Welcome to your health & well-being report, which gives you an analysis of your scores and provides you with advice on how to make any changes necessary.
Using your report
The advice contained in the report is provided by medical experts. However before reading your personal report, do bear in mind that, while it covers all the questions asked, it is not a substitute for a full face-to-face health & well-being check. If you have any health worries do talk to your doctor, who will know you and your medical history.
Your overall score
Your overall score rates as low. This is concerning but is also easily tackled if you are committed to making the changes necessary to your diet, levels of fitness and stress management techniques. Read your report carefully, and speak to your doctor about anything you are concerned about (even if it is not mentioned in your report).
Understanding your report
* At the start of your report you will find some short summary points, which give a brief overview of the information contained within your main report.
* Your total score is out of 100, with a high score indicating a good overall approach to health & well-being and a low score indicating a poor approach.
* Sub-scores for all sections are also listed, and all scores are colour-coded into red (poor), orange (medium), and green (good).
Health & Well being Assessment
07 May 2009
Health & Well being Assessment
score = 23
* Score improved
* Score unchanged
* Score deteriorated
* Positive point * Possible concern
* Warning point * General info
Your Subscores Score Change Comment
Risk behaviour & Life Style 93 Score unchanged 0 Good
Perception of overall health 71 Score unchanged 0 Good
Life Load 71 Score unchanged 0 Good
Effectiveness at work 71 Score unchanged 0 Good
Job Satisfaction 58 Score unchanged 0 Medium
Sleep 54 Score unchanged 0 Medium
Weight 45 Score unchanged 0 Medium
Medical Health 28 Score unchanged 0 Poor
Physical Activity 26 Score unchanged 0 Poor
Nutrition 26 Score unchanged 0 Poor
Pain 17 Score unchanged 0 Poor
Mood 15 Score unchanged 0 Poor
Stress 8 Score unchanged 0 Poor
Stage of change 2/5 Contemplator
Ideal Risk behaviour & Life Style
Smoking, drinking and our approach to personal safety are all factors that are known to potentially affect long-term health. As a non-drinker you completely avoid an important worldwide cause of ill-health. Additionally the fact that you do not smoke is important in decreasing your chances of developing many serious medical conditions. Your approach to your more immediate personal safety, in the form of wearing a seatbelt, is also good. Keep up the low-risk lifestyle!
Ideal Perception of overall health
You feel that your health is very good however you do have some health and well-being issues that could impact upon this. Take some time to read this whole report and identify areas that you could change to keep your health at its peak.
Ideal Life Load
Life load is an estimation of the relatively fixed sources of potential strain in your life, in other words the things in your life that would be quite difficult or impossible to change, at least in the short-term. It looks at your marital status, age, number of dependents, position within your company and hours of work. A high score indicates relatively low levels of fixed strain in your life, a low score indicates high levels of fixed strain. Your life load is good, suggesting that you have relatively few fixed sources of strain in your life. Enjoy the benefits that this brings.
Ideal Effectiveness at work
You consider that you have been highly effective in your work over the last three months and although you do not feel that your health has impacted upon this your overall HWB index is lower than average, which is a factor that is likely to be contributory. Stress seems to be a major factor in your life at present.
May need attention Job Satisfaction
You seem to be very satisfied with your current job even though you don't seem to have much control over your working practices. This having been said different aspects of a job are important to different people. Congratulations on finding a job that is right for you.
May need attention Sleep
The sleep score rates your reported sleep quantity and quality as well as how you feel in yourself when you wake. You sleep for more time than the average person which in itself is not a bad thing, especially as you are happy with your sleep and feel refreshed when you wake in the morning. Congratulations it seems that your sleep is not an issue. The main report and the sleep assessment will help you learn more about your sleep should you wish.
May need attention Weight
The weight score looks at your body mass index (BMI) which is a measure of your weight as related to your height. Your weight is above that recommended for someone of your height and is starting to get towards the level where health problems become much more likely. The nutrition section of this report will give you further information and suggestions about how you can tackle this issue.
