue, pain in chest, sun or light sensitivity.

Lupus Foundation said the central nervous system such as depression, stress and anxiety seizures, strokes, headaches and memory loss can also contribute to the symptoms of lupus.

Lupus is believed to be a mysterious illness that cause myriad of symptoms that can ravage different parts of the human body.  Studies have never been able to exact any reason why people get the disease; however it has discovered that the disorder is mostly prevalent in countries such as Africa and North America as compared to Caucasians.

Research has also found that lupus strikes mostly women of color and women of childbearing age. However, that does not exclude the fact that men, children and teenagers can still get lupus too.

Some of the factors that have been discovered to may play a role in lupus include:

  • Gender and sex hormones which in most cases mean women are the ones who end up with lupus because of their estrogen
  • Hereditary, it has tendencies to appear in most families
  • Environment, sensitivity to the sun, and medications that make you sensitive to the sun , infections, colds and viral infections
  • Physical and emotional stress, exhaustion to the body such as surgery, pregnancy, physical injury or giving birth.

There are currently four diagnoses of lupus:

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – that is believed to account approximately 70% of lupus cases. With systemic lupus, a major organ or tissue in the body is affected such as the heart, lungs, kidneys or brain.  The disease may affect several other body systems hence it’s called systemic.

Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus- the disease usually presents itself as a dermatological disease and affects the skin. Exposure to the sun may trigger it making patients photosensitive. Usually the rash turns red, flat or slightly raised and may appear scaly.

Drug-Induced Lupus Erythematosus- is believed to be rare and can be caused by certain prescription drugs that are usually taken over a long period of time.

Lupus Foundation said, “the most common medications linked to this include isoniazid, hydralazine and procainamide yet there are common widespread other medications that are also known to trigger an onset of the disease.”

Signs and symptoms include joint pain, fatigue, inflammation of the heart, and muscle pain. It is advisable that people disclose the side effects of the medications they’re taking to their doctors.

Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus- is usually transferred from mother to child during pregnancy. It is a commonly rare condition in which the mother’s antibodies affect the fetus, which then weakens the immune systems to defend the body against the threat of viruses or bacteria.

Usually at birth, the child may have a skin rash, liver problems, low blood cell counts but the symptoms typically disappear in a few months with no lasting effects.

In South Africa, there are no accurate statistics on people living with the disorder; however many people are directly and indirectly affected by the disease.

We believe more work still needs to be done with raising awareness in the country.

At Healthshare, we are thankful for those who are working together in fighting this mysterious illness that kills bodies and raise awareness as well as funds for those directly affected.

Wear Purple Proudly This Month!

 

Secondhand Smoke Continues To Kill Innocent Souls – STOP SMOKING!

Did you know that about 860 000 people die each year as a result of being exposed to second hand smoke?

It’s a worrying fact and we at, Healthshare believe that if one person can quit smoking each day, potential lives can be saved: that of a smoker and non smoker. Let it start with you!

Smoking affects all of us and has a detrimental effect on our health and bodies. We are all directly and indirectly affected by it.

According to recent statistics released by the World Health Organization, tobacco kills more than 7 million people around the world each year with more than 6 million people dying as a result of direct smoking and about  890 000 from secondhand smoking.

 

What Is Secondhand Smoke?

Second hand smoke also known as environmental tobacco smoke or passive smoke comes from any tobacco product and it is the smoke breathed out by a smoker which fills the air.

Usually non smokers get exposed to secondhand smoking when there is a smoker in the room. Especially in confined and enclosed spaces like offices, restaurants and homes.

The danger about secondhand smoke is that it has no safe level of exposure; it contains the same harmful chemicals that smokers inhale.

Tobacco smoke is believed to contain more than 7 000 chemicals, including at least 70 that have the potential to cause cancer.

Secondhand smoke can cause a health scare for those who are inhaling it directly or indirectly. Non smokers can develop serious health complications which include but aren’t limited to lung cancer, heart diseases, heart attack and respiratory diseases from the smoke.

 

Some Of The Detrimental effects of tobacco smoke on non smokers:

Children who are often exposed to tobacco smoke are most likely to face health issues related to flu viruses such as asthma, colds, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections and may even develop cancer later on in their life. For children who are already asthmatic, the smoke may cause them frequent and severe attacks. The exposure may also contribute to cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

Pregnant women are likely to experience increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, give birth to low birth weight infants, chances of children being born with decreased lung function or have lung infections and thereby are at greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and may also cause reductions in fetal growth.

Smoking can rob you of many things beyond your health including family time, money and just being an existing partner, friend or parent.

The tobacco epidemic is believed to be one of the leading causes of preventable diseases and premature death. Although smoking rates have decreased from 33% to 21% over the recent years in South Africa, many people still continue to smoke daily. The only way to prevent your children, friends and partner from secondhand smoking is by throwing away that cigarette completely. Stop smoking!

We understand that getting rid of bad habits isn’t always an easy road, however we can help you. If you are suffering from tobacco addiction, call the National Council against Smoking: 011 720 3145 or follow the link for tips on how to quit smoking http://bit.ly/2qPu4lB

Take a step to saving your life and those around you today. Protect children and others who don’t smoke; don’t let the innocent souls die as a result of your smoke!

Say yes to World No Tobacco Day.

