Corporate Health: Measurement and Tracking Weight Loss

Accurate measurement is important for your staff to understand their own bodies. And if they want to lose weight, keeping track of how they’re doing can offer continued motivation and can ensure that they’re doing it in a healthy, sustainable way.

This blog looks at different ways to measure weight loss, and the tools that you could suggest to your staff to help them.


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At Nudjed, we’re a bit wary of using BMI (Body Mass Index) to measure weight loss – it can be inaccurate, especially as it doesn’t account for the difference between muscle and fat. Why not suggest your staff measure weight loss using waist to height ratio instead? Here’s an explanation of why it’s great and how to measure it.


(MyFitnessPal)

Keeping track of the exercise they’re doing and the food they eat is a great way for your staff to stay focused on their weight loss goals. MyFitnessPal is a free app that tracks all of this and more – it even tracks different food groups, encouraging users to eat a healthy, balanced diet. No more cabbage soup!


(Lifehacker)

This great article from Lifehacker covers the issues many people face when trying to track weight loss, the best methods for dealing with those issues, and tips for staying motivated. Why not share it with your staff?


Nudjed Health Resources are collections of online content and tools that offer simple, low-cost ways to improve specific areas of health. To discover which areas of health are affecting productivity in your organisation, check out Nudjed Insights. 

Understanding Presenteeism

  • Only 19% of British workers think stress is an acceptable reason to take time off work
  • 48% feel that their employers don’t care about their mental or physical health
  • Of those who have taken time off due to stress, only 5% admitted to their boss that it was stress-related
  • Presenteeism costs businesses between 1.8 to 2.5 times more than sickness absence
  • The cost of poor health to business is around £3000 per employee, per year

What is presenteeism?

Presenteeism refers to staff coming into work when they’re not fully healthy, meaning that they’re less productive and engaged than they would be normally. Presenteeism could be a result of minor illness, stress or other low-level mental health issues, or even something as simple as not getting enough sleep.

In some cases, presenteeism can be made worse by a workplace culture where staff don’t feel comfortable taking sick days. In the case of minor illnesses, many employees will choose to come to work if they have a cold – even though they’ll be less productive than usual, will take longer to recover, and run the risk of passing their illness on to other staff members!

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Stress is an especially big problem in this area. According to research from Benenden, only 19% of British workers think stress is an acceptable reason to take time off work. This means that many workers are pushing themselves to keep working, adding to their stress and potentially causing serious mental health problems for themselves. And what employer wants a workplace where everyone is overworked and frazzled?

Shockingly, the same study found that only 17% of British workers think that broader mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, are a good enough reason to take time off. There is a taboo around discussing mental health in the workplace that hugely contributes to presenteeism. 48% of those surveyed felt that their employer did not care about their mental and physical health, making them less likely to share problems. A YouGov poll commissioned by Mind found that, of those workers who had needed to take time off sick due to stress, just 5% admitted to their boss that it was stress-related.

Clearly, presenteeism is a big problem – and it may be a much bigger problem in your workplace than you realise.


What are the effects of presenteeism?

Presenteeism has a serious impact on the business bottom line, due to lost productivity. The exact impact is difficult to measure, but estimates range from 1.8 to 2.5 times the cost of absenteeism. Yes, you read that right – presenteeism is costing you twice as much as sickness absence and all it’s related costs! Our best calculations suggest that staff illness, including both presenteeism and absenteeism, costs your business £3000 per employee, per year (ask us about our Cost of Health Calculator for more on this).

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As well as the hard numbers, presenteeism could be affecting your workplace in a number of other ways. Work-related stress can cause physical illness in individuals when left untreated, including headaches, sleep disturbance, increased blood pressure, and mental illnesses including depression and anxiety – so a stressed employee who keeps working could lead themselves to long-term sickness absence. As for the organisation itself, staff who don’t feel looked after at work will be less engaged, affecting team dynamics and quality of work. High levels of presenteeism are typically linked with high staff turnover, poor timekeeping among staff, low morale, and more complaints and accident reports from staff.


So what can you do?

The first thing to realise is that, by reading this blog, you’re already taking an interest in your staff’s health – so you’re off to a good start! There are a number of ways you can support your staff and reduce presenteeism.

