Tag Archives: stress

Health vs. Wellness – Avoiding Health Presenteeism

Health Vs. Wellness…What is the Difference?

Health vs. wellness, the answer is in the past and present and creating a better future.
I heard a brilliant expression from a colleague this week – a number of years ago a doctor told her she was healthy, not well. What is the difference?
Healthy: not diseased…… Wellness brings out the deeper meaning  of  health, which can be glossed over in health programs. By differentiating between health vs. wellness, we expose the many underlying health saboteurs, which unknowingly compromise our health.

Health vs. wellness wellness programs Best in corporate health
Health vs. Wellness A symbiosis for social, emotional & physiological engagement

Think of wellness as the opportunity for health engagement.  The word “health” conjures up visions of restrictive, long lists of ” I shouldn’t”, no fun to many people. Wellness can provide the physiological, emotional and social engagement and camaraderie for sustainability and adherence to a health and wellness program…and ROI.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in it’s 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Sounds Utopic.
In pursuit of the broader WHO goals for health evolved our healthcare system. The healthcare system is financially depleted, and has become a “sick care” system. We diagnose, try to fix illness. Whether we get caught up in blaming the politicians for our healthcare crisis, we cannot ignore the erosion is largely due to unnecessary illness. Going forward, to achieve the intent of healthcare, we need to be inclusive of a thoroughly articulated view, role and definition of wellness.

Healthcare and medical diagnostics are vital, however, we need to all become our own advocates – and take charge of constantly seeking further wellness. Looking at out health is more of a current status. And whereas we know that certain diagnoses such as metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, carcinoma in situ, are definite calls to more proactive action -the goal of wellness is to prevent the pre-diseased state.
What is wellness? Wellness is the #1 opportunity we have in our lives. We have hundreds of options within our control to prevent even a pre-diseased state.
Take a look at these relationships:

health vs. wellness
exercise  vs. physical activity
diet  vs. nutrition
sex  vs. intimacy

They are all often used interchangeably. Comparing does not necessitate an adversarial tone, rather, there are nuances that suggest a symbiotic relationship. They are subsets within each other, necessary partners promoting each other.

Medical diagnostics catch disease or impending disease. Genomic testing is our only diagnostic to provide the ultimate wellness, by mapping our DNA. Going to our healthcare providers, being told everything looks good, nothing is wrong – is fantastic news not to be taken for granted.We all know, we sill might not feel well. We might:

  • have a haze about us…something is just not right
  • feeling stressed and drained
  • erratic appetite
  • Feeling a lack of control in ourselves
  • Not being as focused, energized and productive as we used to be
  • Don’t feel rested and restored
  • Moodiness
  • Or, we could just be in robomode- so busy in our day to day routines, surviving each day and task as it comes, we are unaware that we are not optimized

This general malaise in health is what I call health presenteeism. We know work presenteeism is being at work in body – but not being fully there in mind – not fully functioning and is usually attributed to health issues.

Health vs. Wellness  – overcoming Health Presenteeism…..

Digging Deeper
We all know the Rx for health: Don’t smoke, eat right, exercise, good sleep, manage stress. Go for regular physician check ups. Imperative. Why are these imperative to wellness? Let’s start digging.

  • Health vs. wellness Best In Corporate HealthOptimizing our digestive health. We all know the cliche we are what we eat. What his really implies is we are what we eat, digest and absorb. Our digestive tract serves many complex functions of our health. Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut”. Our gut performs an infinite number of daily tasks including digestion, absorption, influencing our mood with the production of serotonin, is the first step of our immune system……Our digestive tract takes thousands of attacks daily from poor food choices, digestive strain, medications, ingestion of toxins, viruses and bacteria, stress…and a central focus of our wellness efforts must be on optimizing our digestive tract.
  • Eliminating physiological stressors in our lives.
  • Oxidative stress and inflammation: Proven repeatedly to be at the root of all of our chronic illnesses.
  •  Optimizing our Immune system
  • Understanding what it takes to create a healthy inner ecosystem.
  • The science of happy. The #1 predictor of productivity is happiness. Happy is far more than accomplishing our goals. Happiness also must have wellness embedded into its roots. How does this impact our wellness programs? A 2016 study by Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) after surveying employees from 500 organizations in 70 countries found happy employees are more productive at work. The findings confirm the role emotions play in business, and that happiness is critical for productivity and talent retention and not a job perk or something that is just “nice to have.” The connection was clear: happy employees are high performing employees.
  • Enjoying and embracing wellness. None of us are looking for another miserable task in our lives. Wellness practices must be engaging, integrated into a person’s life, welcomed, and perceived as fun and of great value. If we are not feeling the rewards of our wellness efforts, and we feel these practices are another strain, they are erratic and short lived. Wellness should be freedom and liberation, not rigid, restrictive or inflexible.

Wellness is a state of mind. It is a desire to optimize our health, a partner in our raison d’être, a joie de vivre. Through wellness we put a jump in our steps and feel capable of compartmentalizing and managing the many challenges life inevitably serves.

