Healthy Living in the North

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 the regional manager of digital communications and public engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy, well and active lifestyles. She manages NH's content channels, including social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). 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. (NH Blog Admin)

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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 the regional manager of digital communications and public engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy, well and active lifestyles. She manages NH's content channels, including social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). 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. (NH Blog Admin)

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Healthy eating in the workplace

Variety at lunch

Take some time to plan out healthy lunches so you’re eating well throughout the day.

Years ago, lunch at work was whatever I could get my hands on! It may have been fast food, no food or just a coffee. I thought I was doing my body good, but now that I have become knowledgeable in healthy living, things are different. I have come to realize that, if I do not fuel my body, it does not fuel me.

This is important because I know that I cannot expect my body to wake up, be productive and alert, and maintain energy all day, without doing my part. I definitely notice a difference in my work day if I take care of my eating habits throughout that day.

Yes, it’s sometimes easier and tempting to grab whatever is quick and accessible through vending machines or convenience stores, and admittedly, there are days where I don’t prepare a lunch and snacks. On these days, I notice a lack in my energy level and blood sugar maintenance.

The best program I have found is the one in which I prepare my ‘bucket of food’ the evening before. Our bodies respond better when we spread this ‘bucket’ out over the course of our waking hours, rather than once we wind down at the end of the day. This becomes the case when we don’t eat properly throughout the day.

An example of a good day for me would be one in which we start the day with a well-balanced breakfast. This is important to “break the fast”, and kick start the metabolism for the day. From this point, it becomes important to continue to eat small, balanced meals, spaced out throughout the day. If there is too much time between meals, you may be causing your blood sugar to spike and crash. What does this mean on a work day? Well you may feel more fatigue, less energy and an effect on your moods as well. All of this in turn makes it harder to be focused and productive in your work environment.

So do yourself a favour and take a few minutes in the evening and think about the next day.  Ensure that your meals have at least three of the four food groups and snacks have at least two of the four food groups. Don’t forget a good supply of water and enough to satisfy your work day. When in doubt, follow Canada’s Food Guide. This will ensure that you have a good balance of all nutrition your body needs.

Most importantly, have a great day!

Jodi Johnson

About Jodi Johnson

Jodi is a Self-Management Coach in the Living Well Program at the Kitimat Hospital and Health Centre. She is very passionate about helping others understand what self-care is all about, and she believes strongly in the importance of living well to feel well. She has lived in Kitimat most of her life, and with her husband and two daughters, enjoys making the most of the beautiful surroundings in Northern BC. (Jodi no longer works with Northern Health, we wish her all the best.)

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Avoiding the sweets temptation at work

Cutting vegetables for lunch.

Planning healthy lunches at home can help you avoid the temptations of sweets at work.

I have no self-control. None! Sweets are my particular weakness and I can’t pass a candy dish without indulging. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go well with my very sedentary desk job.

This past January, I was feeling more and more sluggish and my self-esteem was shrinking, so I decided to do something about it. I enlisted the help of some friends for support and we set up a plan to move more and eat healthier. We took all the things out of my house that did not support our plan. After the initial withdrawals, it has been surprisingly easy to eat healthier and delicious foods.  Even my 8 and 9 year old kids are on board and happy to have made the change (most days).

I’ve been doing very well at home where I am not tempted by sweets at every turn but work is a whole other issue. When did dessert squares become a staple at catered lunches? Worse yet, there are usually leftovers that make their rounds just begging me to have a second. Then there’s the steady stream of birthday cakes, Christmas buffets, ice-cream days, retirement cakes, bake sales, etc. A girl can only withstand so much temptation before she caves! And I do. Every. Single. Time.

While I can’t remove all refined sugars from my workplace, I can refuse to compound the problem. Now when there’s a birthday in my team, I bring in a healthier treat. So far, I’ve brought homemade muffins, a fruit tray, and fruit and yogurt cups. And you know what – it seems to have caught on!  When it was my birthday, someone else brought in the most delicious homemade carrot pineapple muffins that didn’t leave me feeling guilty or depressed.

It seems like such a small change but it has made a big difference for me. I enjoy celebrating with others and I’m happy I can do that without compromising my personal goal of improved health and fitness.

Ana Paterson

About Ana Paterson

Ana Paterson is the Business Support Manager for the Northern Interior. She really enjoys being part of the Northern Health team and watching her work inform decisions that ultimately improve patient care. When she’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, camping, biking, and playing board games.

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Planning and hosting healthy meetings, events and conferences

health foods in the candy dish

Celebrate good food together and take the war out of your workplace by sharing food that is a healthy choice for everyone.

