The link between exercise, nutrition and mental health on an individual's overall wellbeing is clear to see. You can't change one without affecting the others –– be that positive or negative. Looking at today's workforce, it could be argued that stress, limited physical activity and unhealthy eating habits within office environments are, together, having a detrimental effect on wellbeing.
In the UK, a staggering 14.3 million days of work are lost each year due to stress, depression and anxiety, according to Public Health England. Couple this with the fact that 81% of UK office workers spend between four and nine hours each day sitting at their desk (67 sedentary days per person each year), more must be done to educate workers about wellbeing in the workplace.
In order to gain a well-rounded understanding of a healthy lifestyle, Nick Owen – Founder of What Food based at Club Workspace China Works – and Michael Adu – Founder of Stress-Less Fitness, also based at Club Workspace China Works – suggest approaching all aspects of wellbeing, rather than simply focusing on one.
The two met at Club Workspace China Works in Vauxhall to explore each aspect: fitness, nutrition and mental health. With Michael's experience working on cognitive strengthening, nutrition, physiological health and physical exercise; and Nick's training as a nutritionist with a portfolio of clients from individuals, workplaces, gyms, and learning institutions such as University College London; the two came together to exchange their knowledge.
Firstly, both agreed that before an individual attempts to change their lifestyle, they must find out where they stand as every person's approach to wellbeing must be unique to them.
But where do you start?
Measure your heart rate variability
Michael uses HeartMath technology to measure an individual’s Heart Rate Variability to decipher whether they are in state called coherence. This is a balanced state between parasympathetic (rest & digest) and sympathetic (fight or flight). With this measurement you can see how your body reacts to stress and learn how to cope with it better. “As the world becomes a harder and more stressful place to live, we all need to build our mental strength and resilience as well as take care of our bodies," says Michael.
Measure your body composition
Using the InBody 270 Machine, Nick works with his customers to measure and track their body composition, muscle and fat mass. "This will give you a far more insightful and relevant measurement beyond just scale weight and BMI (Body Mass Index)," says Nick. “It’s important to focus on losing body fat, rather than losing weight. Because someone could lose weight by losing muscle which isn't healthy.”
Take the mental health test
"At Stress-Less Fitness and Consulting we aim to build minds and muscles together,” says Michael. Understanding your mental health and biological age will help you hone your individual cognitive strengthening and the areas that would be helpful to focus on. Take the test here.
As the saying goes; start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. Now you know where to start, you can press reset on wellbeing and set realistic and achievable goals to kick those unhealthy habits once and for all and start your journey towards better wellbeing.
For more information on how to measure your heart rate variability and to take the mental health test, head to Stress-Less Fitness. To measure your body composition with Nick’s InBody 270 machine, visit What Food London or contact Nick Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep an eye out for the next instalment of our wellbeing series in which Nick Owen and Michael Adu will explore the relationship between exercise and mental health in further detail to give you a better understanding of how to get the most from your next workout. Until then check out other wellbeing articles such as Eat Mindfully, Can't Move, Won't Move, and Shape up With Science (Not for Summer)
Do you like the idea of collaborating with like-minded professionals? See what our network of Club Workspace co-working environments can provide your business. In an atmosphere designed for new ideas to be shared and grown, Club Workspace is the perfect base to springboard your business to new heights with no limits.