Warning - needs attention Medical Health
This score looks at whether you have any significant medical conditions and also how much time you have needed to take off work due to illness during the last 3 months. You report having depression. Because of this it is doubly important that you concentrate on living as healthy a life as possible. The fact that you do not smoke or drink alcohol is one of the best ways to ensure that you limit the effects of your medical condition on your general health and well-being. The main report section will provide you with some further information on this area.
Warning - needs attention Physical Activity
This score estimates your level of fitness based upon your age, weight, gender and usual level of physical activity. Your score of 26 is generally poor. You do not appear to be doing enough regular physical activity to benefit your health. By increasing your activity levels you will decrease your chances of developing many common medical conditions in the future and will also feel better on a day to day basis.
Warning - needs attention Nutrition
This score looks at your consumption of three of the major food categories, fat, fibre and fruit / vegetables. Your score of 26 is generally poor and could contribute to ill health in the future. You should look particularly at your fibre intake which is too low. By improving your diet you may also find that you feel better in yourself on a day to day basis.
Warning - needs attention Pain
Your moderate pain over the last three months appears to be, at least in part, musculoskeletal in origin. If you have not already done so you should seek apropriate medical advice to try and control, and if possible prevent, this problem. Long-term pain can have a major impact upon both mental and physical wellbeing
Warning - needs attention Mood
This score looks at your feelings and mood over the last three months, as well as your outlook for the future. You appear to have been quite unhappy during this time and see the future as being quite a difficult time. Although you feel you will be able to cope, you may want to take the stress assessment which will give you some ideas for tackling and improving this area of your life.
Warning - needs attention Stress
This score looks at some of the symptoms of stress, particularly how much of the time you have felt under pressure or calm as well as whether you report having a lot of energy or feeling depressed. Your score of 8 indicates a generally poor overall stress profile. There could be many reasons for this however, of note you appear to have felt under considerable pressure, had low levels of energy, not felt very calm and felt really quite depressed during the last three months.
Contemplator Stage of Change
This score covers your stage of change, and whether you feel the need to make changes in your lifestyle for health & well-being reasons. Your score is 2/5 . You recognise that the way you live your life impacts upon your health & well-being, and you plan to make changes within the next six months. That is great! Planning your changes can make them more manageable, and if you feel you are taking control of your health & well-being you may find it easier to maintain the lifestyle changes you are planning. You will already be considering the impact of issues arising from your current lifestyle. Take some time to read through your report carefully, and maybe do some of the other assessments. They may confirm your concerns, or suggest other areas that could do with some attention. Above all, don't be daunted. Small changes make a big difference to your health & well-being, and you have taken the first steps to making those changes, and benefiting from them.
Your nutrition results
You indicate that your diet needs major improvement. If you do not do this now you could find that it contributes to ill-health at a later stage. The good news is that a few small changes in each area can make a big difference to your diet. Improving your diet is straightforward, and can be done to fit into your lifestyle (you are much more likely to maintain your new good habits this way!). Although your diet needs an overhaul, by tackling this issue now you can improve your long-term health & well-being.
Sufficient fibre intake is vital for good health. Fruit and vegetables contain fibre, so increasing your intake of those can help. Wholemeal bread (check it is wholemeal, as brown bread does not have the same levels of fibre as wholemeal bread), wholemeal pasta and brown rice are all good sources. Baked potatoes are good, as long as you eat the skins too (scrub them well before baking). Drink extra liquid (low-sugar squashes, water or flavoured water, skimmed milk) if you increase your fibre intake. Water also helps the passage of fibre through the body, helping to prevent constipation.
For more specific advice and recommendations take the nutrition assessment.
Your sleep results
You indicate that you sleep for an above average length of time, you feel you sleep well, and when you wake up you feel refreshed from your sleep. Well done! You are happy with your sleep. Sleeping well helps you feel prepared, alert and productive throughout the day. Additionally, it is believed that the time we spend asleep is critical for the repair processes that are necessary to keep our bodies in tip-top condition. Sleep difficulties affect as many as a third of the population. Fortunately that is not the case with you. Many aspects of modern living have been shown to impact upon sleep quality: stress, alcohol and caffeine consumption, and nutrition have all been shown to have an effect. Additionally, the environment in which we sleep is also important. It is recommended that a bedroom temperature of 18°C is optimal for a good night's sleep. Noise and light can also significantly impact upon sleep quality. Although you sleep well it may be worth looking at some of these issues to see whether you could improve your sleep further. Currently your sleep routine gives you no problems - but you may still find it useful to complete the sleep assessment.