One of the biggest themes that has come up in this challenge is the foods we eat in the workplace. To learn more about the ‘science’ of food in the workplace, I talked to a few of those who help us decide what to eat when food is provided in meetings. Ardelle Bernardo and Roxane Griffith provide administrative support in Public Health at Northern Health. In this, they plan most of the meetings for leadership, including day-long meetings, events and conferences. I had the chance to ask them about how they plan the food part of such events.

What is it like to order food for a whole group?

Ordering food for a group of people can be very intimidating. Before, I would order whatever the group wanted (e.g., lasagna, Caesar salad, pizza). I noticed that the pop and juice were taken before the water. By the middle of the afternoon – everyone seemed to be very tired and not really into finishing the meeting. Even for myself, I was less alert for taking the minutes.

Working with Public Health, I now take the catering part of my job more seriously and with more thought so that – by the end of the day – everyone is still awake, aware, and going home feeling a lot better.

Where did you learn about ordering smarter food choices for meetings?

The Eat Smart, Meet Smart guidelines provide lots of helpful suggestions to help you plan your menu so that participants will remain alert, productive, and engaged throughout the day. Menu planning tools are also available on the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Eating Resources site.

Based on your experiences, what are your top tips for ordering smarter food choices?

Ask participants about any food allergies before you order, and provide options for those participants.

Ask the caterer or chef to:

  • Prepare all foods with as little added fat, salt and sugar as possible; avoid fried foods.
  • Provide smaller portions.
  • Avoid processed foods – ask for “real” cheeses and meats rather than processed alternatives.

When choosing food for your meeting, consider ordering:

  • Water, coffee and tea, rather than pop and fruit juices (which are high in sugars).
  • Whole grain, low fat, low sugar muffins – they are still yummy but much healthier!
  • Clear broth soups (rather than cream-based) – include beans and chopped vegetables.
  • High-protein foods – include low fat meats, yogurts and cheeses.
  • Bean-based dips like hummus with whole grain crackers for snacks.
  • Individual cups of trail mix or healthy wrapped snack bars for snacks.

When putting the food out:

  • Offer more healthy choices than unhealthy choices.
  • Serve protein with carbohydrates – e.g. order a small cheese tray or low-fat yogurt with the fruit or muffins.
  • Do not put bowls of candy or mints on the meeting tables.
  • Reducing portion sizes can sometimes make those yummy foods and treats do-able – provide small, healthy cookies, or cut pastries in half, and never offer more than two dessert options.

Remember – everything is okay in moderation! 

What about the fact that people sit so much in meetings?

Include walking breaks or activity breaks in your meeting agenda – bring along a prop or two to promote physical activity in the meeting room on breaks (e.g., a Fit Deck).

Your turn: What do you do to promote health during work meetings and events?

Chelan Zirul

About Chelan Zirul

Chelan Zirul is the Regional Manager for Health Promotions and Community Engagement for Northern Health. As a graduate from UNBC, she did her Master's of Arts in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies. She explored regional development decision-making and is an advocate for policy that is appropriate for the needs of northerners. This, combined with her personal interest in health and wellness, drew her to work in health communications. Born in northern B.C., she takes advantage of the access to outdoor living. She enjoys hunting and exploring the backcountry with her dog and husband and enjoys finding ways to use local foods.

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Healthy eating advice at your fingertips

HealthlLinkBC

Visit HealthLink BC online at www.healthlinkbc.ca

We all eat…so we are all nutrition experts, right? I’m not so sure… I do a lot of cooking as we are a family of six, but when it comes to getting the healthy and nutritious choices into the fridge, cupboards and onto the table more often it’s not as easy as it might sound. It’s much the same when supporting healthy eating and building healthy food environments in our workplaces. It doesn’t JUST happen. It takes more effort and thought that one might think. So where can we start?

In BC we have excellent resources from HealthLink BC. To learn more about them I called and chatted with Lori Smart, a Registered Dietitian and Manager of Resource Coordination at HealthLink BC. Did you know that in BC HealthLink BC provides access to non-emergency health information and advice 24/7 and 365 days a year? Information and advice is available free to all of us by telephone, website, mobile app and/or a collection of downloadable print resources.

Information junkie heaven! It’s a convenient place to find BC’s most trusted and recognized health information services, including:

  • BC Health Guide
  • HealthLink BC Files
  • Nursing Services
  • Pharmacist Services
  • Dietitian Services (formerly Dial-a-Dietitian)

Not only are all of these resources brought together in one place, the service is also supported with an online and phone navigation system to help you find the health resources and facilities you need – close to home.

