My In A Nutshell column usually involves me taking an overview of what our If You Ask Me contributors have said on our chosen subject and reflecting on their thoughts and views.
But this edition’s topic – broadly put, health – very much runs throughout the magazine and is not limited to our If You Ask Me section.
Early doors in this issue you can read all about the new health-led employment trial launched by Sheffield City Region and South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA) to support people with a mental or physical health condition to find, and remain, in employment.
Called Working Win, the randomised control trial is being funded by the Government’s Work and Health Unit and open to participants aged 18 or over, registered with a GP in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, who have a mental or physical health condition they feel is a barrier.
NHS organisations can refer participants, but people can self-refer themselves into the trial online, too. So Angela Smith’s comments that ‘we are moving into the era of big data, which has the potential to transform healthcare and make care more personal’ struck me immediately as did her view that big data and new technologies offer ‘the possibility of giving individuals more control over health care options’.
Elsewhere in the magazine I spoke to Holly Crosby about setting up her Simplyou Coaching business. It does exactly what it says on the tin: ‘Simply’ focusing on ‘You’, by working with the individual on what they want to change or achieve.
Holly also shares some top tips for better mental health from an employee and employer perspective – including asking bosses what else they can do to help staff live more happily and healthily. She also reminds us employees that no matter how busy we are we can always find time to eat healthier and get more exercise. (Guilty as charged – currently writing this eating my lunch al desko!)
And in terms of countering our sedentary work and home lives, Dr Rob Copeland has some wise words in his If You Ask Me contribution. Two wise words, in fact – Move More.
Move More, which launched in 2015 by the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine in Sheffield, is a programme which encourages those least likely to participate in physical activity to reduce the risk risk of developing health problems because of sedentary lifestyles.
Activity is tracked via a smartphone app which pits individuals, employees, groups and businesses against each other. As Rob says: ‘There’s nothing quite like a bit of healthy competition’ – and a couple of my HR Media colleagues will no doubt concur!
But as he also acknowledges ‘if it’s not easy then most people won’t do it’. So the aim of Move More, held every June, is to make it easier to be physically active – ‘essentially trying to re-engineer physical activity back into society’.
And that includes how and where we work and the design of our workplaces.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) tells us many of its members ‘make a conscious effort to look after their own wellbeing, and that of their employees’, identifying measures including flexible working arrangements, knowledge sharing clubs, and taking regular aerobic exercise. The FSB also supports local initiatives like Move More Sheffield. As Claire Reading says: ‘If you ask me, ideas like ‘walking meetings’ should be in everyone’s diary!’
Take note unLTD team – the next planning meeting may well see us swap venues, from eateries to exercise classes…