7 Ways to Celebrate World Osteoporosis Day at your Workplace
The 20th of October is observed as World Osteoporosis Day. It is dedicated to raising awareness of bone health, and the event aims to create a global health priority for osteoporosis and fracture prevention by reaching out to millions.
Corporate employee awareness of World Osteoporosis Day is crucial in modern times. The workforce is at a high risk of falling prey to this disease. The underlying causes could be their sedentary lifestyle and working long hours at their desks in their regular 9-5.
Osteoporosis does not wait till your retirement to manifest itself. At least one in three men and one in five women will experience an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime.
There are many reasons for celebrating World Osteoporosis Day. If you wish to have the highest possible quality of life, educating yourself about the associated factors is a big step in preventing osteoporosis.
What is Osteoporosis?
The word 'osteoporosis' means 'porous bone.' It is also known as 'brittle bone disease.' It weakens your bones and makes you prone to fragility fractures. Even in the slightest of accidents, it leads to the deterioration of mineral density and decreases bone mass.
Because this disease does not cause pain until the bones are demineralized, it may go unnoticed. Osteoporosis and consequent brittle bones impart serious risk factors. It causes excruciating pain, weakened grip, and fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine.
Myth - Osteoporosis is a normal process of aging.
Fact - Although it is prevalent in old age, it is a serious disorder that is not a natural part of the aging process and is caused by bone demineralization
History of World Osteoporosis Day (WOD)
Before 1994, osteoporosis was not considered a life-threatening condition. It was first observed in the United Kingdom. On October 20, 1996, the National Osteoporosis Society introduced World Osteoporosis Day.
By the late 1990s, World Osteoporosis Day programs were co-sponsored by World Health Organization (WHO). And the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) also came into being. Today, national osteoporosis patient societies host events in over 90 countries worldwide.
Myth - Osteoporosis affects everyone on the planet.
Fact - Osteoporosis is not universal. Various nations have differing rates of osteoporosis cases. It is due to multiple deciding factors, such as hormones and medical history.
The Need for a Workplace Intervention to Prevent Osteoporosis
The modern work culture is more about performance and results than employees. This may promote productivity and boost your thinking capacity. But it is also deteriorating your bone health. Sitting at your desk can lead to osteoporosis.
5 Causes of Osteoporosis in Corporate Employees:
1. Sedentary Lifestyle
Sedentary behaviors include sitting for long hours, excess screen time, and using very little energy. Most working adults sit at their desks all day with little or no movement. Every decade, the elderly lose bone mass due to normal aging.
Mature skeletons cannot produce new bone cells as young skeletons, and loss of bone density with inactivity still occurs. Inactive adults increase their risk of bone loss by not engaging in physical exercise. Additionally, muscle mass loss with aging exposes bones to greater impact stresses. But a sedentary lifestyle worsens the situation exponentially.
Myth-Calcium reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Fact: Although calcium is essential for bone health, it is not the sole determinant of osteoporosis.
Smoking at work has become a common practice. Many workplaces have smoking zones, and employees tend to smoke during work hours. Smoking, in any amount, has a negative effect on bone health and osteoporosis risk.
Studies show that smoking has been found to:
Reduce blood flow to the bones.
Reduce the number of bone-forming cells produced.
Calcium absorption is inhibited.
Smokers are more prone to get workout injuries such as fractures or sprains because their bones are weaker. It takes longer for them to recover if they do experience a fracture. If surgery is necessary to fix a fractured bone, a smoker is more likely to have a longer healing period. Also, they are at a higher risk of health ailments than someone who does not smoke.
The effects of moderate alcohol consumption on bone health are not known. But adverse damaging effects are evident in people exposed to alcohol consumption. Usually, since adolescence and young adulthood.
Smoking/alcohol dependency and work stress can be correlated. Many corporate employees can turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism, and this can speed up osteoporosis risk.
