Introduction to physical health

The World Health Organisation’s definition of health is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’, so when we talk about physical health there are many elements to consider.

This is also reflected in the definition of physical fitness, which not only includes speed, endurance, strength and power, as one would expect but also body composition, flexibility, nutrition and rest and relaxation.  In other words, in order to be physically fit and to perform at our best in any given situation, whether in sport or at work, we need to ensure we are fuelling our body with the right foods and drink whilst continuously developing our level of resilience and not forgetting the importance of making time for adequate rest and relaxation.

In today’s society, looking after our physical health often takes a back seat to the competing demands of work and family life, so finding the time to do the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day (or 150 minutes per week) proves hard for many individuals - but how much of this is just an excuse?

The work environment can be a very influential place for raising awareness and prompting action and there are many simple and low cost opportunities to help employees become more physically active while at work.