2015 Wellbeing June Vitality

noun: Vitality

The state of being strong and active; energy.

Synonyms: liveliness, life, energy, spirit, vivacity, exuberance, buoyancy, bounce, elan, verve, vim, pep, brio, zest,
sparkle, dynamism, passion, fire, vigor, drive, punch


Scientists continue to make breakthrough discoveries about how the mind and body function as an interrelated system. Brain chemistry expert Dr. Candace Pert, a neuroscientist at the U.S. National Institute of Health, wrote in her 1997 book, “Molecules of Emotion,” that receptors and peptides run every system in the human body, creating what she termed a “bodymind’s intelligence.”

Continuing to explore the science of vitality, recent medical studies published in respected journals such as the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and mass media such as The New York Times, have raised awareness of the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Dr. James A. Levine of the Mayo Clinic, a leading researcher in the field of inactivity studies, has noted an explosion of research in this area “because the health care cost implications are so enormous.”

The risks are mental as well as physical, since muscle inactivity produces a series of harmful metabolic effects including a slowdown of the flow of nutrients to the brain, affecting alertness.

Clearly, engaging the body in movement is essential for supporting physical and mental vigor at work. Movement is the body language of ideas,” says de Benoist. “Taking different postures stimulates the mind, and healthy environments encourage people to move, eat well and exercise as healthy practices.”

In addition, sensory experiences in work environments are important, too. Using our senses and nervous system, we interact constantly within the context of spatial environments, processing touch, light and sound and other stimuli that influence mental and physical states. Because stimuli have direct and often immediately perceptible positive or negative consequences, as humans we naturally want choice and control of our environments, seeking out the places that “feel good” to us.

“When you get to the workplace, you need the tools and environments that are going to support you, whether it’s to work alone or have a collaborative session or eat a meal in a pleasant place or go outdoors,” says Arantes. “Providing a palette of place that supports frequent movement is fundamental for sustaining vitality.”

Cultivating vitality in the workplace

  • How we experience a place affects our actions. Investments in the workplace can completely change employees’ attitudes and behaviors, creating a new spatial vibe that boosts people’s motivation and performance within a relatively short time.
  • Design Considerations:
  • Design areas that give people choices for controlling the level of sensory stimulation around them.
  • Provide easily adjustable furniture to fit a range of sizes, needs and preferences and to promote movement throughout the day.
  • Include cafés with healthy food choices and displays.
  • Bring nature in with daylight, views, ventilation, patios, etc.
  • Support active, healthy lifestyles with centrally located stairways, outdoor walking paths, bicycle racks, etc.

Has modern life depleted your vitality? Here’s how to reclaim it.

You know vitality when you see it: the effervescent 75-year-old grandmother who swims two miles a day; the inspired florist whose passion for day-lilies has you buying them by the dozen; the empathetic friend whose centered, calm demeanor seems to radiate inner peace. People with vitality overflow with that special something, and they stand out from the rest like shiny pennies.

All of which leads one to wonder: Why do some people have more vitality than others? Catherine Guthrie article on Vitality

7 Ways to Enhance Your Vitality

A wholesome diet and regular exercise are the cornerstones of a healthy life. To take your vitality to a higher level, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Get outside. The high-vitality elders that Dan Buettner studies in Okinawa, Costa Rica and other pockets of longevity enjoy an active life surrounded by nature. To learn how time spent outside can help sustain and energize you, read “Nature Quest” in the June 2006 archives.
  2. Cultivate community. A lack of close relationships has been shown to weaken our immune systems and sap our vitality. Maintaining strong social ties with others improves many aspects of both health and happiness. So does volunteering. For more on the benefits of being part of a strong community, see “Community Matters.”
  3. Be a lifelong learner. More education leads to longer, healthier lives. A 2003 study published in the journal Neurology found an inverse relationship between how many years of formal education Alzheimer’s patients have and how quickly they succumb to the disease.
  4. Calm down. Chronic stress releases hormones that can damage cells, tissues and organ systems, all of which can shorten your life expectancy.
  5. Honor your promises. Each time you break a promise, whether it’s to a loved one or to yourself, you lose a sense of connection with your own values. Keep your promises and you gain integrity and self-respect, two main ingredients for vitality.
  6. Plug your “energy leaks.” Notice where you are losing energy. Reevaluate lifeless jobs, negative relationships, poor eating habits, sedentary patterns and other parts of your life that drain your energy
  7. Don’t skimp on sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation increases your odds of suffering from both heart disease and diabetes. And it reduces your immunity and your ability to cope productively with everyday challenges.