Smoking and alcohol usage not only harm mental and physical health but also have a monetary cost. Allowing smoking in the workplace makes it more difficult for employees to quit. It gets simpler for them to become nicotine or alcohol dependent, adding the burden of bad health to corporate expenditures.
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3. Inadequate Nutrition
Fast food consumption has been affected by the busy lifestyles of millennials and the global rise of working populations. Employees have access to mostly unhealthy food at work. They pay less attention to their dietary intake and nutritional requirements.
Fast food consumption has been affected by the busy lifestyles of millennials as well as the global rise of working populations. Employees have access to mostly unhealthy food at work. They pay less attention to their dietary intake and nutritional requirements.
Proper nutritional awareness in the workplace should be promoted. Employers can provide an effective corporate wellness program that will ensure a good employee experience which can lead to healthy lifestyle choices.
Calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and magnesium are important to bone health. These elements must be considered to ensure that you meet your daily requirements.
If you don't obtain enough calcium from diet or supplements, your body will extract calcium from your bones.
Dairy products are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Apart from that, sardines or canned salmon with bones;
dark green vegetables (collards, kale, broccoli, bok choy, okra);
seeds (poppy, sesame, chia);
Almonds are good sources too.
Low-fat milk and yogurt contain magnesium
Silicon is another significant element important for bone health. Silicon deficiency has been associated with poor skeletal development. Sources of silicon include whole grains, green beans, lentils, bananas, and green leafy vegetables.
4. Hormonal imbalances in night shift workers
It is recently suggested that working at night causes hormonal imbalances. This may indirectly influence bone health among night shift workers. As a result, it is reasonable to believe that night shift employment may contribute to osteoporosis.
Melatonin is a hormone that stimulates bone cell differentiation. Secretion of melatonin is inhibited by exposure to artificial light at night.
Also, Vitamin D is vital for bone health. It is also called the 'sunshine vitamin,' as the sun is the best source of Vitamin D. Night-shift workers are rarely exposed to sunlight. Alterations in the sleep-wake cycle cause metabolic disorders and disrupt hormone secretion.
Fatty fish (swordfish, salmon, sardines, mackerel); fortified foods (dairy, cereal); egg yolks are good sources of Vitamin D.
Suggested read: 15 Minutes Power Nap At Work : What You Need To Know.
5. Low BMI/Eating Disorders
Men and women with smaller body frames are likely to develop osteoporosis. Eating disorders can also affect working adults, just like any other disorder.
Identifying an eating disorder in a coworker, employee, or boss is not always apparent. An undetected or untreated condition can lead to major health concerns and even death.
Eating disorders can be caused by self-esteem and body image issues.
7 Ways to Celebrate World Osteoporosis Day at Your Workplace
1. Spread Awareness
Osteoporosis is not a common term that the general public usually comes across. So you can use WOD as an opportunity to gather your employees and have a two-way communication. Discuss bone health, body postures, the importance of exercise, and required dietary intake. You can also bring up facts about osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
A poster competition can be held among the employees. You can set up a bulletin board to showcase these posters. Also, you can share quotes and slogans on World Osteoporosis Day.
You can also invite a doctor to your office who can provide professional information about osteoporosis. This will not only create awareness among employees but will also act as a trigger for them to set appointments with their doctors.
2. Wear your whites
Wear all white to commemorate World Osteoporosis Day and raise awareness about the disease. Wearing all white is one approach to bring attention to the day and start a conversation about it with someone.
3. Desk Exercise Demonstration
The workplace is not always conducive to regular exercise. It can create a more inactive way of life with the potential for developing chronic health problems.
A desk exercise demonstration can be conducted to promote awareness of World Osteoporosis Day. This practice will show people how to perform exercises. Sitting at their desks and maintaining good posture in their workplace can be a start.
The important thing is that we know these exercises are suitable for our health. They are also necessary for a healthy office environment.