I asked Lori, “What will we find at HealthLink BC?” She said you’ll find medically-approved information on thousands of heath topics, symptoms, medication, and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you live on an island or in a remote community because anyone at any time can call 8-1-1 from anywhere in BC and chat with a nurse or speak to a registered dietitian about nutrition and healthy eating.

To check it out and look for resources I started my search — Healthy Eating at Work — and of the 407 hits that came up, 92 were specific to healthy eating, 37 were HealthLink Files. I love HealthLink Files! They are snapshots jam-packed full of great information on key topics of health information. The volume of resources I got from this quick search was really helpful. What a great place to start exploring for resources and for my question around information about healthy eating and links between fiber and vegetable consumption.

So my question was about fiber and vegetables …what’s your question? Go ask it at HealthLink BC, by calling 8-1-1 or visiting www.healthlinkbc.ca.

Loraina Stephen

About Loraina Stephen

Loraina is a population health dietitian working in a regional lead role for external food policy, which supports initiatives to develop healthy eating, community food security and food policy for the north. Loraina was born and raised in the north, and has a busy lifestyle. Having grown up enjoying food grown from family gardens, hunting, and gathering, and enjoying northern outdoor activities, she draws on those experiences to keep traditions strong for her family, in her work and at play. (Loraina no longer works with Northern Health, we wish her all the best.)

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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 the regional manager of digital communications and public engagement for Northern Health, where she is actively involved in promoting the great work of NH staff to encourage healthy, well and active lifestyles. She manages NH's content channels, including social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). 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. (NH Blog Admin)

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Physical Activity Line – your PAL in healthy living

Physical Activity Line

PAL – the Physical Activity Line (www.physicalactivityline.com)

The acronym PAL has so many positive connotations. What instantly comes to mind is “a really great friend.” A good buddy. A kindred spirit. Who knew that PAL actually stands for Physical Activity Line and is an important provincial resource to support increased physical activity? So I sent some questions off to my good buddy who works at the PAL, and here is what she told me:

What is the provincial PAL? What services or resources does it offer?

The Physical Activity Line (PAL) is your FREE resource for practical and trusted physical activity and healthy living information. The PAL provides a range of services to the public including:

  • Providing guidance to help you become more physically active, overcome your barriers and stay motivated.
  • Educating you with the most up-to-date, trusted physical activity and health information.
  • Connecting you with health professionals and community health and fitness programs.

Who will PAL support? Worksites, schools, homes?

In addition to the public, the PAL supports an integrated approach to improving health through collaboration with health professionals, programs and organizations, such as workplaces. The PAL can provide evidence-based physical activity resources to assist your practice or program, as well as, assist you to find suitable programs for your clients/patients.

What should I expect when I call PAL? What is the process?

When you contact the PAL, you will speak with a qualified exercise professional and together, we will determine which service(s) is appropriate for you. The qualified exercise professional may ask you some questions related to your health in order to provide you with individual and safe physical activity advice and/or with information on suitable health and fitness programs in your community. It’s up to you to decide what personal information you give us, and you will not need to provide your name or contact information unless you would like us to send you information by email or mail.

How does PAL support workplace wellness?  What is the Wellness Fits initiative?

The PAL can provide resources to assist with building and maintain workplace wellness. The Wellness Fits initiative is a FREE workplace wellness program from Healthy Families BC and the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon. The program provides information for workplaces on important health practices (e.g., physical activity, healthy eating, smoking cessation, and mental health), tools to help employees take action, and supports employers in creating healthy workplaces. For additional information on the Wellness Fits initiative, refer to www.wellnessfits.ca or contact 1-855-939-WELL (9355).

How can I promote PAL to my co-workers, families and friends?

You can promote the PAL to co-workers, families and friends by word-of-mouth, providing them with the PAL website (www.physicalactivityline.com), telephone number (1-877-725-1149), and requesting PAL information that you can share with them.

What does the website offer? Why would I visit?

The website provides information on the PAL such as what it is, what services it offers and how to contact it. The website is helpful for the public, health professionals and organizations as it contains resources, called Fact Sheets, on various physical activity related topics and information on other FREE telehealth services available to BC residents.

