"Vitality is the result of a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle."

Vitality is the fuel that gives your employees the energy every day to meet challenges and pursue goals. A balanced lifestyle is crucial. "Lifestyle is not just a matter of physical health," says Stefan Driesen, vitality expert. "Feeling mentally good is at least as important."

Stress and relaxation: two sides of one coin

Healthy foods and sufficient exercise are crucial parts of a balanced lifestyle. Less healthy physical activities such as smoking or drinking alcohol also determine a person's lifestyle. But in addition to physical health, mental health is also important for a balanced lifestyle.

The importance of relaxation for a healthy lifestyle gets too little attention.

 

"That mental aspect is often underestimated," Stefan says. "Nowadays, there is a greater focus on stress as a potential danger to a healthy lifestyle. But that's the negative side of the medal. The importance of relaxation - the positive side of the story - gets too little attention."

Sleep: essential for productivity and creativity

Sleep is an important form of relaxation. "But.. we sleep less and lessand the quality of our sleep is also deteriorating," Stefan knows. "The fact that we're living ever busier lives plays a big part in this. Nowadays both partners combine a demanding job with a busy private life. As a result, there's less and less time left to sleep."

Due to a lack of quality sleep, employees appear less and less fit and vital at work.

 

"The fact that our smartphone never stops has a negative effect on our sleep pattern. It's getting harder and harder for us to draw the line between day and night. As a result, employees appear less and less fit and vital at work. And this has consequences for their productivity and creativity. In the longer term, a lack of sleep - and an unhealthy lifestyle in general - can even lead to absenteeism and loss of work days."

Did you know that a quarter of Belgian deaths are due to cardiovascular disease? Encourage a healthy lifestyle in your organisation to reduce the risk for your employees.

Encourage a positive corporate culture

The increasing work pressure also makes the field of tension between stress, relaxation and lifestyle a work-related theme. "We live in a society that is strongly focused on individual performance," Stefan explains. "Employees are also less social with each other than they used to be. Anyone who suffers from psychosocial problems often has only a limited network to fall back on in an organisation."

What can an employer do about it? "A positive corporate culture is crucial," says Stefan. "An environment in which everyone treats each other with care, stimulates the mental health of your employees. In a small organisation, the employer can personally influence this. But in a company of about 200 employees, that is of course a lot more difficult. There is a need for structural action to stimulate a positive business culture.”

A positive corporate culture is also crucial for the third building block of vitality - in addition to a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle: motivation. "An employee who is physically and mentally healthy, but not motivated, does not have the necessary vitality to pursue objectives," Stefan explains.

"Motivation is a personal thing, but an employer can influence it. An efficient technique for this is nudging:subtly encourage employees to change their behaviour without imposing any obligations. A well-known example of nudging are the footprints on the floor that lead people past the elevator to the stairs."

Boost your vitality policy with the Vitality Scan

With the Vitality Scan, Mensura supports the vitality policy of small and large organisations. "In a questionnaire we gauge the physical and mental health of your employees. Based on the results, we give employees personal lifestyle advice, but we also draw up a global report for your organisation. Together we'll see what concrete actions you can take as an employer."