We have another beautiful day, and I have therefore done two loads of laundry and have it all out on the line. One lot will need to go in the tumble dryer for a little bit anyway - it's towels, and I find if I put them out on the line solely they go all hard and crunchy - not really much fun when you're trying to dry yourself off! (I'm sure this is partly due to the water being really hard in this area!)

I've done 5 minutes on my exercise bike so far today (I have to do little bursts, not long ones) and I somehow managed to start it off on Level 11 instead of Level 1! I gave it 40 seconds before going down to Level 3, which was much easier - Level 11 felt like it was doing odd things to my knees.

I'm going to go plant a few radish seeds and some more pea seeds in the wigwam, and we'll see how they do, as the current pea seeds are a bit of a mixed batch - some are faring well, but some have just shrivelled away to nothing, which is a little upsetting. I started all of them off in my little indoor propagator, so I was quite attached to them!

Pete came home at lunch time, and decided to take Charlie for a run whilst on his bike. It looked like they were having fun when I watched the practice run up and down the track at the bottom of the back garden. It may have been less fun for Pete when they went round the block and encountered some C A T S! Charlie shouts at cats. And tries to chase them. *grin*
I've just had a letter from the Dept of Work and Pensions advising that my JobSeeker's Allowance is going to run out on 12 April as that's when my tax contributions run out (accumulative 182 days altogether, including the time I was off last year before I went to work at the Kennel Club). I've tried calling them to see what happens next, but they fobbed me off with saying I need to talk to the JobCentre to see if they will offer me retraining.

It's a beautiful day, I have just taken Charlie for a walk to the pet shop and back home again, we met lots of people en route who thought he was gorgeous, and I agree whole-heartedly with them, of course! There was a lady in the pet shop who thought he was lovely-natured, hehe she's not seen him around other dogs, when she'd be more likely to think he was a complete and utter nutter!

I have washed the wall opposite Peter's desk this morning (the stair wall) as it was covered in muddy splodge marks where Charlie's ball hits it a lot. I feel much happier looking at that wall now!

Next door had a lot of cops in again this morning. There was a lot of loud banging at 8am, when I was in the bathroom, and I was sorely tempted to bang back, but I didn't. When I got down here and made my breakfast I sat in front of my porthole window at my desk so I could look out whilst eating... *laugh*. There were at least 4 cops in there, and there was a squad car parked in front of the house. I had a text from Catherine opposite about 5 minutes later telling me there were cops in there, she's as bad as I am for being nosey! *giggle*

Well, I'd better go hang the laundry out...
Hello - I'm hardly ever here, but as LJ seems to have gone breats upwards, I thought I'd pop in here instead. For anyone interested in the email I have just received regarding my interview last week, I have copied it in below:

Thank you for your email. We were actually very impressed with your performance at interview and you were only just “pipped at the post” by a lady who had more relevant experience in the type of position we were advertising.

There is a possibility that our Farm Department may have a vacancy available in the near future. This post would be full-time and would be more secretarial than reception. If you would like to be considered for this position should it arise, please let me know and I will pass your application to our Practice Manager for consideration.

This has made me feel much better, and now I am trying to formulate a response that doesn't sound too needy! I really would love to work there. I'm so pleased that they did me the courtesy of replying, a lot of places don't. I'm even more pleased that they have thought of me with regards to another position in the company.
Jobhunting really sucks.

45g Shreddies & skimmed milk (would be 215 cal if semiskimmed)




Medium-sized sausage roll
3 lumps cucumber


Welcome to your Back and Joint Health Assessment Report. Your bones, muscles and joints all make up your musculoskeletal system. Musculoskeletal health is a major issue in today's society, with increasing numbers of people experiencing long-term back and joint problems. Below you will find your total score - this is a score out of 100, with a high score indicating good musculoskeletal health and a low score indicating poor musculoskeletal health. Your report is divided up into four sections, which examine many of the different aspects of your life, your physiology and psychology that can all contribute to overall musculoskeletal health. Before the main sections of your report you will find some short summary points, which give a brief overview of the information and advice contained within your main report.
Your Score
Comparing your score with that of other people, we judge that you have a high chance of developing musculoskeletal problems in the future.

About You
Some factors put you at risk of developing musculoskeletal problems. You are not supple - stretching exercises, such as yoga, may help, additionally you often feel low, which can have a negative effect on your musculoskeletal health.

Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle is not particularly friendly towards your musculoskeletal system. Your calcium intake is insufficient, and your physical activity levels are very low and should ideally be increased. Try to get up from your desk more.

How to Improve
Although you are in the high risk category for developing musculoskeletal problems in the future you can decrease this risk through modifying your diet and increasing your physical activity levels.

Musculoskeletal Assessment. Assessment
07 May 2009
Musculoskeletal Assessment. Assessment
Take Again
score = 42


Stage of change 1/5 Precontemplation

Your Score

Your answers to the questionnaire give you a musculoskeletal health score of 42 . This is a score out of 100, with a high score meaning you have good musculoskeletal health and a low score meaning that there are factors suggesting poor musculoskeletal health and the possibility of future problems. You should bear in mind that there are probably many factors that contribute to the likelihood of developing musculoskeletal problems that we do not yet know about, so although this score can give you an idea about your musculoskeletal health it is not an absolute guarantee. Many musculoskeletal problems develop because of accidents, which are impossible to predict, nevertheless, comparing you with other people who have taken this questionnaire, we judge that you have a high chance of future musculoskeletal problems.

Your family history does place you at increased risk, but it certainly does not mean that you are predetermined to experience similar problems. The genes we inherit from our parents often play a large part in predisposing us to many conditions that affect our health, including musculoskeletal problems. However, genetic inheritance can occasionally skip generations. Generation skipping happens when the genes that contribute to the chances of a problem occurring are recessive. If a person has only one copy of a recessive gene they generally do not have any problems, but if they have two copies of the same gene they are more likely to develop the condition. There are probably a number of inherited features all playing a small part, such as characteristics that make your bones, cartilage and tendons slightly weaker, or physical factors such as small intervertebral discs (the discs between the bones of your spine). Even then it normally takes many years of wear and tear before these inherited factors have any effect. Scientists are just beginning to understand which inherited factors contribute to musculoskeletal problems, but they are currently unable to quantify the risk each factor can pose.

Back pain tends to be episodic in nature (it comes and goes over the years) and the fact that you have experienced it in the past means that you will probably do so again in the future. The reasons for this are currently unknown, but it may be that injured tissues do not heal completely, and so are more likely to be re-injured if the same incident happens again. However, back pain usually does not get worse and worse, in fact it often clears up completely in middle age.

The next sections of your report will provide you with some practical information on how you can reduce the chances of developing further musculoskeletal problems in the future.
About You

This section of your report gives you some more information about the integral aspects of yourself - your height, weight and suppleness as well as your mental attitude and your sleep - and how you might improve them in order to improve your musculoskeletal health.

You appear to be prone to negative feelings which may be linked to minor aches and pains or a general sense of being not quite 100%. Many people these days report similar problems, so you are in good company. However, such feelings can actually impinge upon the health of your musculoskeletal system. Oversensitivity to minor health problems, and depressive tendencies, seem to delay recovery from musculoskeletal disorders, and can even contribute to causing minor problems developing into long-term pain and disability. A recent health awareness campaign in Australia adopted the slogan Don't take back pain lying down!, because keeping your body working normally is so important for the biological health of your muscles and joints.

Happily, your body size and shape reduce your risk of musculoskeletal problems. You are not overweight, so you are not placing extra load on your joints (especially your knees) in the way that overweight people do. Your height is not disproportionate to your weight, so it is unlikely that you have a particularly long back, which is a known risk factor for back pain and disc prolapse.

On the other hand, your ability to bend forwards to touch your toes is below average, implying that either your spine or your hips are stiffer than normal. This does not matter a great deal as far as the hips or other joints are concerned, but people with a particularly stiff spine are more likely to develop future back pain, presumably because they sometimes have to bend their spine closer to their limits of movement. This could happen when you bend fully forwards, perhaps to cut your toenails or to lift an object from the ground. Gentle yoga-style stretching exercises can increase the mobility of your spine to a certain extent, and they will also benefit the muscles and tendons at the back of your legs. Try doing them in the bath!
Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle is not at all friendly towards your musculoskeletal system! Your low level of physical activity causes your muscles, bones, cartilage and tendons to become mechanically weaker, and therefore more vulnerable to injury. This effect is particularly great in bones, which can weaken so much by old age that they can fracture extremely easily (osteoporosis). The best protection against osteoporotic fractures in old age is to build up bone mass before the age of 40 so that age-related bone loss is less critical. Any form of exercise, from dancing to rugby, will help to strengthen your musculoskeletal system. Vigorous activities which involve running and jumping may be better for bones, whereas smooth continuous exercise such as swimming and cycling may be better for your muscles and cardiovascular system.

