Wednesday, August 3, 2011

MIA at a Recent Health Fair

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a health fair for a division of a Fortune 500 company. This was an opportunity for their employees to learn more about creating a healthier lifestyle.

There was a booth manned by a local health food store promoting vitamins, herbal remedies and books on nutrition. (Got some samples of herbal sleep aids and protein powder.) A podiatrist was in another booth, who answered questions about foot care and foot problems. (I learned which running shoes were best for my feet!) Behind one of the booths were several nurses running tests and giving assessments. I found out that my body has 17.7% fat which falls into the excellent BMI range of 16 to 25. My blood pressure was 117 over 71 and my resting heart rate was 44 BPM. After a series of questions, they could only say, “Keep on doing what you are doing!”

There was a booth to help women understand mammograms. The Red Cross was there seeking blood donations. (We have a blood shortage in WNC!) I got a nice 10-minute shoulder massage from a licensed massage therapist. A dental group was promoting good teeth care. (I received a travel toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss.) A wellness center had a yoga instructor, a chiropractor, a pilates instructor and acupuncturist answering questions. An optometrist was sharing ideas on good eye care. (I received an eye glass cleaner cloth!) Two local hospitals were present sharing and explaining services they offered. (I dipped into their candy bowl!) An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider was there to offer information on all kinds of resources for work/life balance.

For my thinking, good health includes not only the physical, but the emotional, the mental and the spiritual.

What was MIA (missing in action) was a table or booth promoting “play.” I think we take ourselves too seriously. We have lost the value of play and its importance in our personal growth. Many organizations see “play” at work or a “fun-workplace” as unproductive and hurting the bottom line when actually it can do the opposite. Play can help reduce stress, increase creativity and stimulate innovation.

An organization teaching us how to communicate better was also absent. I believe in this age of distraction, we’ve lost the ability to communicate well. Good communication could lead to better relationships—which has to be healthier. I would expect this spot to include tips on healthy conflict resolution.

How about a leadership booth promoting death to micromanagement and overcoming workaholism? There would be major health benefits from these services!

There was no table promoting the art of collaboration. Learning how to work better together and building trust has positive health consequences not only for the individual but the culture of the workplace.

I would have liked to have seen someone sharing ideas on dealing with change. Dealing constructively with change and creating flow in transition could have great health benefits.

Finally, what about the benefits of spirituality and our health? Could some folks have been present to promote this? Could there have been a booth to challenge thinking and raise possibilities?

What are your ideas for being healthier? What are you doing to become healthier? What might the benefits be—to you, your family and your employer?

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