Employee Engagement – The Role of Oxidative Stress ?
Institute for Employment Studies report quantified employee engagement: Organizations increasing engagement investment by just 10% can increase profits by approximately US $2,100 per employee, per year.
With all of the possible best efforts by an organization to create a culture of employee engagement, health and wellness, it can easily be sabotaged by the effects of …….oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is rarely addressed, and if it is usually only once again by addressing the outer being. Truth is, this can sometimes create more oxidative stress on the body.
Chronic inflammation is a wildfire raging in the body. The blood vessels and internal organs and systems are affected. This inflammatory process leads to free radical damage and oxidative stress and is a culprit in aging, mental focus, depression & all of our chronic diseases. Our focus must be on addressing the cellular level of health.
There are hundreds of oxidative stressors attacking the body each day. What we need to do is to implement a plan to reduce exposure to the stressors, and strengthen the body to protect itself from bombardment.
Oxidative stressors weaken both physiological and psychological function in a number of ways, and are accepted as the root of chronic disease and ultimately longevity.
A thorough health & wellness program is one that helps employees over time with realistic
implementation and integration of healthier lifestyle strategies. In a fast placed workplace environment combined with the challenges of balancing family, stress, anxiety and mood disturbances are the norm. Facts are not enough – in fact feeding a list of facts, “shoulds” and “should-nots” is irritating. Unfortunately, people frequently turn to the immediate “fixes” such as alcohol, poor food choices, sedentary activities which increase the oxidative load on the body… leading to more stress….more fixes…….the path of addiction. The insidious part, people rarely see this cycle, until they the body has been weakened by an illness.
Some of the more common oxidative stressors, that we can control include:
- Certain medications
- certain food choices
- lack of exercise/the wrong exercise/
- chemical exposure
This is a very general list. Oxidative stress is not simple and straight forward, and of course will affect different people based on their own body’s ability to neutralize.
Consider alcohol: According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism & National Survey on Drug Use and Health 52.7% of the population fall in the range of moderate drinking+.
A recently released study (Society for the study of Addiction) Finally has labelled alcohol as a “cause” of cancer, not just a “link”. The myth of drinking “a glass of wine a day for health” has been proven to be incorrect. Alcohol and cancer is finally accepted as fact. The meta analysis was carried out in New Zealand and published in the Journal of Addiction. Alcohol-induced oxidative stress, happens with a single drink, and sobriety is no indicator of damage.
However, we are not helpless, there are a number of ways we can lower our overall, cumulative oxidative stress load.
Health & wellness programs need to reach far beyond the preaching of eating healthy and exercising. Helping each individual person identify oxidative stressors in their life is the missing link, even in those who have the very best intentions following the healthiest of lifestyles….
Creating a positive, motivating workplace environment is of course a part of employee engagement. However, the ability of an employee to “engage” is within that individual person.
Employee engagement = Corporate Culture + Employee culture (aka cell health)
Shira Litwack calls herself the “CHE – Chief Health Enthusiast” of Best in Corporate Health. Shira has assembled over 30 health and fitness professionals to bring you unique corporate wellness programs designed around your employees. No more one size fits none corporate health programs, no long guilt lists of shoulds and should nots – fun, engaging programs where “installation” is an integral part of all programs. The health coaches cover a wide range of specialties from nutrition, exercise, balancing lifestyle, family harmony, addiction recovery, disease prevention and recovery…..contact us to plan your corporate wellness solutions
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