The ABHSC Wellness Center
Everyone’s Wellbeing is important
Wellbeing is not about perks or benefits. While having a company car, a bigger office and a huge expense account may generate a short-term sense of wellbeing in some people, research shows that genuine wellbeing comes from a sense of engagement and belonging.
There have now been hundreds of studies showing how workplace wellbeing programmes that promote healthier lifestyles and consider work-life balance are just as beneficial to businesses as they are to the employees themselves.
Educational establishments also have a critical role in supporting students to make healthy lifestyle choices and to understand their effect on lifelong health and wellbeing.
The link between health and wellbeing and positive academic performance is well researched:
- Healthy students are more alert, engaged, and better able to concentrate and learn
- Poorly nourished students are often tired, unfocused and unable to concentrate
- Physical activity is associated with improved learning and concentration, better mood and behaviour, as well as healthy weight
- Smoking, drinking and other drug substances severely impact a student’s cognitive functions
(concentration, memory, attention), capacity to behave appropriately, and frequently lead to the student engaging in further risky behaviour.
- Developing strong, supportive relationships on campus provides a safer and more inclusive
environment for students to engage in their studies and learn.
Improved Employee Health Behaviors
The core of every wellbeing programme is behaviour change. Our programmes are designed to help students and staff adopt and maintain healthy behaviours.
Healthy behaviour leads to lower health risks, and fewer health issues.
Reduced Health Risks
It has been shown that in as little as six weeks, health risks could reduce dramatically.
Those who maintain healthy behaviours experience lower health risks for up to 18 months after involvement in a wellbeing programme.
Reduced Health Care Costs
Almost 100 different studies have looked at the positive financial impact of wellbeing programmes.
A successful wellbeing programme has the ability to reduce direct healthcare costs through absence, build and sustain morale, and improve productivity of staff and students alike.
Poor employee productivity can be defined as physically being present at work but not working, or presenteeism.
This type of poor productivity is estimated to cost at least 2 to 3 times as much as direct healthcare expenses.
Workplaces with comprehensive wellbeing programmes can experience reduced absenteeism for a variety of reasons.
People have better health behaviours, are more able to manage stress, more likely to have healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, and be more in control of their weight.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is generally regarded as the quality of being present and fully engaged with what you are doing. It is about reducing anxiety and stress by being aware of, and concerned with, what is going on at that moment, rather than focusing on what you haven’t done, can’t do, or can’t change. It is about being aware of your own thoughts, without getting caught up in them
It can be an extremely useful way to induce the relaxation response. This engages the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for restoring the body to base levels after a stress response), calming it down by lowering the heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
We train staff and students in this moment-to-moment awareness through meditation, counselling and training – building the skill of mindfulness so that we can then apply it to everyday life.
In teaching the mind to be present, we are teaching ourselves to live more mindfully – not beholden to reactive thoughts and feelings. This is particularly helpful when faced with challenging circumstances or difficult situations.