It is definitely an encouraging sign to see more companies devoting time, effort and resources to health and wellness – a much neglected area in the workforce. With society’s perpetual emphasis on raising productivity amidst an uncertain global economy, companies are fast realizing the key to doing this is boosting worklife balance of their staff.

After all, research studies have shown that there is an intricate relationship between happy employees and higher rates of productivity. So salute I must companies such as Jebsen & Jessen (SEA) Pte Ltd which has gone a step further by taking concrete action to organize a corporate wellness talk for their staff.

Seeing the eager looks on their faces, it was evident that all were going to be healthy lifestyle advocates in their own rights after today’s talk.

As an ex-employee for almost seven years, I fully understand how much my health and fitness habits seemed to take an instant backseat, especially with endless meetings, demanding bosses, tight deadlines and never-ending emails. It’s the same routine over and over again, day in day out. I’m cooped up in my little cubicle, typing away furiously on my desktop and being swarmed with all the paperwork. And it is little joke that it’s not an uncommon sight to be sitting all day long. You sit in your cubicle. You also sit during meetings.

Sitting all day long can only mean bad posture, fresh aches and pains here there everywhere…and of course, not forgetting gaining some extra flesh around the tummy…

Sounds bad right? But this is the truth!

Following in the right footsteps of Jebsen & Jessen (SEA), the best way is to incorporate a corporate wellness programme in their organisation. I know change is scary to some people but if you see change with fresh perspectives and especially if you know it will uplift your quality of life, you will give it a go.

I loved it when the management representative shared that the company encouraged staff to walk to Sheng Siong Hypermarket (which was about two bus stops away) during lunchtime to do their grocery shopping instead of taking public transport or driving there. In fact, walking is one of the best forms of exercise. And if you choose to brisk walk, the benefits are multiplied multifold.

And of course, who can resist taking a break? When quizzed how many types of breaks there were, my new found friends today learnt that the powernap break (to be taken during lunchtime for 10-15 minutes maximum) was going to be their new best friend.

A concept imported from the West, taking a powernap break during lunch not only invigorates and energises us for the rest of the day ahead, it also prevents ALS from setting in.

I invented the term ALS. It’s called “after lunch syndrome”. ALS always sets in immediately after lunch as the effects of a heavy lunch makes your eyelids heavy and your blood sugar to rise higher than normal. That’s because our foods are normally high in sugar and flour.

But powernaps are to be consumed only for a maximum of 15 minutes. Anything longer than that, it loses its effect and instead will lead to insomnia at night when it’s the rightful time to allow our bodies to rest and recuperate.

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Saving the best for last, everyone was in for a great time when I introduced simple but effective bodyweight exercises. There was no cajoling of the crowd to get my volunteers. The ladies just stood up and came forward! Super sporting…

From the spontaneity and spirit of the crowd today, I know corporate wellness will be off to greater heights at Jebsen & Jessen (SEA).

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