Healthy Living in the North

Infographic: What is healthy eating?

As you know by now, March is Nutrition Month in Canada. We hope you’ve enjoyed some of the healthy recipes we’ve been sharing so far this month (like the spicy bean wraps and homemade pizza dough)!

Healthy eating is, of course, about proper nutrition, but it’s so much more! What we eat affects our own physical and mental wellness, our families, our communities, and more. If we have an unhealthy diet, we know that this is a major risk for developing a chronic disease or condition. Northern Health’s position on healthy eating offers a look at the importance of and the current status of healthy eating, as well as how we aim to improve this (and how you can help).

We wanted to highlight some of the main points of our healthy eating position in a more visually pleasing way for you. Take a look at our infographic on healthy eating – and consider how you approach your own personal relationship with food!

Healthy eating Infographic

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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Climbing to healthy goals

Jessica climbs a wall

Getting a great workout on the climbing wall.

Rock climbing always seemed like an inaccessible – and, honestly, scary – sport to me. It was something my husband always wanted to try, but I was pretty reluctant. But when the new climbing wall, OVERhang, opened in Prince George, I agreed to give it a try, appreciating that we’d be doing this in a controlled, safe environment with professionals there to teach us as we went (as opposed to heading to a random cliff and “winging it” as was my husband’s “half-joking” idea).

During our first visit, I still wasn’t convinced that I’d have the upper body strength to climb a wall, and the prospect of belaying my hubby as he climbed created visions of me messing up and him falling to the floor. But I was determined to give it a try. (Note, for those who don’t know: belaying is the climbing technique that the person at the bottom uses to keep the rope tight and steady. The rope is passed through the anchor system at the top and then attached to the climber’s harness.)

We took a short introductory course to learn the ropes (pun intended!). And wouldn’t you know it, I could climb a wall! It turned out you don’t have to be “ripped” – I found that it’s actually more about technique and focus. After visiting the climbing wall weekly for about six weeks, I noticed that my hands got stronger, I had more endurance, I could conquer more difficult routes up the walls, and most importantly, I had the confidence to try those harder routes.

Now, as we continue to push ourselves at the wall, not only are we enjoying a regular activity together, but we’re being social with other people at the gym (everyone I’ve met who “climb” are super friendly!) and we’ve found something that gets us out of the house and gets our bodies moving – without even having to deal with the winter weather! It really is a great workout – gets our hearts pumping and builds our functional fitness. It’s also good for the mind – planning a route up the wall is kind of like a puzzle for your brain – you have to really think about what holds to use and where to put your feet to make it to the top the easiest. It really is a full package activity!

Do you have an activity like this that you can enjoy in the winter? Do you have a climbing wall in your community? Let us know in the comments!

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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Join the #healthynorth conversation!

Use the #healthynorth hashtagAt Northern Health, we are happy to be a part of your social networks, whether you read our blog, follow us on Facebook, talk to us on Twitter or re-pin us! We love to not only share our stories and tips, but to hear what you have to say about your health and wellness, and about northern BC. Now, we want to take this conversation further.

We want to encourage you to start your own conversations about health – using the #healthynorth hashtag.

What’s a hashtag?

A hashtag can be any word or phrase (no spaces) preceded by the number sign (#). When used on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites, the hashtag becomes hyperlinked, and users can search by this hashtag to find all posts or conversations around its specific topic. And now we’d like to associate #healthynorth with all things related to health and wellness in northern BC.

How can you join the conversation?

Show us how you make our north healthy – for you, your family, your community, your workplace… anywhere! Posting a picture on Instagram of a great walking trail in your town? Add the hashtag #healthynorth. Sharing your healthy recipe on Facebook? Tag it. Whenever you want to share your version of a healthy north with others on social media (Twitter, Vine, Facebook, etc), tag it with #healthynorth. You can also search for the hashtag on social media platforms to see what others are saying and posting (visit our tagboard to see them all in one place!).

A teaser for you

Watch for our new contest starting Monday – you will be able to participate by using #healthynorth!

Talk to you online!

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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Making wellness work at work

In September and October of this year, we supported a month-long campaign to promote wellness in the workplace, called “My Healthy Workplace.” In total, 80 teams registered for the weekly challenges. In the northwest region, the Working Dead Zombie Collective took this opportunity to solidify their intentions for workplace wellness. They got lots of different departments involved in the campaign and gave it all they had for some very creative submissions!

We talked to some of the participants to find out how the Collective came together and how they approached the challenges. Take a look:

Doug Quibell, NW public health protection manager, described his involvement in the campaign for us too:

I got involved in this campaign because it had great potential to exemplify our vision of breaking down artificial silos, and bringing a multi-disciplinary team together to collaborate upstream. We’ve been speaking about this for some time, but in retrospect, this project really clarified the benefits for me. Complex chronic diseases can only be tackled when mixed groups like this bring their divergent perspectives to the table. In our group, it was fabulous how these varied backgrounds added a wide range of pieces to the puzzle. Over the course of the project we saw participants move from representatives from their respective departments, to part of a Public Health team. Enthusiasm and engagement grew throughout the project as we were able to work with folks we don’t routinely get to, and the relationships developed. It was also a lot of fun being a zombie!

