Tag Archives: sedentary

Men’s Health Issues in Corporate Health

Addressing  Men’s Health Issues in Employee Wellness Programs

Men’s health issues are not getting the attention they merit.

The Men’s Health Network states that men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death:

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • stroke
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • accidents
  • pneumonia and influenza
  • diabetes
  • suicide
  • kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

Men's Health in Best In Corporate Health ProgramsAccording to the Men’s Health Network, there is a steady deterioration of the health of American men attributable to:

  • a lack of awareness
  • weak health education
  • unhealthy work and personal lifestyles

According to the CDC, women are 33% more likely than men to seek medical help, although the gap narrows over 50 years of age.

and then there is my favourite line of all I say with the utmost love and affection……

Men are more likely to ask for directions than they are to ask for medical help….

Men’s Health Network study: Men take mediocre care of their health. Almost 70% of men surveyed considered it easier to keep their cars in good condition than care for their personal health. More than 40% of men indicated  they would rather resolve issues with their car than address issues associated with their health

“Men care more about their cars than their bodies.”

There is always good news.

Employee wellness programs are a wonderful opportunity to address these issues,

Men's health in Best In Corporate Health employee wellness programs
Putting the FIT into Fitness Best In Corporate Health Employee wellness programs

specifically for men. Our duty in a program is to figure out the “fit” in fitness -information is useless unless it is tried, honed and integrated.

Every one of these health issues can be prevented or minimized with regular exercise & physical activity. I specify exercise AND physical activity. Unfortunately, many men tend to be “weekend warriors” – good exercise on the weekend, or playing a sport once or twice a week, but then are sedentary for the remainder of the week.

Exercise and regular daily physical activity are both necessary for the prevention of disease.

Being a weekend warrior carries a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis  (DVT). DVT is a type of blood clot that occurs deep within a vein and if breaks loose it can travel to the lungs or brain, causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism or stroke. Here is a shocking example: Professionals athletes, including tennis super star Serena Williams and Miami Heat Chris Bosh suffer with DVT. We all think – athletes get incredible exercise! The issue is professional athletes spend a great deal of time being sedentary…on airplanes travelling between gigs. It has been referred to as “Economy Class Syndrome.”

There will be a series of articles – each one going far more in depth on each of these top ten causes of death. Here I would just briefly like to discuss the pivotal role of exercise in prevention and recovery I would like to mention one other men’s health crisis largely attributable to the deconditioned state…..

Lower back pain:

Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and missing work

Back Pain part of employee wellness Best in Corporate Health
Back pain must be checked out as it can be a symptom of more serious diseases including certain cancers, kidney disease……..please do not assume the pain is musculoskeletal.

Exercise helps to correct posture, stretch tight muscles and  strengthens the core…..and is a great way to get rid of a beer belly!

Lack of exercise can cause or worsen back pain because of increased stiffness and weakened muscles. Exercise also nourishes the spinal discs, soft tissues and ligaments of the back.

Muscle tone  and core strength support the back and keep prevent or dramatically reduce pain. If back pain already exists, consult with a health care professional for guidance.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons the most common reasons for back pain are:

  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • poor posture
  • overweight
  • Lifting…..greater risk of injury in the deconditioned
  • smoking
  • stress
  • stress related muscle tightness

Even a 15 minute walk can relieve stress related muscle tightness  while also encouraging restorative breathing.

 Men’s Health Alert: A Beer Belly places more stress on the back than pregnancy

Heart Disease:

American Heart Association states that more than one in three adult men have some form of cardiovascular disease.

Blood pressure: Maintaining blood pressure in a healthy range is key to the prevention of 7 of these top ten causes of death.

And…..if you had high blood pressure and you are on medication for high blood pressure and it has successfully lowered your blood pressure…..you do not get a get out of jail for free card. Hypertension is still a concern.

High blood pressure affects the arteries, heart, kidneys, brain eyes, sexual function, bone loss, sleep apnea….and succinctly put – it is a menace to all aspects of health.

Regular exercise and physical activity are the very best way to prevent high blood pressure, or keep it in a healthy range. This means regularly de-sedentizing every day. Even with a desk job – this is critical to controlling blood pressure.

Those with high blood pressure need to abide by certain guidelines for strength training. Again, always better to work with a medical fitness professional.  All aspects of exercise are necessary for controlling blood pressure….Cardio respiratory, strength, stretching, and more meditative forms of exercise, far too often forgotten, are very beneficial.

And gentlemen…..next article I promise as it is just that important……erectile dysfunction.

                        Men’s health Alert: ED is a beacon of attention for heart disease.

Exercise is vital for keeping strong erections, strong heart health.

Cancer: A  MedLine survey teaches us that solid evidence points to the possibility that hypertension is actually a significant risk factor for cancer. At least seven prospective studies have demonstrated clearly that hypertension is a risk factor. We rarely see high blood pressure listed as a risk factor for cancer.

Exercise is associated with lowering the risk of most cancers by as much as 40%. The power of exercise is cancer prevention and cancer recovery is multi faceted. But again, where cancer already exists, I strongly advise people work with a fitness professional specifically trained in cancer exercise training.


American Heart Association:

• Exercise should be prescribed for stroke survivors.

•Exercise prescriptions could significantly reduce disability and the risk of recurrent stroke in survivors who also may face other barriers such as fatigue and depression.

Causes of stroke are deeply related to many of the other issues discussed here such as heart disease and diabetes.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):

According to the COPD foundation Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, can Improve  circulation and help the body better use oxygen, minimize COPD symptoms and build energy levels to do more activities without exhaustion  or a shortness of breath.

