Our 8-to-5 workday has evolved into a complex web of responsibilities, expectations, aspirations, and demands that most people now lead sedentary lifestyles. We often neglect our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being which leads to many of us experiencing fatigue and burnout, evidently a deteriorating quality of life.
Today, it is common to see people taking regular energy supplements, painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants ostensibly to help them ‘keep on, keeping on’.
Traditionally, physical fitness and wellness were always a preserve of affluent members of society who undertook extreme workout routines, adhered to strict diets, and read endless self-improvement books.
“Wellness involves taking care of the physical, mental, social, and financial aspects of our lives”
However, a sharp rise in lifestyle-related illnesses, often referred to as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, is largely blamed on
sedentary lifestyles and has seen governments, medics, life coaches, and policymakers support the adoption of active lifestyles.
A 2015 survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), entitled ‘Kenya STEPwise Survey For Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factors’ highlights the urgent need to prioritise NCD prevention and control at a national and county government level.
Furthermore, the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) recently released a survey on drug consumption in Kenya. The findings showed alcohol as the most abused substance in the country, followed by tobacco, miraa, and bhang in that order. Drug consumption including alcohol is a leading contributing factor to the prevalence of NCDs locally and globally.
These statistics call for a national strategic approach to dispel the misconception that wellness is only for Kenyans who can afford personal trainers and nutritionists. While proper diet and physical activity are crucial, embracing routine medical check-ups is equally necessary for identifying potential health issues before they escalate into major problems.
In a world that often glorifies busy schedules and sleepless nights, sleep often takes a backseat to our daily responsibilities. However, getting enough sleep is not a luxury but a fundamental requirement for improving productivity and overall well-being.
Technology has also played a significant role in promoting wellness by providing innovations in health and fitness technologies, including wearable devices, fitness apps, and online
wellness platforms. These advancements have made it more convenient, engaging, and easier for people to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, people’s awareness of their mental health vulnerability has heightened. Consequently, Kenyans are now better informed about the significance of maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activities, and prioritizing their mental well-being.
In conclusion, embracing work-life balance is a necessity for our well-being and overall success. It’s time to prioritize our mental and physical health, foster meaningful relationships,
and find purpose in our careers.
Employers, too, must recognize that a happy and healthy workforce is the key to sustained success. By valuing and supporting work-life balance and occupational wellness, we can
create a world where individuals thrive, both personally and professionally. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Vivian Mulaa is the Wellness Officer at Minet Kenya.
DISCLAIMER! Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the Corporation.