The Bottom Line Impact of Wellbeing in the Workplace

Work practices, culture, well-being programs and relationships within workplaces are key determinants, not only of whether people feel valued and supported in their work roles, but also of individual health, well-being, productivity and most importantly to the bottom line of any company’s profits.

Well-designed and well-managed workplaces can play a beneficial role in promoting worker health and wellbeing, minimizing avoidable ill health, absenteeism and facilitating faster recovery and return to work after injury or illness.

I guess if you look at well-being at its simplest level it is ultimately about personal happiness – feeling good and working safely and healthily.

So why is it important?

According to the Corporate Leadership Council, replacing employees who leave can cost up to 150 percent of the departing employee’s salary when you consider recruitment, hiring and training costs.

Read more about the Bottom Line Impact on the Huffington Post

June 3rd National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. Be a part of National Running Day a coast-to-coast celebration of running.

Since 2009, the country’s foremost running organizations have worked together to celebrate our sport with thousands of participants on the first Wednesday of June. We encourage runners to join in by planning a run, spreading the running bug to a friend, signing up for a race, or setting a new goal.

Questions about National Running Day? E-mail runningday@nyrr.org.

June 14th Flag Day The National Flag Day Foundations mission is to carry on the tradition of the first flag day observance. On June 14th, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk then assigned essays on the flag and its significance. This observance, commemorated Congresses adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777. This observance was also the beginning of Cigrand’s long years of fervent and devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day. The crowning achievement of his life came at age fifty when President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nation wide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. On June 14th, 2004, the 108th U.S. Congress voted unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Waubeka Wisconsin. Flag Timeline Starting in 1775


How did the flag get the name “Old Glory”?

This famous name was coined by Captain William Driver, a shipmaster of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1831. As he was leaving on one of his many voyages aboard the brig CHARLES DOGGETT – and this one would climax with the rescue of the mutineers of the BOUNTY – some friends presented him with a beautiful flag of twenty four stars. As the banner opened to the ocean breeze for the first time, he exclaimed “Old Glory!”

He retired to Nashville in 1837, taking his treasured flag from his sea days with him. By the time the Civil War erupted, most everyone in and around Nashville recognized Captain Driver’s “Old Glory.” When Tennesee seceded from the Union, Rebels were determined to destroy his flag, but repeated searches revealed no trace of the hated banner.

Then on February 25th, 1862, Union forces captured Nashville and raised the American flag over the capital. It was a rather small ensign and immediately folks began asking Captain Driver if “Old Glory” still existed. Happy to have soldiers with him this time, Captain Driver went home and began ripping at the seams of his bedcover. As the stitches holding the quilt-top to the batting unraveled, the onlookers peered inside and saw the 24-starred original “Old Glory”!

Captain Driver gently gathered up the flag and returned with the soldiers to the capitol. Though he was sixty years old, the Captain climbed up to the tower to replace the smaller banner with his beloved flag. The Sixth Ohio Regiment cheered and saluted – and later adopted the nickname “Old Glory” as their own, telling and re-telling the story of Captain Driver’s devotion to the flag we honor yet today.

Captain Driver’s grave is located in the old Nashville City Cemetery, and is one of three (3) places authorized by act of Congress where the Flag of the United States may be flown 24 hours a day.

A caption above a faded black and white picture in the book, The Stars and the Stripes, states that ” ‘Old Glory’ may no longer be opened to be photographed, and no color photograph is available.” Visible in the photo in the lower right corner of the canton is an appliqued anchor, Captain Driver’s very personal note. “Old Glory” is the most illustrious of a number of flags – both Northern and Confederate – reputed to have been similarly hidden, then later revealed as times changed. The flag was given to his granddaughter or niece and she later donated it to the Smithsonian.

June 15th National Flip Flop Day This day it not for political candidate to change their minds but If you’re tired of keeping your feet in stuffy shoes and need an excuse to expose those toes, Flip-Flop Day may just be the answer.

People have been wearing flip-flops for thousands of years, with the earliest wearers being the Ancient Egyptians in 4000BC. Since then, the sandals have been worn throughout the world and have become a favorite for people enjoying a relaxing day at the beach or walking around in the sunshine. Flip-flops got their name because of the slapping sound they make against the ground when you walk in them!

Flip-flop day was founded by Tropical Smoothie Café. Customers who visit a participating Café on Flip-Flop Day wearing – you guessed it, flip-flops – will receive a free smoothie. Not only does Tropical Smoothie Café give its customers a free drink and the chance to air their feet, it also uses Flip-Flop Day to raise money for Camp Sunshine a camp that offers respite and support to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Even if you don’t have a Tropical Smoothie Café near you, why not find your own way to celebrate the day? Dig out your favorite pair of flip-flops and take a stroll along the beach or through the park. If the weather isn’t quite right for sandals, you could put on some warmer footwear and go shopping for a great new pair of flip-flops to be more prepared for when the sun does arrive! Not feeling like leaving the house at all? Why not put on flip-flops instead of your usual slippers and wear them at home to get yourself in the mood for summer?

Young Office is sponsoring a “Design Your Own Flip Flop Contest” More information is coming later this month.

June 23rd Public Service Day United Nations Public Service Day The United Nations General Assembly, on 20 December 2002, designated 23 June of each year as United Nations Public Service Day (resolution 57/277). It encouraged Member States to organize special events on that Day to highlight the contribution of public service in the development process. We are using this day for public service to our community by volunteering hours to charity of our employee choice. Why don’t you join us?

How volunteer work can improve your physical and emotional well-being.

Volunteering in your community doesn’t just help others, it can benefit your health, too. Allen Luks’s landmark study in 1988, which surveyed more than 3,000 people about the emotional and physical health benefits of helping others, found that 95 percent of all volunteers reported a “feel-good” sensation and experienced reduced stress levels.

Luks, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, describes this response to helping others as the “healthy helping syndrome.” In addition to the immediate positive emotions most volunteers encounter (what Luks calls the “helper’s high”), most regular do-gooders also experience increased feelings of self-worth, calm and relaxation. And the more you help, the greater the health benefits: Weekly volunteers were 10 times more likely to report specific health improvements, such as reduced pain or fewer colds, than those who volunteered less frequently.

Volunteering doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, but the health benefits of giving back to your community can be substantial. Find an organization in your area

App: The Whole Foods Market® for iOS and Android. The completely redesigned Whole Foods Market app is easy to navigate and rich with stunning food photography. All to help make planning, shopping and cooking easier than ever.


  • Browse our collection of more than 3,700 kitchen-tested recipes
  • Be guided on the path to lifelong health with more than 400 healthy recipes and cooking tips
  • Search by course, cuisine, special diet and more
  • Try curated menus and recipe collections for special diets and special occasions
  • Create shopping lists from recipes with one click
  • Rate or comment on recipes, add your own photos or notes and save your favorites
  • Easily find store information, specials, sales and events
  • Stay on-budget and delicious with help from our cooking guides
  • Sync your shopping lists and recipe box between the app and wholefoodsmarket.com
  • Easily sign-in through social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Compatible with all Android and iOS devices*

Android Download here
Apple Get it here

Book: Dr. Ann’s Eat Right for Life : Your Common Sense Guide to Eating Right and Living Well
A mountain of information extolling the benefits of healthy eating has been handed down through the ages. Whether it’s feeling better, performing at a higher level, or living longer, there’s little question that consuming healthy foods is a cornerstone of good health. This cookbook is dedicate to the wonderful reality that preparing healthy meals can be simple, easy and delicious. Buy it online here!

Aromatherapy: Peppermint essential oil has so many uses, it’s no wonder this oil is a staple in many people’s medicine cabinets. And it certainly does much more than freshen your breath! It’s used to soothe nausea and other stomach issues, perk the senses up before a long meeting, and cool overworked muscles (thanks to the menthol). Luckily, peppermint also helps to clear congestion, quiet headaches and tackle symptoms from PMS.

