Brigette is responsible for leading the North American Safety Team to drive our Zero Harm culture and improve the Quality of Life of our employees, clients and customers by keeping them safe.
As we celebrate National Safety Month in June, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on creating a workplace where safety comes first. (more…)
You might not think of your workplace as a health hazard, but the effects of sitting all day at the office, grabbing a handful of candy as you walk by your coworker’s desk every day, and not drinking enough water are just a few of the unhealthy habits that can take a toll on your health. Here are three Quality of Lifehacks that can make for a healthier you in the workplace and a more productive workday. (more…)
Spring is the season to rejuvenate your home, your body, and your health. And just as we refresh our homes and our wardrobes after a long, cold winter, we can do the same for our diets. Here are 3 Quality of Lifehacks to get started on spring-cleaning your diet.
Senior Registered Dietitian,
In today’s media-saturated world, information about health and nutrition is everywhere. But while we have access to more reliable information about nutrition than ever, there are also many scientifically questionable or even false claims presented as fact. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sort out truths from falsehoods.
One such questionable source is the website “Is It Bad for You?” This site publishes health and nutrition reviews of food products, restaurants and a variety of products and services.
Do you feel you can’t get through the morning without caffeine? In the United States, 80 percent of adults consume caffeine every day. While most Americans enjoy their coffee in moderation, overconsumption can lead to unpleasant consequences. If you find yourself refilling your coffee cup throughout the day you may be familiar with the side effects of caffeine, such as insomnia, stomach issues and increased heart rate. (more…)
It’s no surprise that nutrition and health experts recommend cutting back on sugar as a key to healthy eating. Sugars added to foods and beverages are “empty” calories, and diets higher in added sugars are associated with negative health effects, including an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. And there’s a …
March is National Nutrition Month®, a nutrition education campaign hosted every year by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. This year’s theme, “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” is a reminder that each of us has the power to make better food and beverage choices that add up …
What’s your favorite office snack? Is it candy, chips, cookies, or other treat?
It’s very easy to eat unhealthy while at work. Further, many people may eat breakfast, lunch and snacks at work. Add in a midday gourmet coffee drink, treats provided at meetings, and an office drink fridge, people can easily tank their diets while on the job.
With this in mind, here are three Quality of Lifehacks to eat healthy at work. (more…)
Senior Registered Dietitian,
It’s Valentine’s Day – a day that’s synonymous with love and chocolates. Universally, people love sugar. It is a main ingredient in Valentine chocolates, candies as well as other comfort foods. With this in mind, sugar overindulgence might seem inevitable. Multiple studies show that eating too much sugar is directly correlated to obesity, which can lead to health problems. When it comes to sugar, moderation is key. Reducing the amount you eat is healthy, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it out completely. (more…)
Not only is Valentine’s Day around the corner, but February is also American Heart Month. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.. What better way to show how much you love your heart than by making heart-healthy food choices? Here’s a simple checklist to help you eat for a healthier heart. (more…)
February is National Hot Breakfast Month. And while chilly February is the perfect time to start your morning with something warm, there are benefits to eating a cooked breakfast year-round. Like all home-cooking, homemade breakfasts are likely to be healthier than any prepared food you could buy at the coffee shop near your office. And while it can be hard to find the time to cook in the morning, there are plenty of things you can make in a few minutes. Making time to prepare them can make your morning a more pleasant experience. (more…)
Snow, ice, cold, slippery roads – and isolation. And that’s on good days, when an ice storm or high winds haven’t knocked down the power lines. No senior in this situation is singing, “Hello, darkness, my old friend.” (more…)
Senior Registered Dietitian,
Thinking of going gluten-free for the New Year? What problem are you trying to solve? Does the December deluge of cookies, cupcakes, pies, hot rolls and stuffing have you feeling sluggish and pudgy? Excess sugar, fat, and calories are more likely to blame than gluten. Lean proteins, steamed vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and some exercise will help to get your waistline and digestive system back on track. (more…)
As the year comes to a close and a New Year begins, will you be making any New Year’s resolutions? Many of us use this as a time to reflect and decide to make changes to improve our lives. In fact, surveys have found some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions include “live life to the fullest,” “live a healthier lifestyle” and “lose weight.” (more…)
Are you guilty of just throwing your leftovers in the fridge as is after the big meal? Come out of your food coma and do it right. Holiday leftovers are a great way to use up excess food but require proper planning to ensure you use them safely. (more…)
How can you avoid giving your friends and family the gift of a food-borne illness? When it comes to preparing your holiday meal – you aren’t necessarily thinking about food safety but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 6 Americans suffer from a food borne illness every year. At Sodexo, …
Do you find the holidays stressful? It may be dealing with last minute holiday shopping, meeting end-of-year work obligations, or putting up with zany in-laws. It’s no surprise that December has been named National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month. Stress can impact concentration, motivation and productivity. It can also impact health and wellbeing.
With this in mind, here are three Quality of Lifehacks to help manage holiday season stress. (more…)
Nobody wants to spend the holidays in the ER. Last year, more than 90,000 people are treated in the ER for ladder-related injuries and nearly 4,000 injuries associated with extension cords. At Sodexo we use the 3 Checks for Safety before beginning any task as part of our Zero Harm Mindset. You can ask these …
It’s National Handwashing Awareness Week. Everyone knows that handwashing is key to prevent the spread of germs. This is especially important in the workplace. The Workforce Institute reports that workplace absenteeism rates range from five to ten percent. This means that at any point in time up to one out of 10 employees is missing from work due to illness.
Since the launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), minorities across the U.S. have made significant gains in healthcare coverage. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reports that between 2013 and 2015 the uninsured rates fell for all racial and ethnic groups. While the future of the ACA is uncertain, the fact is that our country is becoming more demographically diverse. Pew Research projects that by 2055 there will not be a single racial or ethnic majority. (more…)
Tis the season! This means dazzling Christmas light displays, countless hours of holiday shopping, and joyous festivities with coworkers, families and friends. It’s also a time for delicious holiday foods, like eggnog, fruitcake, pecan pie, sweet potato casserole and turkey with all the trimmings. While the season is filled with holiday cheer and celebrations, it’s also a time when many of us overindulge and fill up on too many calories. (more…)
November is a time devoted to raising awareness and understanding of diabetes—a disease that affects the lives of 29 million Americans living with diabetes, 86 million adults with prediabetes, and countless family and friends caring for loved ones. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, accounting for 90-95 percent of people living with diabetes (PWDs), and is on the rise worldwide. The good news is that lifestyle changes can help delay or even prevent type 2 diabetes. Here are three tips that can help you manage and take control of type 2 diabetes. (more…)
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) fulfills a critical mission: ending the childhood obesity crisis. After increasing steadily for decades, the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, but it is still alarmingly high compared to a generation ago. The CDC reports that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children (defined as those under 10 years of age) and quadrupled in adolescents (10 to 19 years of age) in the past 30 years. Among young children 2 to 5, rates more than doubled between the mid-1970s and 2000s before beginning a decline. If we don’t address this epidemic now, we are sending millions of children down a perilous path towards a lifetime of chronic diseases. PHA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work with the private sector to help end this crisis. (more…)
The Great American Smoke Out is this week. The American Cancer Society leads this yearly event on the third Thursday of each November to encourage smokers across the country to make a plan to quit or to plan in advance to quit smoking on this day. Over 480,000 Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses each year. Research also shows that smokers cost their employers close to $6,000 per year more than non-smokers.
With this in mind, it behooves employers to help their employees quit smoking. Here are three Quality of Lifehacks to help. (more…)
We all know the sayings: “Safety first”, “better safe than sorry”, “safety begins with you.” These phrases are everywhere, on posters, in emails—so ubiquitous, in fact, that we start to tune them out. We know that safety is important, but it’s easy to take it for granted.
Taking safety for granted, however, is the last thing we want to do. There’s nothing more important than our wellbeing, of course. But did you know that companies that invest in safety actually save money? (more…)
Schools, Sodexo North America
Marketing and ethics are two words that some may think are too often at opposing sides of the same spectrum, especially where kids are concerned. Kids are a unique demographic to market to, but a vital one that we must be careful with if we hope to make sustainable behavioral changes that will drive positive, healthier life choices. (more…)
Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life
This is the second blog in a continuing series based on the findings from the Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life’s recent roundtable on memory care. Read the full whitepaper: “Treat me like a person, because that is what I still am.”
We each have a unique set of circumstances that determine our quality of life (QOL). This can include environmental factors, health and well-being, socio-economic status and more. For the more than five million Americans who live with dementia, QOL is influenced by a completely different set of circumstances. (more…)
As the American diet has gotten more convenient, it has also gotten less healthy. The fast food, prepared food and easy-to-grab snacks that make up many of our meals have contributed to an obesity crisis and to the rise of chronic illnesses like diabetes.
This is the first blog in a continuing series based on the findings from the Institute for Quality of Life’s roundtable on memory care. Read the full whitepaper: “Treat me like a person, because that is what I still am.”