Pneumonia and Influenza:

Men’s Health Alert:
  • Influenza and pneumococcal infection are two leading health risks for men. Men are 25 percent more likely to die from these diseases than women, according to the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association also states that exercise is vital to a healthy lifestyle in the prevention of respiratory illnesses.

Exercise is key in strengthening immune function and circulation, both very important in the prevention of colds, flu and respiratory illnesses.


“The American Diabetes Association (ADA) celebrates today’s “modern man” as someone who is more aware of his blood sugar health. The ADA recommends that men “get out, get active, and get informed.” The best way to control your diabetes is to eat healthy and exercise.”

Both cardio respiratory and strength training are very important in diabetes prevention and management. Its our beautiful muscles that transport glucose from our bloodstream to the muscles needing less insulin. Muscles are like a pump, pushing glucose into muscle where it can be used as fuel instead of circulating in high levels in the blood. MUSCLES….not just cause they are so pretty!


The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimate that at least 6 million men suffer from depressive disorders, including suicidal thoughts, annually….a men’s health crisis.

Men’s health Alert:
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men have higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women do. Men binge drink twice as much as women.
  • According to the American Psychological Association men are far less likely than women to seek help not only for all mental-health problems, but depression in particular.
  • According to a number of our respected health organizations exercise is greatly beneficial to those suffering from mood disturbances, anxiety, stress, depression for a number of reasons including feel-good brain chemicals – neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids.

Kidney Disease:

According to the National kidney Foundation:

  • High blood pressure and diabetes are the 2 leading causes of kidney disease, so we can refer back to the stellar respect exercise earns in control and prevention of diabetes and blood pressure.
  • Men with kidney disease are more likely than women to go into kidney failure
  • Every year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer.

Men’s Health Alert: Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer) is twice as common in men

Men's Health in Employee wellness Best In corporate Health
Fatty Liver Cirrhosis of the Liver.

Liver Disease: A February 2016 study out of the University of Missouri Medical school found that cardio respiratory exercise may protect the liver from against alcohol-related inflammation and injury. The CDC states alcohol use is responsible for more than 80,000 deaths in the United States each year. Exercise protects the liver by management/prevention of obesity, diabesity, cirrhoses of the liver from fat and alcohol. For those with liver disease, depression can be an added burden, and exercise is recommended here as well. A study out of the University of Haifa, Israel showed resistance training to be very successful for liver health. Results showed that resistance training led to a decrease in liver fat as detected by ultrasound testing.

Oxidative stress: My point of passion in all areas of health education.. oxidative stress. Suffice it to say here that oxidative stress is thought to be at the root cause of most of our chronic illnesses, physiological and psychological. The right exercise is vital for reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress.

Men's Health in Employee Wellness
Cost of Smoking employees to a company. Micah Berman study 2013

Smoking & Alcohol: We all know smoking and alcohol are hazardous to our health. Here, let’s acknowledge that exercise and regular physical activity are fabulous partners in quit smoking programs and those to reduce alcohol consumption.

As extensive as this article seems, its really not even a warm up as we call it in the fitness world.

Never try and exclusively treat yourself with exercise – but always consider how exercise is a cherished partner in wellness – prevention, recovery and management.

There is much we know about exercise for prevention and recovery from disease, and even more we don’t know yet. And I will always add this proviso…if ever there is presence of disease from metabolic syndrome, cancer, liver disease…….I urge people to seek the guidance of a medical fitness specialist. There are specific guidelines that must be respected, certain forms of exercise are more successful with specific issues, and of course exercise programs much be approved by the patient’s health care professionals.

So men, even if you think you don’t have the time for exercise, or having a “6 pack” is not important to you, its not about that. Yes, the beautiful outer facade of our bodies is a brilliant reward for exercise. But exercise is healing and repairing the damage we do to our bodies every day.  The real magic of exercise is in the cell.

A few misconceptions to clear up:

  • Exercise does NOT have to be in a gym
  • Exercise & physical activity are different, one does not excuse the other
  • Many people who exercise daily are still sedentary according to our circulation
  • A desk job does not necessitate being sedentary
  • The is a process of eating, exercise and lifestyle habits that fits in with every schedule

A real employee wellness program is sculpted around each person, and their own unique demands. Specific needs and risks of men’s health and women’s health need to be addressed.

Shira Litwack

Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist

Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery

Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

BSc Psychology & Chemistry

Medical Exercise Specialist

Holistic Nutrition| Addiction Recovery

Total of 18 exercise designations

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

Employee Engagement-Effects of Alcohol

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.

Employee Engagement Effects of Alcohol employee wellness Best In Corporate HealthChronic 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

Corporate wellness programs from the cell with Best In Corporate Health
Employee wellness programs usually focus on the outer 2 layers. Inflammation and oxidative stress attacks the Cell-Being

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:

  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • UV
  • Certain medications
  • certain food choices
  • lack of exercise/the wrong exercise/
  • chemical exposure
  • pollutants

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, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack: BSc Psychology & Chemistry, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , holistic nutritionist, medical exercise specialist

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

     Webinars         Speaking         Retreats              Health Coaching

Remember, BICH processes include partners at no extra charge and are measurable!

Shira has been interviewed on: City TV, CTV, National Public Radio, Sirius XM Dr. Rehab Dr. Jonathan Whiteson & The Sports Medicine Show, Living Cancer Free, Web Talk Radio, Voice America, Obesity Control Center, Investment Executive.

Employee wellness Best In Corporate HealthArticles Featured In: FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) Willow, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Medical Fitness Network, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer