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Diary of a Sugar Free Feb

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In recent research into what makes a Good Day At Work we found that one of the underpinning factors to people’s capacity to be happy, healthy and thriving in the workplace is their physical and emotional energy levels.

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Are You Man Enough?

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The arrival of Men's Health Week brings with it an opportunity to think and reflect on any number of issues related to men and their health. I'd like to use the opportunity to talk about a key issue that has a profound effect on both the physical and mental health of men, one that isn't talked about enough. That is the issue of masculinity.

We know that men tend to compare themselves against a masculine ideal which values power, strength, control and invincibility. This is something that is played out across multiple touch points in a man’s life, from being told at an early age to ‘man up and don’t cry’ in the playground, to the tough guy heroes portrayed in TV and films, to telling your mates in a joking way to “toughen up”. Throughout their lives, society teaches our boys that they need to act tough, show strength and, effectively, be invincible.

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Looking After Men's Wellbeing At Work

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"Women seek help. Men die." - Angst & Ernst 1990

Organisations are increasingly recognising the need to have a clearly-defined wellbeing strategy in place. While some of these can be very sophisticated, they can sometimes fail to recognise the differences between men and women when it comes to mental health. Over the last few years, men’s health has come increasingly to the fore with recent research finding that men experience mental health differently to women.

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Men’s Health Week 2015 will be taking place between 15 and 21 June, giving employers the perfect opportunity to engage some of the most reluctant individuals in the wellbeing conversation: men.

It’s a discussion that’s not always easy to have in the workplace, but awareness initiatives like Men’s Health Week can be a great place to start.

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Q - How do you emphasise the importance of physical wellbeing within organisations that don't have a history of health and fitness provision?

Sally: Organisations investing in a wellbeing scheme for the first time are usually open to new ideas and we can work with them from the outset to design the most appropriate programme, and then match that with effective communication channels. Obviously this depends on the business, the internal structure and the individual employees, but events are key opportunities to get the message across. I am a familiar face for people to associate with sport and physical activity, and I tie this in with healthy eating messages in talks delivered at away days and conferences. Just telling people that physical activity helps with concentration, productivity and injury and sickness prevention isn’t enough – we like to get employees from all different levels within a company trying fun activities together. Once they’ve rediscovered how fun climbing or a game of netball can be they can feel the wellbeing benefit for themselves, and this inspires manageable lifestyle changes. Once employees are engaged with improved physical wellbeing on a personal level the wider scheme can capitalise on this.

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Cary CooperGood Day at Work™

The new wellbeing resources hub founded by @profcarycooper and Roberston Cooper. Join for FREE and access blogs, videos, downloads, podcasts and more.

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MD of Cary Cooper's business psychology firm, Robertson Cooper - for all things wellbeing, engagement and resilience at work.

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Professor Cary Cooper, Director and Founder of Robertson Cooper Ltd, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Manchester Business School.

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