ASI Ukpo Hospitals x Healthshare Press Release

Signing

On the 9th of November 2017 representatives of ASI Ukpo Hospitals Ltd led by retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Ukpo, the Chairman, signed a management agreement with Healthshare Integrated Solutions Limited, a hospital management company based in South Africa.

The partnership is for the management of ASI Ukpo Hospitals consisting of ASI Ukpo Diagnostics & Medical Centre locations in Calabar and Ogoja and the soon to be commissioned ASI Ukpo Comprehensive Cancer Centre located in Calabar, Cross River State.

(Left to right: Brig. Gen. Anthony Ukpo and Mr. Frank Sullivan, Chairman of Healthshare Integrated Solutions)

(Seated – left to right: Brig. Gen. Anthony Ukpo and Mr. Frank Sullivan. Standing – left to right: Mr. Yegwa Ukpo, Executive Director TSI Property & Investment Holdings Limited; Miss Angela Arenyeka, Investments Manager TSI Property & Investment Holdings Limited; Dr. Evaristus Oboh, Consultant Oncologist ASI Ukpo Hospitals; Mr. Femi Ehindero, Chief Operating Officer Utopian Consulting International)

 

 

Fast facts about vitamin A

Vitamin A

Tips on how to learn sign language

sign language

It is World Hearing Day on the 3rd of March and we thought this year we’d create awareness around the day by giving you a few tips should you wish to learn the art of sign language or ASL (American Sign Language). Not only will you be able to better understand and communicate with deaf or hard-hearing people, your communication and listening skills will also improve as you are forced to reformulate ideas and check understanding.

 

  1. Be sure to take lessons from a professional. There are many so-called tutors and YouTube videos out there claiming to be experts in the art of signing however not all teaching sources necessarily teaches you the right hand gestures and expressions. As with any skill, the earlier you learn and the more you practice, the better.
  2. It’s no just about your hand gestures. Whe communicating in sign language, you are expected to make use of your arms, torso and facial expressions to better express yourself as well.
  3. Always remember, when you are communicating in ASL, you always perform your actions outwards with the palms of your hands facing the person you are communicating with.
  4. Learn counting and the days of the week at an early stage. Just like you would learn the basics in any language, knowing these basic signs will aid you in a lot of conversations involving times and dates and meeting plans.
  5. Practice makes perfect. Take a class or better yet try and work with somehow who has firsthand experience (no pun intended). You’ll notice that a lot of news programmes on television usually have a lady or gentlemen in the bottom corner translating the news in sign language, keep an eye on this person and see what you can learn.
  6. American sign language is not a direct translation of English. Sign language has its own regocnised grammar rules, syntax and more. It takes every bit as long to learn the art of sign language as it would take to learn a new language such as Spanish, for example.
  7. ASL is not universal. Be careful when first learning sign language as each country has its own version with regional variations exactly as you’d find in the English language.
  8. Watch yourself practice. Record a video of yourself while using sign language and watch the video to see whether you are performing each action correctly and identify what can be improved upon. Practicing in the mirror is also an easy way to see whether you are performing each sign correctly.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Just like any new skill, asking questions forms a natural part of the learning process. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for assistance should you get stuck on anything.

 

Don’t put pressure on yourself. Learning a new skill takes time and learning the gentle art of sign language is highly rewarding. Go on, learn one new word in ASL today in preparation to celebrate World Hearing Day on the 3rd of March.

The Benefits of cacao

Benefits of cacao

Chocolate is a thing most deem unhealthy and best steered clear of. With that being said, we believe anything consumed in moderation is good for you; nothing wrong with a bit of treat now and again.

However have we considered the main ingredient and its benefits? Let’s have a look at what cacao can do for you.

 

Release the euphoria

Raw cacao contains a mood booster called anandemide also known as the bliss molecule. This secret ingredient is the one that gives you the feeling of euphoria generally associated with chocolate. Raw chocolates are indeed delicious superfoods.

Protect your heart

Raw cacao is known to prevent cardiovascular disease with its anti-inflammatory antioxidant. The raw cacao found in chocoate can also reduce the risk of stroke and improves blood circulation.

Lower your blood pressure

Raw cacao is a wonderfully natural way in which to lower your blood pressure. Try adding about two tablespoons of raw cacao powder to hot water or a bit of milk for a rich and chocolatey drink.

Balances Hormonal Mood Swings

There is a reason why women tend to grab at chocolate during times of PMS. Cacao boosts brain levels of serotonin generally known as the good brain chemical. This superfood is also known to boost brain levels of calming hormones.

A bit of cacao a day might just keep those blood clots away

Research conducted at The Department of Nutrition at University of California have shown that cacao can thin blood and therefore prevent blood clots.

Cacao can help you lose weight

Cacao’s MAO inhibitors, often found in weight loss products, are known to reduce appetite thus drinking a hot cup of cacao before every meal can help you shed fat. It is advisable that you don’t drink more than fourty grams or four teaspoons of cacao daily.

Increased energy

Cacao contains a high concentration of magnesium which in turn helps increase energy levels and combat fatigue. Magnesium also protects against osteoporosis, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of getting type II diabetes. Two tablespoons of raw cacao powder contains 52 mg or 14% of the daily value of magnesium.

Theres more!

It has been found that the antioxidant properties of cacao can reduce insulin resistance and sensitivity in those with impaired glucose tolerance. Cacao also helps improve kidney and bowel function.

 

Why deny yourself the benefits and pleasure that raw cacao brings? Indulge a bit over those long weekends in March and love the benefits that come with this amazing superfood.