It is important to note that peppermint essential oil is intense and far more concentrated than other essential oils. The topical application of peppermint oil is generally safe, although it is necessary to dilute with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil. It is advised that some people may experience a burning sensation or allergic rash, especially with sensitive skin. And more importantly, it is never advised to use on young children.

The entire plant contains menthol, an organic compound with local anesthetic properties which provides a wonderful cooling sensation while it naturally alleviates discomfort. It also has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal, antispasmodic and carminative properties.

The health benefits of peppermint oil include its ability to treat:

Indigestion: One of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for soothing digestion is peppermint. Peppermint oil is very helpful in digestion asithas a carminative property of expelling gas (from the stomach or intestines so as to relieve flatulence or abdominal pain or distension).

  • Massage several drops on your abdomen, place a drop on wrists, or inhale to soothe motion sickness or general nausea.
  • Drinking mint tea has long been the antidote to an upset stomach.
  • Inhaling peppermint oil is also said to help curb the appetite by triggering a sense of fullness.

Colds/Congestion: Menthol provides effective relief from many respiratory problems including nasal congestion, sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis and the common cold and cough. It is often included as an ingredient in natural chest rubs to help with congestion.

  • Massage 2-3 drops (along with a carrier oil) onto chest or drop into a humidifier to help clear sinus and lung congestion.
  • If your head is feeling stuffed or you can’t stop coughing, try a peppermint essential oil steam. Pour boiling water into a metal or glass bowl, and add a few drops of essential oil (eucalypus and rosemary are good combinations with peppermint). Drape a towel over your head and position your face 10-12 inches above the bowl and breathe in the steam.

Headache: Peppermint oil is terrific to keep on hand at your desk or in your purse, especially if you are prone to headaches. The use of this oil has also been known to effectively lessen tandem symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to noise and sensitivity to light.

  • With a small amount of almond or other carrier oil and a drop of peppermint oil, rub on your temples, forehead, over the sinuses (avoid contact with eyes), and on the back of the neck to help soothe headache and pressure. When applied topically, peppermint oil leaves a soothing, cooling sensation that tends to work wonders.

Stress: Like many other essential oils, peppermint is able to provide relief from stress, depression and mental exhaustion due to its refreshing nature. It is also effective against feeling anxious and restless.

  • For stress relief, the combination of peppermint, lavender and geranium essential oils added to a warm bath help relieve stiffness while absorbed through the skin.
  • Try aromatherapy by using a candle lamp diffuser with essential oils.

Energy/Alertness: Peppermint oil powerfully affects and improves mental clarity and raises energy levels. If you’re trying to cut back on caffeine, this may be a blessing to your mid-afternoon lull.

  • Rub a drop of oil under the nose to help improve concentration and alertness.
  • Diffuse Peppermint oil in the room to improve concentration and accuracy.
  • Apply to the back of the neck and shoulders repeatedly to keep energy levels up during the day.
  • Inhale before and during a workout to help boost your mood and reduce fatigue.

Sore Muscles: Because peppermint oil has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, it not only can relieve pain and inflammation but can also calm the spasms that cause muscle cramps.

  • When using Olba’s oil as massage oil (a combination of essential oils including peppermint), it has the remarkable ability to stimulate circulation at the surface of the skin by opening up the skin pores and bringing a soothing warm feeling to tired muscles and joints. This oil can also be used as a spot treatment for a quick effect.

Here’s more!

  • For bug bites, use a combination of peppermint essential oil and lavendar essential oil to quickly dismiss the itch! It’s really similar to the logic of using toothpaste or menthol cream, but without the messy paste. Remember to dilute with a carrier oil if you are sensitive to straight essential oil on your skin.
  • Add some peppermint oil to shampoo to treat dandruff.
  • If you have a problem with ants in your house, leave a peppermint soaked cotton ball in their pathway. They’re not big fans of mint and you’ll have the nice aroma lingering in your home!
  • For tired aching feet, add a few drops to a foot bath for some relief of sore, swollen and overworked feet!
  • Give your trash can area a break and add a few drops to the bottom for a pleasant minty aroma.

Steelcase Stastic: 50% of workers have no place to re-energize in their workplace