Dementia is perceived differently by different people. Broadly, dementia refers to a decline in mental ability serious enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform common activities. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that one in nine Americans over the age of 65 is impacted by dementia. As the 75 million baby boomers (ages 51-69) grow older, the number of Americans with dementia will significantly increase. (more…)
October can be the scariest month of the year—not because of Halloween, but because it’s Vegetarian Awareness Month, and, for some of us, eating a vegetarian diet seems too fearsome a task to even attempt. But—just like when you visit the haunted house in your neighbor’s garage—the fear of going veg is all in your head. With just a few easy techniques, becoming a vegetarian is easy as meat-free pie. (more…)
Sodexo North America
Food allergies are more common than many people think. In fact, 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with a food allergy, according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), and one in three Americans report experiencing some form of negative reaction to food. Chances are someone in your office has a food allergy or intolerance. (more…)
K12 Schools, Sodexo North America
Do you blame the pollen count for your coughing, sneezing and stuffy nose? Do you track the pollen count and stay indoors on heavy pollen days? I hate to tell you, but the quality of air inside of buildings, where people spend about 90 percent of their time, is even more important to your health. Ironically, according to the EPA, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted—and in some cases up to 100 times more polluted—than outdoor air. This is a significant issue in schools, where exposure to allergens, such as dust mites, pests and molds can trigger asthma symptoms. (more…)
Today is National Relaxation Day. While we can all agree that relaxation is a good thing, it might seem hard to live up to the spirit of the holiday on a work day—especially a Monday. After all, the office can be a difficult place to relax. According to the American Institute of Stress, “job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems.” But there are simple ways to lower your stress level at the office. Here are three hacks to help you relax: (more…)
This is National Farmers Market week, and markets near you are probably ready to brim full of fruits and vegetables that local farmers will harvest through the fall. Farmers Markets can be a lot of fun to visit—you might even discover a fruit or vegetable variety that you didn’t even know existed. But there are also health, environmental and community benefits that come from buying and eating fresh, local produce. (more…)
We are smack-dab in the middle of summer. As the days get longer and the temperatures get warmer, those of us who work in offices every day start to look longingly out of the windows. While we can’t move our offices outdoors, summer is the perfect time to work a little more outdoor time into your daily schedule. Here are a few ideas for bringing sunshine into your work life.
When it comes to celebrating our independence, the United States and Canada have a lot more in common than a shared border. In Canada, we celebrate our independence on July 1, a national holiday called Canada Day. Just a few days later, the United States celebrates its independence on the Fourth of July. (more…)
We know how important it is for kids to eat healthy. Parents and educators strive to ensure children have access to healthy options at home and at school — but what about in their communities?
Sodexo has partnered with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to make sure we have healthy choices in all the food service facilities we oversee, including community venues where families spend their leisure time, such as aquariums, museums and zoos. (more…)
Health isn’t something that begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. The benefits of healthy living don’t come to an end when an employee leaves work. So why should wellness programs stop at the office door?
Effective wellness programs must engage employees in every aspect of their lives. To help employees stay on the path to good health, they have to reach beyond workplace walls to help employees stay well at home and in the community.
That’s why public-private partnerships are crucial when it comes to wellness programs. When employers partner with community groups, they can work together to touch all aspects of an employee’s lifestyle, from eating a healthy breakfast to reducing stress throughout the workday to getting enough sleep at night.
Everyone seems to be trying to live a healthier lifestyle. From increasing physical activity, to practicing meditation, to consuming more mindful and sustainable foods – people are seeking information and making positive lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being, as well as the environment. If you happen to have a millennial or a member of Generation Z in your life, then the odds are this need for information and quest to “do the right thing” may resonate even more strongly with you…there is certainly no hesitation -at least in my house- in their expressed opinions on the topic. One easy, effective way to reach a healthier lifestyle is to adopt a plant-based diet; or perhaps you might even say a “plant forward” mindset. In the last year or so (in truth-mostly as a result of the aforementioned teenagers and young adults in my house), we have been on a mealtime journey to do just that. In that spirit, here is some information that might just give you something to think about. (more…)
The desire and necessity to improve seniors’ healthcare experience presents both opportunity and motivation for improved collaboration between acute and senior care providers. Recently a roundtable brought together stakeholders from strategic and geographic aligned acute care and senior living organizations to work collaboratively together to answer the question “How can hospitals and senior living providers work better together?” (more…)
This Sunday, countless Americans will attend Super Bowl parties — whether they’re football fans or not. Bowl parties are notoriously unhealthy because they feature high-fat, high-calorie foods. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) calls Super Bowl Sunday the second biggest food day in the U.S., behind Thanksgiving. But there are other health risks that come from Super Bowl parties, too. (more…)
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) was established in 2010 to tackle the childhood obesity crisis by transforming the marketplace and our communities. PHA works with the private sector to make healthier choices easier for busy parents and families. The group ensures that commitments made are commitments kept, by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress its partners are making. In choosing partners, PHA works with companies that want to make meaningful commitments, and that have the breadth and depth to positively impact the quality of life of both children and their families on a daily basis.