The health of your bones also depends on you receiving enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium comes from dairy products, and you should try to increase your low daily intake to three or more helpings (e.g. 220ml of milk, a pot of yoghurt, 40g/1.5oz of cheese, or 120g/4oz of cottage cheese). Vitamin D is produced by your own body, but only when you are outside in the sunshine, so try and get out more! This advice may seem old-fashioned, but bone mineral content in still unnecessarily low in many people, and can lead to osteoporotic fractures, as discussed above. Vitamin D deficiency can also speed up the progression of osteoarthritis.

Apart from denying you the benefits of exercise, sitting is not generally harmful. However, your habit of sitting still for hours on end may increase your chances of injuring your intervertebral discs, especially if you sit in a flexed (tucked up) position. Prolonged flexing can inactivate the stretch receptors in your spine which normally tell your back muscles when you have bent too far forwards. Without this protective action, you could bend too far, and possibly injure your intervertebral discs. So if you need to lift a heavy suitcase immediately after a long flight or car journey, take extra care to keep your back straight, and to get close to the case you are going to lift. If you have the opportunity, you should stand up and move around for several minutes during every hour of sitting, perhaps bending backwards or jogging on the spot. Even so, stretch receptors may not recover fully for several hours.

A related problem is that you appear to spend many hours working at a computer. This can give rise to a painful repetitive strain injury (RSI) affecting your wrists, shoulders or neck. Some experts deny that RSI exists as a clinical entity, but many people complain that the pain is real enough. High muscle forces are required to perform very precise tasks such as typing at a keyboard, because some of the muscle activity is required to stabilise the joint to improve precision of movement. The smallness of the movements, and the long duration of the activity, are believed to cause problems with joint and tendon lubrication, and hence cause pain. You should try to relax tensed muscles whenever you can, and move your joints freely every fifteen minutes, perhaps by making slow circular movements of your wrists, shoulders and neck. Similar problems can arise in your neck when driving a car long distances, and again the solution is to relax tensed muscles, and to move static joints at regular intervals.

How to Improve

You are in the high risk category for developing musculoskeletal problems, and should be aware that you are able to influence that risk to a considerable extent. Hopefully, the preceding sections will have given you some ideas to ponder. You may not have to give up the pleasures of life, but participation in sports and exercise can add greatly to your future health (and to life itself!). Changes in diet need not be a penance: café latte is good for your bones, but doesn't taste like medicine.

In case you decide at some future date to do something about improving your chances, here is a brief synopsis of practical advice. First and foremost, take exercise to strengthen your musculoskeletal system. All forms of exercise which get you out of breath will benefit your muscles (and also your cardiovascular system). Generally, vigorous, jolting exercise such as running, aerobics or badminton is better for your bones, whereas smooth exercise such as swimming, yoga or tai-chi is better for your joints and tendons. Give up or reduce smoking, eat or drink plenty of dairy products, and avoid becoming overweight (vigorous exercise will help!). Obviously, try to avoid injuries - a helpful tip is to avoid violent exertions or heavy lifting during the first hour of the day, when your intervertebral discs and tendons are swollen with fluid.

If you do decide to increase your physical activity, build it up slowly at first over a period of months, because unfamiliar exercise often leads to muscle soreness. Be aware that your muscles and bones can strengthen much faster than tendons and joints, so the latter are vulnerable to wear and tear damage arising from the increased muscle forces. In particular, try not to load your back or Achilles tendons too severely at the outset, especially if you are middle-aged, or have a long history of inactivity.
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
Take Again
score = 23


Good scores
Medium scores
Poor scores
General info

Score change
* Score improved
* Score unchanged
* Score deteriorated

Summary points
* 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.
Physical Activity

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.
Job Satisfaction

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

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/


May. 6th, 2009 08:31 pm
Well, I'm here. Now what? :)



October 2011

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