One of the things that has changed in the economy over the last decade or so is the increasing attention being paid to individual fitness and wellbeing in the workplace. Perhaps it is a function of other, less healthy, changes in our routines, eating habits, or environment, but as a result there is an entire industry that has built up to help the individual correct the balance. See below from today's Guardian for example, and contrast it with the news this morning that perhaps the health guidance about fats in diet in the early 80's was based on entirely unreliable data (as a result of which we may all have increased intake of carbohydrates, perhaps having a more negative effect on diet than the fats we were being encouraged to avoid). It will be interesting to see whether the next decade results in an improvement in some of the obesity and other health stats in the UK, or whether there are more fundamental changes required than these sort of "push" initiatives. Economically these issues, and UK productivity generally, are incredibly important matters for all of us though.
In the last few weeks the UK has been covered in posters of women sweating in a spin class, bouncing at Zumba and jiggling as they run up a hill. The This Girl Can campaign is everywhere, encouraging women to get their sprint on and take up more exercise. But should we be moving our bodies for reasons beyond a government mandate? Could it actually help us at work? ....... So, this week I set out to discover whether a healthy lifestyle can actually make you better at work. Given that my exercise habits can be best described as erratic and my eating habits have been formed by a lifetime of dieting and falling off the wagon, it felt sensible to draft in some help.