At the same time as we held this challenge for all residents of the north, we also held an internal contest for NH staff, asking them to show us how they use the messaging from the NH position papers to make their workplaces healthier. Congratulations to the Working Dead Zombie Collective, who won this for the northwest region.

20131204coozombifiedAt approximately 3:45, November 8th, Northwest COO Penny Anguish made a “grave” mistake. Usually quite careful, onlookers were quoted as questioning, “what the heck is she thinking?”

While awarding the Working Dead Zombie Collective their first place awards for their work on the internal My Healthy Workplace competition, the Zombie Collective unsurprisingly became peckish.

 

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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My Healthy Workplace Challenge Winners

Congratulations to all of our amazing teams who made it through the My Healthy Workplace Challenge! We’re so proud of the creativity and dedication that you showed with your weekly challenges!

To recap, in week 1, we asked teams to submit photos and write-ups on how they incorporate safety and health into their work days to create an environment of workplace wellness. For week 2, we asked teams to submit photos and write-ups on how they reduce sedentary behaviour and incorporate physical activity into their work day. And finally in week 3, we asked teams to submit photos and write-ups on how they eat healthy at work and make healthy choices accessible in the workplace. Visit our Facebook albums (weekly links above) to see all of the submissions.

Now that the voting has wrapped up, it’s time to announce the winners! Winners are determined by the cumulative number of votes (likes on their photos on Facebook) through the three weeks.

Team Citius, Altius, Fortius, our grand prize winners from DP Todd Secondary in Prince George.

Team Citius, Altius, Fortius, our grand prize winners from DP Todd Secondary in Prince George.

Our grand prize winner, with an amazing 708 cumulative votes, is Citius Altius Fortius, from DP Todd Secondary School in Prince George. Congratulations! Here’s what they had to say when they signed up for this challenge:

The nine of us form a team that is cross – curricular, kinda like cross-training, only better. We are all teachers so we are A+ types! That doesn’t get in the way of us recording steps per day with our Fitbits to evaluate how we are moving, keep track of marks, well, maybe just marks in winter snow (a few team members are keen skiers), and learning about building a community that is supportive and positive. We know that standing is better than sitting (our band, PE and shop teachers have no choice on this) and we remember to check in with our fellow teachers to stay connected and supported. Healthy relationships at work and at play are important to us as well as healthy bodies. As teachers, we know that we need to be great models for our students so that they can learn how to be healthy and engaged as they leave our classrooms for the world beyond school. Some of us walk to school, most of us work out regularly but all of us are up for this challenge. We are up for the test and ready to make the grade!

We also have three prize winners, the teams with the highest votes from each health service delivery area (the northeast, the northwest and the second highest from the northern interior as the grand prize winner is also from this area). (Curious what communities are in what health service delivery area? Check here.)

Northeast winner: TR Troopers, from Tumbler Ridge Elementary School, Tumbler Ridge, with 488 votes

Northern interior winner: Detox Divas, from Northern Health, in Prince George, with 399 votes

Northwest winner: Terrace Youth & Family Wellness, from TDCSS Youth & Family Support in Terrace, with 114 votes

Congratulations to all the winners! To see their three prize winners and their thoughts on workplace wellness, visit our team page.

We’ll be in touch with winning teams soon to get you your prizes!

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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Last chance: Vote on Challenge 3 photos!

We’ve uploaded the final photos in the My Healthy Workplace Challenge! Check them out on the Northern Health Facebook page now.We asked teams to show us how they eat healthy at work and how they contribute to making healthy choices accessible for all in the workplace. We received some very creative entries!

Be sure to vote for your favorites by clicking the LIKE button. The teams whose photos receive the most cumulative number of LIKES by the end of this week will win the grand prize!

Thanks to everyone for participating over the past few weeks – it’s been fantastic to see how you bring health and wellness into your workplaces! Stay tuned for the big winner announcement next Monday!

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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Vote on Challenge 2 photos – and Challenge 3 now live!

After a great Week 1 Challenge, our teams sure didn’t disappoint with the creativity and enthusiasm in their Week 2 Challenge photos! We asked teams to show us how they incorporate physical activity into their work days and saw some great ideas and some great photos! Check them out now on the Northern Health Facebook page and don’t forget to vote for your favorites by clicking that Facebook LIKE button! The teams whose photos receive the most cumulative number of Likes by the end of all three challenges will win the grand prize.

The third and final weekly challenge has been issued on the contest page and it’s all about healthy eating! Take a look and make sure to submit your Week 3 Challenge entry by Friday!