When appreciating the symbiosis of health vs. wellness, it’s easier  for us to appreciate why
our blood pressure and blood sugar are normal, our diagnostics and biometrics appear acceptable – but something is just not right.  It must be stress is the usual conclusion – Yes – it is stress – but we need to look at stress at a much deeper level. True wellness is helping everyone to become their own health ambassador, helping them understand the many levels of wellness, far deeper than the superficialities. Even if we are eating right, exercising – there is great variance there, and maybe our overall wellness choices, when put together – are not nourishing us at the control centers of our body – our cells. Wellness comes from much deeper than our outer facade. Wellness comes from our cell-being.

Help control workforce oxidative stress: 7 patents, 24 peer reviewed studies on pubmed, accolades from American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, National Institute on Aging….Washington State: “may well become the most extraordinary therapeutic and most extraordinary preventative breakthrough in the history of medicine.”

Cell-being creates our inner magic kingdom that is hostile to disease, and takes the cacophony of our daily lives and creates a symphonic inner ecosystem.

Personalized  Health vs. wellness programs…..Yes…..We get VERY personal……right down to the DNA….

Corporate health programs…what a wonderful way to affordably  make the world a happier, healthier place.

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack – The Corporate Happy Place medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist

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),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio



Sexual Health and Employee Wellness

Sexual Health as Part of an Employee Wellness Program??? Yes

Sexual health – A very important member of the Corporate Happy Place – but absurdly “shushed” up!

Sexual health Best in Corporate health employee wellness programsSex is a fabulous way to reduce physiological stress

  • Happy people, perform better at work
    • A July 2015 study from the University of Warwick concluded “”We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.” Happy employees average a 12% spike in productivity while unhappy employees tend to be 10% less productive.
    • We all can also agree that a good sex life is a critical aspect of a relationship. I will quote Dr. Phil here: “When sex is good it’s about 10% of the marriage. When it is not, it is about 90% of the marriage”. It might see obvious, but there are numerous studies that demonstrate the importance of “happy coupling” to employee productivity.  This is why here at Best in Corporate Health we strongly encourage the participation of spouses in all of our wellness programs – at no extra cost.

Yes. Providing physiological facts about building sexual health should be a part of employee health programs. A 2014 study (University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy)  concluded over half of men with erectile dysfunction do not discuss it with their physician and have a decreased HRQoL (health related quality of life) and a significantly higher impairment on work productivity.

Amongst the mayhem stress causes in the body is its detrimental impact on the hippocampus in the brain. Stress interferes with neurogenesis – the building of fresh nervous tissue – which ultimately leads to anxiety and mood disorders. Sex can reduce the negative effects of stress on hippocampal function, reducing anxiety.

Studies show sex can lower blood pressure, can be a cardio respiratory workout, the body releases endorphins, and most of all – we feel better.

stress reduction and sexual health employee wellness programs with Best in Corporate Health



Stress can interfere with sexual function, so in a wellness process – we have to break the vicious circle: We all should be aware that sexual dysfunction in both men and women can be a symptom of other health issues and chronic illnesses.

  • endocrine disorders, including diabetes
  • Certain medications – including SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – antidepressants – a bit of a double edge sword again as we know erectile dysfunction can lead to depression, diuretics, beta blockers….a long list of potential culprits
  • Neurological disorders
  • heart issues such as high blood pressure and clogged arteries compromising circulation
  • PELVIC PAIN; – a huge issue for both men and women – and most definitely be a symptom of other illnesses
  • Obesity: To quote my very favourite urological surgeon, Dr. Andrew Siegel, “fatal
    sexual health in employee wellness programs Best In Corporate Health
    Desk Job syndrome……obesity…fatal retraction?

    retraction”  With every 10 pounds of excess body fat the penis “hides” more and more. We know fat cells are metabolically active, and the hormones they secrete disrupt healthy hormonal activity.

One must always seek the advice of a physician – it is irresponsible to accept sexual dysfunction is just that – a thorough assessment must be performed.

The great news is there is much we can do to better our sexual function, and this is the first line response to resolving sexual problems. With all the wonderful health benefits of a healthy sex life – of course sexual wellness should be included in employee health programs. Addressing these issues in a non threatening program aka fun), we can give a great deal of insight, “normalcy” to the sensitive issue, supporting  confidence to address the issue with the health care provider.

Sexual function is widely accepted as a very important part of our health. Sexual dysfunction is strongly linked to depression and anxiety, low self esteem, sometimes other medical disorders, lower perceived quality of life, and a substantial loss in productivity. Our sexual health webinar discusses lifestyle techniques, specific exercises, food, stress release……and yes how to talk to the physician. A physician will always instruct a patient to improve lifestyle to improve sexual health. These practices can  dramatically improve the health and productivity, and most certainly   the HRQoL and self esteem for individual and workplace! The Corporate Happy Place!

Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place…..so we make them affordable to EVERYONE……


We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach

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

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