Mind have a great range of resources for employers, aimed at breaking taboos and creating workplaces that are supportive of those with mental health issues. If stress is a problem in your workplace (and let’s be honest, in 2015 we’re all pretty stressed), Mind have got a load of suggestions for helping your staff to communicate openly and honestly about their experiences.

Understanding your staff’s health is also a great first step to creating a happier, healthier workplace – and luckily, that’s what we specialise in at Nudjed! Visit nudjed.com, or talk to a member of our team, to find out how Nudjed Insights could help you to reduce presenteeism in your organisation.

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Presenteeism thrives in high-pressure environments with poor communication. By showing your staff that you care about their health and wellbeing, and providing opportunities for honest conversations, you can shift your company culture to one where everyone is as healthy, happy and productive as possible.


To learn more about how Nudjed Insights could improve health and wellbeing in your organisation, contact hello@nudjed.com or visit nudjed.com

 

We’re Seeking A Part-Time Office Manager

£18,000 – £24,000 (Pro-rata) Dependent on Experience

We’re seeking a part-time Office Manager (20 -24hrs p/wk) to join our friendly team and help to keep us organised as we grow!

You’ll be required to work 4 hours a day, Monday to Friday – we’re happy to discuss which exact hours, but this position would suit somebody that needs to work around school hours.

As Office Manager you will be responsible for facilitating the efficient functioning of the business through a range of administrative, clerical, financial and managerial tasks.

We’re looking for someone with experience, who is comfortable with the pressures of multi-task management and has a track record of delivering against deadlines.

Pro-Rata Salary – £18,000 – £24,000


What you get

The hard stuff:

  • A salary that we’ll review regularly
  • Flexible working hours
  • A shiny macbook, plus whatever else you need to do your job effectively
  • Central location with free drinks, subsidised lunches and showers

The soft stuff:

  • A relaxed but fast paced environment
  • Trust, respect and autonomy – your opinions count
  • Learn from a highly motivated and experienced team
  • Regular social events . We do stuff together because we like each other
  • A chance to be as healthy as you want to be – because that’s what we do

 

About Nudjed

We’re a fast growing tech startup, based in Cardiff, who are making health and wellbeing programmes better through data and automation. We’ve raised £350k in investment to date and we’ve been working with some of the biggest organisations in the UK to improve their health and wellbeing offerings. This is an opportunity to join us at an early stage in our journey.


 

About the Role

Area of activity Responsibility
Administration Implementing and maintaining procedures/office administrative systems

Booking transport and accommodation

Liaising with staff, suppliers and clients

Attending meetings with senior management where required

Keeping HR records

Maintaining and updating CRM systemFinanceUtilising financial packages for both accounts payable and accounts receivable

Providing basic financial information for senior management

Credit control and reconciliations

Processing of expensesDiary ManagementCo-ordination of senior management diaries

Organising Meetings

Arranging appointmentsOffice ManagementMaintaining an organised office environment

Managing hard copy and electronic filing systems

Manage dispatch and deliveries from Head Office

Ordering stationery and other office consumablesHealth & SafetyEnsure office environment complies with Health& Safety regulations

Responsible First Aid at Work representative

Key Attributes: Reliable

Flexible

Good interpersonal skills

Organisational skills

Communication skills

IT skills (Microsoft Office or equivalent)


Interested?

If this sounds like you, send an email, including your CV and relevant examples of your work to this friendly chap:

Warren Fauvel (Founder)

Email: warren@nudjed.com

Mobile: 07834 591 400

 

Nudjed Takes On Public Health

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We’ve got some exciting news to share! We recently won a contract with the NHS to deliver a three-year project aimed at improving the activity levels of women aged 14-40 in the Heads of the Valleys.

The project will include a specialist website, tailored digital comms campaign, multimedia content and local advertising, engagement events, collaboration with NHS departments, and evaluation using Nudjed’s unique surveying tools.

We’ll be undertaking research to plan the project over the coming weeks, with the launch scheduled for early 2016. Some interesting facts that are influencing our planning:

  • The NHS recommends that each person should complete 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, per week.
  • Work and family are key drivers for our target demographic, both because they limit the amount of free time people have, and because many women want to be healthier for their children’s sake.
  • Our recent project with Run 4 Wales, the 100 Club, has taught us a lot that we’ll be able to apply to this campaign. Watch out for our new white paper on this coming soon!

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Keep an eye out for updates on this project as it develops! In the meantime, if you fit into our target group – aged between 14 and 40 and living in the Heads of the Valleys – get in touch if you’d like to get involved!

Is your company ready for the National Living Wage?

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(Epayme)

With wages set to rise across the UK in April 2016, research from Credit Suisse predicts that profit margins will suffer – so it’s now more important than ever to ensure that your staff are as engaged and productive as possible. Investing in health and wellbeing could hold the answer.

Starting in April 2016, a new ‘national living wage’ of £7.20 per hour will be introduced for over-25s. This change will affect 6 million workers across the UK, who can expect a further payrise of 6% per year until 2020.

According to the Oracle Simply Talent Survey 2015, only 35% of employees currently feel engaged at work – which suggests that there’s plenty of room for improvement!

And, as Personnel Today pointed out, “More uniform minimum wages also mean that companies have to do more to differentiate themselves in order to attract and retain talent.” 

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(StartupStockPhotos)

So what can you do?

Investing in workplace health can improve engagement, reduce absence rates and boost staff retention (read the Nudjed white paper on workplace health here). Healthier employees are happier and more productive. But don’t just take our word for it!

“It’s not just about being a kindly or responsible employer. There are clear business benefits and a demonstrable return on investment. Great health and wellbeing packages will help attract and retain top talent and will help increase productivity and motivation in the workplace, while cutting down on days lost to illness.”

(People Management Industry Insight Report, 2015)



Nudjed can help you to create a healthier, happier team.

To learn more, visit nudjed.com

Working for Wellbeing in Wales

At Nudjed, we’re all about wellbeing. So you can imagine how enthusiastic we are about the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act, which was passed into law earlier this year.

The Act requires certain public bodies (including local authorities and health boards) to work to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of their areas.  This includes publishing wellbeing objectives, and operating with transparency in working towards those objectives.


(FDSD)

There are seven key goals that this Act is aiming to achieve:

  • A prosperous Wales
  • A resilient Wales
  • A healthier Wales
  • A more equal Wales
  • A globally responsible Wales
  • A Wales of cohesive communities
  • A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language

Of course, as a health tech company based in Cardiff, we’re particularly keen on the idea of building a healthier Wales! The Act makes it clear that many of these goals overlap; it’s hoped that progress can be made towards all of the goals simultaneously through collaboration between various public, private and voluntary bodies.


(Welsh Government)

An important concept described in the Act is the Sustainable Development Principle. This means that objectives and initiatives must consider the following factors:

  • Long term impact
  • Prevention of potential future problems (eg obesity, environmental issues)
  • Integration with other public bodies’ initiatives and goals
  • Collaboration with relevant parties
  • Involving those affected by initiatives in the decision-making process, and ensuring that the diversity of the area is reflected

This ensures that initiatives are responsible and take into account the impact that they could have on people living in Wales in the future.


We’re excited to see the impact that the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act has on Wales. As our clients include a number of Welsh health boards and local authorities, we’re ideally placed to support wellbeing initiatives – and we’re full of ideas and passion! It won’t be easy, but it’s encouraging to see such positive, constructive legislation coming into effect.

We look forward to helping to build a better Wales for future generations.

 

How to Make Yourself a Brain-Boosting Smoothie

Susan Hay is the editor of Thrive Magazine. After a high-pressured career in the corporate world and her own challenging journey with food, she set up Thrive Magazine to help others learn about healthier options in eating and lifestyle.

In this blog, she shares some super smoothie knowledge and an easy recipe for you to try!

(Young&Raw)


Smoothies seem to be on trend right now. There’s green, chia, fruit, vegetables – all kinds of things being blended up in all different types of fashionable gadgets. But is there any weight behind the health claims of smoothies? And how can you pack all your vitamins, minerals and nutrients into one tall glass, before breakfast?

Let’s think about what happens when you blend food. Blending starts to break down the fiber and protein within your fruit and veg. This effectively starts the digestion process outside of the body! However, the chewing of food is important for nourishment, and many processes in the digestive tract are only activated under the circumstance of chewing – so don’t go turning all your meals into smoothies!

So, is blending a good way to pack in your nutrients?

It’s a super quick way to get your 7 a day into your diet. Blend up some veggies, add some fruit and some natural plant protein and, hey presto! You’ve got your veg quota down the hatch in one go. Smoothies will have different benefits depending on what combination of fruits and veg you use – you can learn more about the various vitamins and minerals here.


(Young&Raw)

Here’s a brain-boosting smoothie recipe for you to try:

Add all of your ingredients to your blender and blend away until you have a smooth texture. Then just drink, and enjoy!


You can read more about eating for a healthy mind and body in Thrive Magazine, which is published quarterly both in print and online. Subscribe for £25 or buy single copies online here:www.thrive-magazine.co.uk

Thrive covers all aspects of health, nutrition and wellbeing. The perfect read if you’re on your own journey back to health!

Find more from Thrive on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Healthy Eating: It’s Your Time To Thrive

Susan Hay is the editor of Thrive Magazine. After a high-pressured career in the corporate world and her own challenging journey with food, she set up Thrive Magazine to help others learn about healthier options in eating and lifestyle. 

We asked Susan to share her thoughts on how to take the first steps to improving your health.

(Relished)


 

Being healthy can mean so many different things these days; having a healthy mind is just as important as being healthy and fit in body. In fact, I’m a firm believer that to have a healthy body you have to start with the mind.

It’s important to understand your own food journey and to get to grips with how you talk to yourself about food.

Our minds are unbelievably powerful and the thoughts we have day to day about food and our bodies have a direct impact on our health. That’s why it’s important to understand your own food journey and to get to grips with how you talk to yourself about food.

I don’t believe in using the words must, don’t or can’t when it comes to food – negative words and thoughts create negative feelings. If you have a negative relationship with food, you’ll always be battling against yourself.

Change the conversation around. When that little voice in your head says, “I want that cream cake but I’m not allowed it, it’s naughty,” change the dialogue and take back control. Switch it to, “I know I could have that right now, but I choose not to.”


 

Changing your health starts with small, achievable steps. That’s why diets don’t work – and if we’re honest, we all know it! As a society we’ve been dieting for centuries, and we’re now the most obese generation in recorded history – diets don’t work.

The key to change is to shrink your focus down. Have the main goal in mind, but concentrate on the small steps. We live in a society that can be overwhelming, and that constant feeling of bombardment makes us feel like things are impossible; and so we quit before we really try. The key to achieving your goal, whether it’s in health, fitness or even in business, is to shrink the focus down.

The key to achieving your goal is to shrink your focus down and concentrate on the small steps.

Be aware and mindful: the next small decision you make can take you a step towards what you want to achieve, or a step away.

And start eating. Yes, that’s right! The best way to ultimate health is to develop a healthy respect and excitement around food again. Food has the amazing ability to heal our bodies at a cellular level, and by choosing the right balance of healthy food types we can heal our cells, balance our hormones and nourish both our body and mind.


You can read more about eating for a healthy mind and body in Thrive Magazine, which is published quarterly both in print and online. Subscribe for £25 or buy single copies online here: www.thrive-magazine.co.uk

Thrive covers all aspects of health, nutrition and wellbeing. The perfect read if you’re on your own journey back to health!

Find more from Thrive on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

Corporate Health: Setting Clear Goals

Studies have shown that having something specific and realistic to aim for is important in personal development and wellbeing. We’ve all made New Year’s Resolutions and other goals before, but how many of us have actually stuck with them? This newsletter contains a range of resources that you can use to help your staff to set achievable goals – and the more they successfully achieve, the more motivated they’ll be to do even more!

(SharonDrewMorgen.com)


(Krantcents)

This great article from Inc. suggests that we should literally be setting ‘CLEAR‘ goals – yep, it’s another nifty acronym to help you figure out whether your goal is a good one.

Why not suggest that your staff use this framework to plan their aims for the next quarter?


