Work-life balance and
combo to go
employee wellbeing
Synopsis of a presentation by Dr. Linda Duxbury
(Carleton University)
innovative way to get around town. Her new bicycle weighs I recently had the privilege of attending a half-day presentation given by Dr. Linda Duxbury, Canada’s leading expert on the topic of work- life balance. Dr. Duxbury has been actively involved in researching work-life balance for more than 20 years. She is on top of the very latest statistics and trends in this area and guides PhD students in completing their theses on issues related to work-life balance. Given her background, I was not surprised that her talk was very informative, but her lively and engaging style was a big bonus. transportation and her own pedal power in getting to work, Introduction
Dr. Linda Duxbury had come from Ottawa to address a group of approximately 150 men and women, mostly municipal public sector employees, on why organizations need to take action now to reduce work-life conflict in their firms. Although work-life balance has been a serious issue for more than a decade, little has been done so far to address these problems. Using Duxbury’s metaphor, standing still is no longer an option; we are at the edge of a precipice and must address the burgeoning increase in work-life conflict and role overload. We must act not only in the interest of the individual’s physical and mental health, but also in the interest of the organization, and in the interest of our already overburdened health system.
Summary of the issues
The workplace challenges that we need to be addressing, according
to Duxbury, are “role overload,” “work to family conflict,” “family to
work conflict,” Role overload is defined as “having too much to do in
the amount of time allocated to do it.” Work to family conflict, as the
term suggests, is when work responsibilities negatively impact one’s
relationship with family. Family to work conflict occurs when family
illness or other crises prevent one from meeting work responsibilities.
According to Duxbury’s figures, almost 60% of employees report high levels of role overload. This in turn is the #1 predictor of prescription drug use in Canada with Prozac being the most prescribed drug.
Work to family conflict, as Duxbury points out, rose from about 25% “Laughter is the sun that
to 30% over the decade from 1991 to 2001 and has been continuing drives winter from the
to rise ever since. This has resulted in increased levels of job stress, human face.”
depression, burnout, and physical illness, as well as higher rates of —Victor Hugo
absenteeism and lower levels of engagement at work. What makes work-life
conflict an even bigger
issue for employers today?
dollars. It is simply unsustainable.
ularly among “boomer” employees.
As if these soaring work-life conflict issues were not challenge What can be done to turn
Why has work-life conflict
things around?
spiralled out of control?
with the issue of work-life conflict.
What would be the cost of
doing nothing?
Statistics Canada reports, show the increased medical benefit costs, them in her presentation, include those that continue to add more billion in doctors’ visits, $4 billion Don’t cough
The Employee and Family
into your hands!
Assistance Program offers
telecommuting, developing healthy organizational cultures, remember to help ensure that you don’t infect anyone else. Most Personal note:
screening news
the struggles we face daily in trying personal needs. Thanks to everyone Excerpted from http://www.buzzle.
A daily dose of chocolate
Did you know?
Health food or fattening indulgence?
Dark chocolate contains the antioxidant epicatechin, a plant flavonoid which is also found in tea, red wine, and various fruits and vegetables. (Flavonoids benefit your body by attacking free radicals—the generally bad stuff that causes cell damage, leading to heart disease, strokes and cancer). Consuming small, regular amounts of dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70% or more) may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of blood clots, and reduce hypertension.
urine and pipe it into a holding tank that farmers Plant flavonoids contribute to colour. Accordingly, the darker the chocolate, the higher the level of flavonoids. Three-quarters of an ounce of dark chocolate contains about the same amount of flavonoids as a glass of red wine. Milk proteins appear to bind to these antioxidant qualities, blocking absorption by the body. Accordingly, milk and white chocolate do not contain beneficial amounts of flavonoids, and consuming a glass of milk with your dark chocolate will negate the The fat in dark chocolate comes from cocoa butter, which is equal parts oleic acid (heart-healthy monounsaturated fat), stearic acid (a somewhat heart-neutral fat, which may lower LDL), and palmitic acid (a saturated The bad news about chocolate, of course, is that it is high in calories. Adding a 1-ounce bar to your daily diet will pack approximately 150 calories into your waistline. That can quickly reverse any health benefits! If you do indulge in a square or two a day, make sure you offset the extra calories. And please remember that fair-trade chocolate is generally HeartMath fitness tip
The Institute of HeartMath is a great information organization for
research linking emotions and “heart-brain communication” (www.
BCTF Wellness
In one of their recent newsletters, they offered a “HeartMath Fitness Committee Members
“When you’re exercising, choose an attitude you want to carry with you during the day. Before you start your exercise, take a minute to focus on the feeling of that attitude. An example would be if you want to have an attitude of “ease” through your day, focus on what it feels like when you are moving through your day effortlessly, handling whatever comes up during the day with clear thoughts and a balanced feeling inside.
The contents of this newsletter are intended to encourage better “While holding that feeling in your heart, you can then start breathing health decisions, not to provide medical advice. Please consult that attitude and carry the attitude and feeling with you into your workout routine and for the rest of the day.” before embarking on any new diet or exercise regime.

Source: http://www.tfeu.ca/health/wellness/Nov2007.pdf

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