The sleep assessment will help you further with these issues.
Your stress results
Your score is rather concerning. Do, however, remember that this result is derived from just a few questions and may not give the whole picture. For a more detailed look at stress take the stress assessment. Compared with most people your answers do indicate a degree of un-managed stress in your life. The first step in better management of stress is to look at the many aspects of your life that we know can impact upon the way we deal with stress. In the long-term, appropriate stress management is important to stay balanced and productive. While some pressure makes life exciting and can motivate you to achieve, too much can undermine your health.
Of note over the last three months:
* You have felt overwhelmed with pressure or stress from responsibilities, circumstances or relationships a significant amount of the time.
* You have had low levels of energy.
* You have not felt very calm.
* You felt really quite depressed.
These issues may be a cause for concern, especially as your mood also seems quite low. However, there are simple and immediate steps you can take to improve your stress management and hence any symptoms you may be experiencing. These may not cure the problem but they will help you prevent things getting worse. These suggestions may not all be relevant to you. For more detailed information and advice on stress and stress management, take the stress assessment.
By improving your diet and ensuring you eat the recommended amount of fruit, vegetables and fibre, without consuming too much fat, should make you feel better in yourself. Do you eat breakfast? Eating breakfast can improve your mood and resilience for the day ahead. Many people don't feel hungry first thing in the morning and so skip breakfast altogether. By mid-morning their alertness and productivity can be significantly impaired. A good option is to buy some fruit and a yoghurt on the way into work; an apple and a banana plus a low-fat yoghurt will provide you with a good start to the day and should see you through until lunchtime.
Plan your free time. Whether it is a trip to the cinema, a walk in the countryside or just relaxing in front of the fire with the Sunday papers, plan what you will be doing and when you will be doing it. In order to manage the stresses and strains of everday life it is vitally important you have time set aside for your own relaxation and leisure.
Plan your work and put into place a time management strategy. First, de-clutter your desk, bin unnecessary paperwork and resolve to do this regularly. When you are working, keep interruptions to a minimum by using voicemail to screen or take your calls, and only checking your email at specified times. Ad hoc conversations with colleagues can take up a vast amount of the day, and although often useful there are occasions when your time would be better spent. Take control of the conversation by accepting that your colleague has an issue to be discussed, but stating that you are busy and will be free to discuss it at a later (specified) time. Try and keep an hour a day free to return calls and reply to important messages. Prioritise your work – it is amazing how many busy people spend hours on things that just aren't important.
Look into assertiveness training - is this something you think you could benefit from? Feeling that you have many demands on your time but no control over your workload can be a major source of stress. Be clear and direct in conversations and meetings. Stay calm. You may find you just need to learn to say no more often! Knowing that you can communicate with colleagues, bosses and business contacts in an assertive manner can help you feel less stressed.
Examine your expectations. Are you expecting too much of yourself? Your available time is limited - don't expect yourself to get more done than you realistically can.
Look at your sleep. Are you getting the right amount of quality sleep in order to be fully refreshed? Try and wind down in the evening before you go to bed. A milky drink and a warm bath may help (it may sound like a myth but these things can actually work).
Although you do not report any significant sleep difficulties it is probably worthwhile examining whether you are getting the right amount of quality sleep in order to be fully refreshed. The quality of our sleep has a major impact not only on how effective we are in our everyday lives, but also in how we cope with difficult and stressful situations. The sleep assessment will provide you with further information and advice on this area.
Consider relaxation techniques - breathing exercises, deep muscle relaxation, meditation, having a massage, even aromatherapy can all help with relaxation and 'de-stressing'.
Try to get more exercise - it is well known that those people who do regular physical activity are much less likely to experience psychological conditions than those who do not. Physical activity is a very personal area, what is important is doing something that you enjoy and that you will maintain. Just making time for a brisk 30 minute walk at lunchtime will really help you feel better in yourself.