A recent JAMA study found that half of adults in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes. But what many people may not realize is that their everyday behaviors could lead to diabetes. Sodexo, as the nation’s largest employer of Registered Dietitians (RDs), is passionate about working with our clients to help prevent diabetes. There are several habits that people are engaging in right now that could lead to diabetes. A few of these habits include:
Welcome to the New Normal: The average business professional has 30-100 projects on their plate, is interrupted 7x/hour, and unlocks their phone 110 times a day. We are pressured to ‘innovate or stagnate’ amidst constant change.
We’re bombarded with endless to-do lists at every turn—at home, on the job and especially in regard to our health. Eat plenty of kale, broccoli, quinoa and yogurt. Exercise 30 minutes a day. Get up and walk around every hour. Get plenty of sleep. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. But there are some simple ways that can help you stay energized, nutritionally balanced and reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes.
This is the first in a continuing blog series based on insights and findings from the Sodexo 2016 Workplace Trends Report. The Report examines nine key trends impacting business outcomes and affecting the quality of life of employees and consumers in the workplace. To learn more, access the full article Population Health Management: A New Business Model for a Healthier Workforce.
Recently stakeholders from strategic and geographic aligned acute care and senior living organizations came together to work collaboratively to answer the question “How can hospitals and senior living providers work better together?” Attendees of The Role of Acute Care and Senior Living in an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System Roundtable, were eager to collaborate, knowing the results could be significant. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, acute care hospitals and senior living providers are grappling with new realities: our elders are living longer and want to live healthier, while the government is challenging providers to do more with less. Acute and senior living providers can make a difference in quality of life when we collaborate to create a health and well-being culture in our communities, one that reduces the need for hospital admissions. For example:
February is American Heart Month, a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle by making small changes and incorporating more heart-healthy behaviors that can lead to better heart health. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in America. It’s a chronic disease that many are genetically predisposed to have, but there is a …
On behalf of the children, families and community of the South Bronx, I thank you for opportunity to share my story, my passion and my mission with you. One might wonder what a teacher from the South Bronx – the poorest Congressional District in America – would have to say? The answer is simple; Green Bronx Machine! Many years ago my students and I began to observe that as waistlines expanded, engagement and opportunities in school decreased, school performance suffered, and hope and ambition became minimized. Originally an after-school, alternative program for high school students, Green Bronx Machine has evolved into K-12+ model fully integrated into core curriculum. Our students grow, eat and love their vegetables en route to spectacular academic performance.
The desire and necessity to improve seniors’ healthcare experience presents both opportunity and motivation for improved collaboration between acute and senior care providers. Recently a roundtable brought together stakeholders from strategic and geographic aligned acute care and senior living organizations to work collaboratively together to answer the question “How can hospitals and senior living providers work better together?”
The patient experience doesn’t end at the hospital door. What happens next often defines the long-term outcome for the patient, especially for seniors—and the hospital’s financial outcome as well. Acute care hospitals and senior living providers are grappling with new realities: our elders are living longer and want to live healthier, while the government is challenging providers to do more with less.
Every year the month of September is dedicated to celebrating the importance of eating breakfast as a part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle. The power of breakfast is often underestimated. The food we choose affects our energy level, our ability to focus and our power to think clearly. This has been proven with students in the classroom and with athletes on the field—it stands to reason that it makes a difference in the workplace as well.
Do you have a “monkey mind?” This wonderfully colorful description describes someone who starts thinking about the challenges of the day ahead the moment they wake up—their mind racing through a list of have to’s, should have’s and why did I’s? As Entrepreneur points out, a restless mind can cause trouble sleeping, poor decision-making, anxiety and even depression—none of which helps us excel during a demanding day. A monkey mind distracts us from the task at hand, creating stress and impairing productivity.
Food matters. The nutritional value and appeal of their food makes a difference to the scientists on the International Space Station. That point was made during a panel discussion “Is Food the Cure?” by Vickie Kloeris, Manager, International Space Station Food System, NASA Johnson Space Center. She was joined by Dr. Frédéric Saldmann, Cardiologist, Nutritionist and Writer, and Lawrence A. Soler, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America. They were among the speakers that I was privileged to hear at Sodexo’s inaugural Quality of Life Conference.