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(Youtube)

If your staff prefer motivational content in video form, MindTools has you covered. This 2 minute clip covers the benefits of setting good goals, and the best ways to plan and execute them. For more in-depth explanations, just click the link in the video description.


 

(Fearbuster)

This resource from NHS LiveWell is specifically about New Year’s resolutions, but the information is relevant year-round. It covers studies into what resolutions are successful, tips for achieving, and links to useful content such as support to quit smoking or drink less alcohol.


Nudjed Health Resources are collections of online content and tools that offer simple, low-cost ways to improve specific areas of health. To discover which areas of health are affecting productivity in your organisation, check out Nudjed Insights. 

Cardiff Half Marathon 2015: Runners Perspective

As you may know, Nudjed partnered with Run4Wales to support 100 runners during their training for the 2015 Cardiff Half Marathon. You can read our previous blogs: an overview of the partnership; an introduction to the Nudjed Healthy Heroes; and in-depth interviews with two of our runners ahead of the race.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at how our runners found the big race, and the advice they have for anyone who’s thinking of taking part next year, or even just taking up running!


 

 

During the three month training period, Nudjed supported the 100 Club runners to improve their overall health. Through weekly newsletters and an active Facebook community, we shared interesting articles and advice about running, nutrition, and various other health and fitness initiatives. We measured our impact through monthly surveys conducted with our six case studies (the Nudjed Healthy Heroes), and the outcomes were very positive.

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We measured health improvement through waist-to-hip ratio rather than weight or BMI, as some runners will have gained weight through converting fat to muscle. The Healthy Heroes lost an average of 4 cm from their waists and 5 cm from their hips over three months. This gradual improvement shows that the changes are sustainable and healthy, rather than the fast weight loss associated with crash diets.

We also noticed huge improvements in the general health and wellbeing of our participants. They reported that they felt more positive, had more energy, and started eating better as the weeks went on. Some even took up secondary activities to complement their running, like yoga and swimming.


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Steve was one of our case studies. He made the decision to start improving his health after seeing photos of himself on holiday – he was almost 20st, and says he had a moment of clarity when he realised he wanted to be around for his two young children. He started swimming, and then got into running, signing up for the Cardiff Half Marathon as something to work towards.

He achieved a personal best time at the Cardiff Half, completing the course in 1:46:28. His next goal is to complete the World Half Marathon, which is taking place in Cardiff in March, in 1:45.

For anyone interested in taking up running, Steve has this advice:

“You’re not going to be a world champion from day one; you just need to find something that motivates you, and keep at it.”


 

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Some of you will have read about Alan before, when we did an in-depth interview ahead of the big race. He achieved a personal best, completing the race in 2:04:03 – he says he was very surprised, but was proud that he was able to maintain a consistent pace. He’s determined to continue with his healthy lifestyle – since getting into running he’s lost a lot of weight, has more energy to play with his kids, and has even noticed a positive impact on his mental wellbeing.

After a suggestion from Nudjed, Alan has taken up yoga and meditation. This has helped with his running, as his flexibility and core strength have improved. He’s also been sleeping better since he started meditating in the evenings! Alan says that he’s realised the importance of looking after your mind as well as your body:

“Whatever the time and effort that has been put into training the muscles, you’ll need half that amount again to be put into training the mind; the legs will keep going long after the mind cries, ‘Enough!'”

Alan is looking forward to the World Half Marathon in March along with many other 100 Club members. He says that being a member of the 100 Club was great encouragement – through the Facebook group they were able to share questions and advice, and they motivate each other to step their game up.

His advice for those who are thinking about making changes is:

“Start slow. You could try a couch to 5k training programme, but take it at your own pace. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep going!”


 

In March 2016, Cardiff has the honour of hosting the World Half Marathon. It’s one of the most prestigious global running events, and is open to mass participants as well as professional runners from across the world. Registration is now open, so be sure to visit their website if you fancy giving it a go!


 

If you’re inspired and fancy giving running a go, why not start with the Nudjed guide for first-time runners, or this couch-to-5k training plan from the NHS?

There are clear benefits to having a community of people supporting each other to improve their health. To learn how Nudjed could help you to achieve this in your workplace or organisation, check out Nudjed Insights.