Physical Wellbeing & Why It’s Important
When it comes to our physical wellbeing it can often be confusing as to what it actually is. In this article, we will explain what it is, why it’s important and the things you can do to improve it!
What is Physical Wellbeing?
Physical wellbeing is the ability to maintain a healthy and balanced life without physical limitation, physical stress, and excessive fatigue.
Our physical wellbeing refers to the physical state of our body, whether that’s maintaining a healthy weight, good posture, well-functioning organs, or the ability to carry out normal daily tasks without exhaustion or discomfort.
Physical wellbeing can also refer to the absence of disease or infection but these are not the only things to consider.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines physical wellbeing as being a key factor when it comes to our overall health.
Why is Physical Wellbeing Important?
When it comes to our wellbeing, the physical aspect can play a huge part in our mental and social wellbeing.
When we take care of our physical wellbeing, it helps to align our wellbeing overall.
Having positive physical wellbeing can reduce our chances of disease and infection. The NHS shows that many health conditions can e reduce by having positive physical wellbeing.
For example, those that exercise have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, early death, and more!
Those that exercise regularly can reduce their chances of early death by 30%!
Physical wellbeing isn’t just about exercising and doing things that impact your body positively. It’s also about avoiding things that impact your body negatively.
Those that smoke regularly are damaging their physical wellbeing and can increase their chances of health risks in lots of areas.
Approximately 90% of all lung cancer deaths are those that smoke.
Both smoking-related diseases and diabetes are conditions that in most cases can be prevented by looking after our physical wellbeing.
How Can We Improve Our Physical Wellbeing?
One of the easiest ways to improve our physical wellbeing is by maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. If we don’t overeat and eat the right foods it gives us less chance of many of the health concerns that exist today.
There can be lots of conflict when it comes to diet, whether that’s having a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, or following diets like the paleo diet. I’ll leave you to work out what’s best for you but a key message I want you to take, is don’t eat crap.
In most cases, we all know the foods that are not good for us. Sweets, chocolate, sugary drinks, the list goes on, and to maintain good physical wellbeing we need to limit the consumption of this as best as possible.
The benefits of exercise are countless and when it comes to our physical state and wellbeing, exercise can help us massively.
Exercise has been shown to have many physical benefits, including improving;
- Muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness
- Bone health and function
- Help to maintain a healthy body weight
- Mental health and mood
- The body’s ability to manage blood sugar and insulin
- Chances of living longer
- Core strength & balance
The list of benefits to exercising safely and effectively are endless.
If you’re someone who struggles with exercise, why not try joining an exercise class, or starting a couch to 5k running programme.
The couch to 5k programme is designed for people who don’t exercise and are literally starting from a “couch potato” status
There are lots or programmes online but here’s one we found for ease of access.
Staying hydrated is so important when is comes to maintaining a positive physical wellbeing. The human body is approximately 60% water (depending on where you get your sources)
If you’re not staying hydrated, how do you expect your body to function efficiently and carry out the physical tasks that it needs to.
The human brain is approximately 73% water. If you’re not staying hydrated, how can you expect to think clearly, make good decisions and have an optimal functioning brain?
The WHO recommend drinking approximately 2 litres of pure water a day. If you’re exercising, then your water intake should be even higher.
How Do You Promote Physical Wellbeing At Work?
It can often be difficult to promote physical wellbeing within a work environment. You don’t want to isolate individuals or make anyone feel uncomfortable, but it’s something that needs to be taken seriously.
A happy and healthy workforce is often a productive workforce and improving employee physical health can have a positive impact on the business.
To promote physical wellbeing, education is key. Educating employees and individuals on the benefits of taking care of their physical health will help them to get off to a good start.
Other ways to promote physical wellbeing are to set challenges. Fitness challenges or health related challenges are a great way to get people motivated to take their physical health seriously.
Challenges may include a daily step challenge or a weekly exercise challenge. Asking employees to get involved is a great way to increase uptake and another way to focus on improving staff wellbeing
How Can We Look After Our Physical Wellbeing While Working From Home?
Working from home has thrown many of us out of our normal routines.
Whether we were getting in our exercise by commuting to work or the train station, or stopping off at the gym on the way to or from work, working from home has certainly had an impact on many of our routines.
Looking after our physical health at home can be challenging, especially with the fridge within walking distance, and even more so if you’re working from a small apartment.
However, it’s important to look after your physical wellbeing while working from home and these few tips will help you to work towards maintaining a positive physical wellbeing while working at home.
1. Have a good work station set up
Working from a laptop or a poor set up can impact our physical wellbeing massively. If you don’t have a good set up, you’re more likely to suffer with neck pain, back pain and many other physical discomforts.
Whether that’s providing additional equipment, ergonomic chairs or monitors and laptop stands.
2. Get up and move!
The human body was built to move. It wasn’t built to sit at desks all day. Therefore, throughout our working day we must move.
Working from home means that the majority of our meetings are online and not face to face. Which means, where we would usually get up to walk to our next meeting, we’re losing the movement that would occur in that time.
Individuals should aim to get up every 45 – 60 mins to get blood flowing around the body. Studies have shown that prolonged sitting can impair the function of both the lower and upper limbs.
3. Incorporate a daily stretching routine
Stretching has shown to have many benefits, including:
- Decrease risk of injury
- Enabling muscles to work effectively
- Increase range of motion
- Reduce muscular tightness and discomfort
- Improve posture
- Decrease back pain
- And more!
There are lots of stretching routines available online and I’d recommend to start by looking at where your muscles are tightest and find stretches for those areas.
We have a few basic stretches on our YouTube channel so don’t hesitate to check that out.
Are There Companies That Offer Training On Physical Wellbeing?
At Loving Life, we help companies educate employees and staff on the importance of their health and wellbeing.
Our “Improve Your Physical Health” webinar has been very popular and is a great way to educate employees and encourage them to look after their physical health.
The session involves information on how to reduce muscular related pain and discomfort, how to use tools and equipment to help look after our physical health, as well as simple and effective methods to get started looking after your physical health
A happy and healthy workforce is a productive workforce.
Tyler Lowe – Health & Wellbeing Speaker
BSc Sport & Exercise Rehabilitation