Senior Registered Dietitian,
With food allergies on the rise, and 15 million Americans allergic to one or more foods, chances are good that someone you work with, go to school with or are friends with will have a food allergy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affects between 4 and 6 percent of young people in the U. S. Allergic reactions can be life threatening and have far-reaching effects on the individual and their families, as well as the school, college or university they attend. The Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE) has designed the “Be A PAL – Protect A Life from Food Allergies” campaign for younger children, but college students away from home and family for the first time have unique challenges and need even more support from their friends and fellow students.
I recently had the opportunity to hear a true agent of change share a compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world. Arianna Huffington, Chair, President and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group, shared a detailed roadmap for positive lifestyle change during her keynote speech at the inaugural Quality of Life Conference. She had just come from the funeral of Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, and she posed the question: “Why is it that our eulogies are so different from our resumes?” People’s resumes often bear little resemblance to their eulogies. We are not spending our days aligned with the values people will remember us for.
Strong businesses need healthy engaged employees. The average person spends more time at work than in any other daily activity and for many of us, that means eight plus hours spent sitting at a desk in front of a computer, on the phone and in meetings. While rising healthcare costs are certainly a driving factor in the equation, companies are realizing that employee health and well-being is central to their employees’ engagement, productivity, performance and overall quality of life. Since these are all factors that affect the bottom line, it only makes sense for organizations to create an environment and foster a culture that is more focused on the health and well-being of employees.
As the summer winds down, so does my internship. I can’t help but wonder what college is going to be like when I return. Who’s going to be living in my residence halls? How long is the walk to my first class? What will my senior year be like? But for one in five school-aged children in America, they are wondering what will be served for lunch on the first day back. That’s because one of every five children in our rich and prosperous country is food insecure—they don’t know how or when they will receive their next meal.
Do you start your day with a run or workout? Good start, but it’s not enough. If you work in an office, you’re sitting yourself to death.
Michael Norris, COO and Market President of Sodexo Corporate Services, was invited to share his insights on the importance of STEM education in the Health Care field at the University of Phoenix Healthcare Forum. In an associated post on the University of Phoenix’s blog, Michael outlines why more emphasis needs to be given to STEM careers in healthcare, the fastest growing segment of STEM jobs. For example, clinical nutrition and clinical technology management are projected to grow 21 percent and 30 percent respectively from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.
As we survey the health landscape, the top challenge we face in Florida is the challenge of weight. Only 36 percent of Floridians are at healthy weight; one quarter are obese and the rest are overweight. Over the next 20 years in Florida, obesity is expected to contribute to millions of cases of preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, costing an estimated $34 billion.
The prevalence of chronic disease continues to grow in staggering numbers across the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of 2012, about half of all adults (or 117 million people) have one or more chronic health conditions and 25 percent have two or more chronic health conditions. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently noted that 48 percent of all health care spending in 2006 was for the 50 percent of the population who have one or more chronic medical conditions. Similarly, the American Heart Association estimates the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in decreased productivity.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic pulmonary conditions are becoming a huge economic burden in the U.S. Earlier onset of chronic disease and its development in more working-aged adults has caused a decline in the overall health and quality of life of employees, resulting in days away from work and subpar job performance. Adding to the burden is the cost of treating chronic disease—estimated to account for about 75% of national healthcare expenditures.
Given employees’ busy and demanding lives, sleep is a necessity—but its importance is all too often overlooked. Getting enough sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more. Yet, it is estimated that around 30% of adults don’t get enough sleep. According to a 2008 National Sleep Foundation poll, almost a third of American employees report that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily activities at least a few days each month. In fact, sleep loss affects so many adults that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.
There is a tremendous amount of discussion around the childhood obesity epidemic and its impact on immediate and long term health and wellbeing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. In fact, as of 2012 more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
A systems-based approach to improving health considers all factors involved in caring for patients and the many factors that influence one’s quality of life. The integration of people, processes, policies, and organizations is critical to promoting better health at lower cost. For example, we can close the clinic-to-community gap by using an integrated systems approach that connects employers, healthcare providers, community-based organizations and family/community relationships.
According to Statistic Brain, coffee, fresh brewed and fragrant, is enjoyed by 100 million Americans every day—and 25% drink more than 13 cups each week. Our caffeinated nation’s productivity outpaces all other countries, and though this can’t be directly correlated to coffee consumption, it’s probably a contributing factor. While I’m not a huge coffee drinker, I can tell you that a little surge of caffeine boosts my output and really keeps me alert, both physically and mentally.
Global Chief Diversity Officer
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