Week 3 Challenge: Supporting healthy eating at work

Show us how you and your team eat healthy and support accessibility to healthy eating at work! Choose one (1) message below and show us how you apply it at work through a photo and your words. Submit your Week 3 Challenge entry by Friday, October 4.

Qualifying entries will be posted on the Northern Health Facebook page on Monday, October 7 and we’ll be asking the public to vote on their favorite. The team whose photo receives the highest cumulative votes for all three challenges will win the grand prize. So be creative!

Supporting healthy eating at work:

  1. Has your team read the Eat Smart, Meet Smart guidelines? Check them out and show us how your team applies them!
  2. Does your workplace offer food as part of the office setting? Think about vending machines, free food in the staff room, and your candy dishes… do you have healthier options for these? Show us!
  3. Canada’s Food Guide tells us that meals should be three food groups and snacks should be two food groups. Take a picture of your team eating a healthy lunch together and applying this rule of thumb!
  4. Does your workplace celebrate with food? Are there fun and tasty options that can be used in place of those traditional cakes and cookies? Show us! (*Remember that Canada’s Food Guide tells us that snacks should be two food groups!)
Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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Time to vote on Challenge 1 photos – and Challenge 2 live!

A sample of the teams' challenge photos for week 1.

A sample of the teams’ challenge photos for week 1.

Wow, we received some very exciting and innovative photos from our teams for their Week 1 Challenge! We asked teams to show us how they incorporate safety into their work environments in order to create workplace wellness, and did teams ever deliver! All qualifying photos have now been uploaded to our Northern Health Facebook page and we’re asking everyone to help vote! Click the LIKE button to vote on your favorite photo! The teams whose photos receive the most cumulative number of Likes by the end of all three challenges will win the grand prize!

And now teams, it’s time to show us how you incorporate physical activity at work! Visit our contest page to find out what your next challenge is and get us your second photo and write-up by Friday, Sept 27.

Good luck!

Week 2 Challenge: Increasing physical activity at work

It’s time to show us how you and your colleagues reduce sedentary behaviour and incorporate physical activity at work. Choose one (1) message below and show us how you apply it at work through a photo and your words. Submit your Week 2 Challenge entry by Friday, September 27.

Increasing physical activity messages:

  1. Work can make us sit a lot! How does your team break up the day with some physical activity? Show us!
  2. Sometimes, even getting to work can be passive transportation (think of how you sit when you drive your vehicle). Are there ways your team can take up active transportation in your community? Show us your ideas!
  3. How can your workplace make you more active in your personal life? Show us!
Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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Wellness in the Workplace [Video]

In this video, we talk to several Northern Health staff members in the northeast region of the province about what preventing injuries and promoting safety means to them when it comes to workplace wellness.

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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My Healthy Workplace: Week 1 Challenge

MyHealthyWorkplaceWeeklyChallengeWelcome to over 50 teams who have decided to take on our challenge to showcase how they “take care of business” and make health and wellness an important part of the workplace! We are ecstatic that people are so interested and invested in creating and sustaining a healthy workplace!

Last week, we heard from Dr. David Bowering, Chief Medical Health Officer, about why healthy workplaces are so important – and now we can’t wait to see what your challenge submissions will look like!

Now what you’ve all been waiting for – the first of three weekly challenges. Week 1 is all about preventing injuries and promoting safety at work.

It’s time to show us how you and your colleagues work to prevent injuries and make sure everyone stays safe in the workplace. Choose one (1) message below and show us how you apply it at work through a photo and your words. Submit your Week 1 Challenge entry by Friday, September 20.

Qualifying entries will be posted on the Northern Health Facebook page on Monday, September 23 and we’ll be asking the public to vote on their favorite. The team whose photo receives the highest cumulative votes for all three challenges will win the grand prize. So be creative!

Injury Prevention and Safety Messages (choose one):

  • Think about safety in the workplace – do you apply the same principles at home? Show us a picture of your team being safe at work!
  • Are there other organizations or businesses you can partner with to improve your safety at work? Sometimes you can learn things from one another. Show us a picture of you talking to someone outside of your team about safety!
  • Have you improved something in safety recently in the workplace? Show us!
  • What “upstream” thinking could you do around safety in your workplace? Show us a picture of thinking outside of the box about safety!

Once you’ve completed your challenge with your team and taken a photo, submit your photo and write-up on our submission page (by Friday, Sept 20).

And stay tuned to the blog and our Facebook page, where we’ll be sharing photos, videos and stories from Northern Health staff to motivate your thinking!

Good luck!

Note: Due to the high level of interest in this challenge, we are keeping registration open for an extra two days. The absolute last day for teams to register is Tuesday, September 17.

Jessica Quinn

About Jessica Quinn

Jessica Quinn is regional manager, health promotion and community engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. She also manages NH's social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and moderates all comments for the NH blog. When she's not working, Jessica stays active by exploring the beautiful outdoors around Prince George via kayak, hiking boots or snowshoes, and she has recently completed her master's degree in professional communications from Royal Roads University, with a focus on the use of social media in health care.

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