Consistently feeling depressed and sad can be caused by many things, however as this appears to have been going on for quite some time it may be appropriate to speak with your doctor about ways you can tackle this issue. Medication or counselling (or a mixture of the two) may be the answer. The natural remedy St John's Wort may be of use, but do check with your doctor before taking it as it can interact with some other medicines.
Your physical activity results
Your score indicates that your physical activity is generally poor - that is concerning, but it is also easily rectified, so don't panic. You can easily increase the amount of exercise you do, and start reaping the health & well-being benefits. Starting a regular exercise programme can be daunting, even if you already do a small amount of exercise. First of all, make sure you are exercising correctly, as if not you may be risking injury and to increase those levels would put your body under strain. If you are a member of a gym, your instructors can help you - or you can look at the fitness articles on the site. Swimming is an effective all-body exercise that is particularly useful if you are worried about injuries. Even though you don't currently do enough exercise, you already understand, and have committed to, the principles of fitness. Improving your fitness levels is quite straightforward, and it doesn't need to take up all your time. It is important to do a sport or exercise you enjoy - possibly a new one, so you don't get bored - and that fits in with your lifestyle. There is no need to join a gym (though you may find it helps), so if you get home late or don't live near a gym you can still get fitter. Walking is great exercise, and you may find it is easier to fit it into your day than other sports - try walking part of the way to work, or go out for a brisk walk at lunchtime. You may find that exercising with a friend or colleague helps you to stay motivated. Initially you should aim for five half hour sessions per week. These sessions should leave you feeling slightly breathless and warm. Although at first glance this sounds unrealistic you should remember that a daily 30 minute session can be broken into chunks of as little as ten minutes each - a brisk ten minute walk to catch the train is already a third of a daily exercise session. By thinking of exercise in this way you should soon be able to achieve the five half hour sessions per week. But be sure not to over do it, especially early on - try to have at least one exercise-free day per week to allow your body to recover.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions you should speak to your doctor before starting an exercise regime.
Your pain results
You should take steps to reduce and manage your bodily pain now, before it can become severe. Pain can affect your emotional well-being as well as your physical health. If you have not already done so, speak to your doctor as soon as you can for advice on pain relief. Also, look at your lifestyle to see if there are any changes you can make to reduce the pain you are suffering. Your moderate pain is probably musculoskeletal pain - so you should examine your work environment, how you exercise, etc. Sitting incorrectly can cause pain, as can something as simple as cradling a phone between your chin and shoulder, rather than using a telephone headset. Physical activity can help strengthen bones and make musculoskeletal pain less likely. (Speak to your doctor before starting, or adding to, an exercise regime.) Have a look at the articles in the Fitness section, and consider taking the fitness assessment and the musculoskeletal assessment.
You indicated that you have a medical condition, if you have not done so already you should ask your doctor about ways to minimise the pain you report experiencing.
The time we spend at work takes up such a large proportion of our waking hours that it is critically important to be satisfied with one's job. You seem to be very satisfied with your role despite the fact that you do not have much control over your working practices. It may be that you would like more flexibility in how and when you work. If this is the case then putting together a plan to change this may improve your satisfaction with your job. If you identify the areas and the ways in which you would like more control you could possibly arrange to meet with your manager to explore these areas further. It is often useful to clarify in your own mind what drives you. Is it money, or influence and power or social standing? Balanced against these are things that lie outside of the work environment but are also important such as home life, children and recreational pursuits. Once you are clear as to exactly what you want from your job and also what you are prepared to give up to achieve your aims you will be better equipped to go out and get it.
Medical health is critical to overall well-being and enjoyment of life.
Here are some details on the condition(s) you highlighted
Depression: Psychological problems are very common in the high-pressure world that we now live in. 1 in 4 people seek help for mental health problems at some time in their lives. Stress and the pressures of work and home life, lack of personal time and space, poor diet and less than optimal physical activity all can contribute to significant psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression. Although your condition may not be directly caused by these things, improving your health by modifying your lifestyle may help you control your symptoms. For more information contact Mind http://www.mind.org.uk/