4. Improve workplace ergonomics
One way to improve workplace ergonomics is to provide office furniture that supports good posture. Ergonomics can help you avoid injuries and improve your physical performance. According to research, successful implementation involves commitment and serious engagement from all workers. You can accomplish this correctly if you educate yourself on when and how to use it.
People who work in ergonomic environments have better health. It usually begins in the cardiovascular system and progresses to other body parts. Your heart will be healthier than working in a familiar atmosphere.
You and your employees will also experience less stress in your bodies since the workstations will be adjusted to meet your height. These natural postures will save your eyes and neck from straining. Because your blood flow will be excellent, you will also have less leg stiffness.
A standing desk can be helpful for those who want to change their body position and maintain a healthy spine. Different sitting positions can also help prevent repetitive stress injuries. It gives you the chance to change what you do every hour or so.
Here are a few ways to improve workplace ergonomics:
The monitor display should be at or below eye level.
The head and neck should be balanced and in line with the body.
Shoulders should be loosened.
Elbows should be closed, along with body support.
There should be support for the lower back.
The wrists and hands should be parallel to the forearms.
There must be enough space for a keyboard and mouse.
You should feel your feet flat on the ground.
5. Inform about planned dietary intake
The importance of planned dietary intake cannot be stressed enough. This is not just limited to the necessary balance of vitamins and minerals but also to the inclusion of foods known to increase bone strength.
Include a list of specific food items that will positively impact skeletal health.
Highlight the importance of a balanced diet. Food that is rich in calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and other important minerals for healthy bones should be included in the diet.
Explore the possible effects of unhealthy dietary habits on the skeletal system.
6. Get tested for bone density
Use World Osteoporosis Day to learn more about how your bones perform in the body and how keeping them strong can save your life. Use this day to consult with specialists on the best ways to strengthen your body and, if required, begin treatments. You may include periodic bone checkups in your employee wellness program.
Suggested read Top 10 Benefits Of An Employee Wellness Program.
A bone density test uses X-rays to determine how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a bone section. It can help diagnose the risks of developing osteoporosis.
Myth - Osteoporosis is caused by low bone mass.
Fact- Low bone mass may influence osteoporosis. Although it has not been proven that loss of bone mineral density (BMD) invariably causes osteoporosis.
7. Spread the word
The best way to spread the word about World Osteoporosis Day is through social media platforms. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can provide great exposure. The hashtags #WOD and #WorldOsteoporosisDay can be used to spread the word about the event.
Employee wellness programs are an excellent method to promote healthy habits in the workplace. They may be entertaining, educational, and engaging. Furthermore, well-designed wellness programs allow corporate organizations to reduce employee absenteeism and healthcare expenditures.
You can also create awareness by sharing informative and educational content. Information about osteoporosis can be shared on your company website, social media, and newsletters.
Another way to spread the word about World Osteoporosis Day is by organizing public events. This will help people to know about the disease and prevent them from getting affected by it.
Also, to guide your employees toward the path of wellness, you can include an all-in-one fitness tracking app, such as Vantage Fit, in your employee wellness program. Vantage Fit not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also encourages employee engagement. It consists of various in-app tasks and challenges, making step track interesting.
It is an excellent solution for organizations looking to meet all of their workers' wellness demands. Walking, jogging, squatting, and jumping jacks are ideal for bone density and increasing balance, making them ideal for osteoporosis prevention.
Suggested read A Step-By-Step Guide To Vantage Fit Synchronization.
Osteoporosis is a disease that can be prevented easily by following a healthy lifestyle. So if you are a corporate employee working 9-5, ensure you get your bone density checked and start following a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible.
If you do so, you will significantly reduce your risk of osteoporosis and all its complications. Also, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, make sure you visit your doctor to get a diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent osteoporosis from progressing further and developing into a more serious condition.
Please spread the word about World Osteoporosis Day and its significance in your Workplace and your community. Become an advocate for bone health and endorse employee engagement and corporate wellness advantages.
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