Kelsey Yarmish

About Kelsey Yarmish

Kelsey is the regional manager of Northern Health’s population health team. A nurse by background, with past work in acute psychiatry (at UHNBC) and tertiary mental health and addiction services, Kelsey has become equally passionate about public health prevention initiatives and upstream work. Kelsey grew up in Prince George, and loves being part of the community and the north. She is married, with two little "dancing" girls. Family is her joy and her kids ensure that home-time is always lively and a lot of fun! When she is not at work, she is with her family and friends, and she loves entertaining, her gardens, traveling, boating, crafting, cooking and reading.

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Biking to work between islands

Biking to work

Heather, on the ferry from Sandspit, during her daily bike ride to work.

When I was asked to contribute to the NH blog, I actually accepted the invitation before I knew what I was going to write. Encouraging health in the workplace? How can we add health in the workplace? How is  ‘health’ defined by each of us? Healthy eating? Exercise? How do I incorporate healthy in my workday?

Well, I work in Queen Charlotte City but live in Sandspit. That means my commute consists of 12km to the ferry terminal, a 30-minute ferry ride and another 5km to the hospital in Queen Charlotte. I could drive or bike. I made the choice to bike to work for two reasons. First, it would save me cash by walking onto the ferry versus driving and secondly, I could add some movement into my day before and after each work day.

Here’s a typical day, riding my bike to work:

I reach for my alarm, turn it off, roll over and open my eyes. September is  not quite as bright in the morning as in July, but there’s still light streaming into my bedroom from the rising sun. I put my biking outfit on, make some coffee, grab my pre-made lunch  and pack my backpack. I make my favorite breakfast smoothie and toss it too into my pack. It’s 7:15 am. I walk to the end of my driveway with my ride. My morning commute has started. I start to peddle the 12km. The road is quiet and to my right for 12km is the ocean. The water is Caribbean blue, calm and the beach is empty and peaceful. Throughout the summer I was fortunate to witness various berries changing colours, the day-old fawns playing, whales around Onward Point and river otters crossing the road before the other morning traffic. On the mighty Kwuna, I enjoy my coffee and morning chat with friends all while watching seagulls and porpoises pass by. The ferry docks at the Skidegate Terminal and I continue my ride into Queen Charlotte with sunshine warming my back and highlighting Sleeping Beauty Mountain in front of me. When I reach my destination I feel energized and happy to be there. I get to do the reverse at the end of the day.

Biking to work is just one way that I incorporate ‘health’ into my workday. How do you?

Heather Brule

About Heather Brule

Heather lives, works and plays on Haida Gwaii. She has worked for Northern Health since 2012 in the Rehabilitation department as a therapy aide. At work, she assists the physical therapist as well as works with the long-term care residents to provide various forms of recreation. She's active in the community and enjoys teaching various fitness classes over the past few years. In her spare time she can be found running, hiking, biking, crafting, reading, diving and enjoying the ocean via fishing, surfing and paddle boarding. (Heather no longer works with Northern Health, we wish her all the best.)

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Overcoming challenges for physical activity

Crystal, outside physical activity.

Crystal, showing dedication and braving the Dawson Creek winter elements to fit some physical activity into her work day.

Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that drastically turned my world upside down. Being active was something that was always important to me and now, at the age of only 20 years old, I was faced with learning how to live with a disease that affected my ability to perform even the simplest of everyday activities.

Working at Northern Health has been a good fit for me, but especially in managing my health. I have enough flexibility in the job that on good days I could be out in the field working and on bad days I could stay in the office. As time went on, I noticed that I started to spend more time in the office. As a result, I walked less and sat much more. Something needed to change.

In 2009 I made a life change. I stepped outside of my personal comfort zone and signed up for a 12 week boot camp at the local gym. I still remember that first day. I was so self-conscious about being weak and poorly conditioned. But, instead of giving up, I kept with it. I also hired a personal trainer. It was a learning experience for both of us as we figured out how I could modify the movements.

At Northern Health we are beginning to walk the walk and be the face of health within our communities and, as we have learned the last few weeks, workplaces are great locations to promote healthy living and integrate physical activity into daily life. I decided that I wanted to use what I had learned over the years and share it with my co-workers, so I created a contest.

In the winter of 2013, the Dawson Creek and Fort St. John health units challenged the Smithers and Terrace health units in the first ever internal Workplace Wellness “Healthier You Challenge.” This challenge was a fun, in-house 12-week pilot project designed around the Northern Health position papers. The focus of the challenge was to educate and engage staff on incorporating healthy lifestyle behaviours into their everyday routines.

Between the four health units, over 100 staff committed to the challenge. Each week I sent out a new worksheet that explained the week’s challenge. The “weekly” challenges were designed to get you moving and start thinking about healthy food choices.

The physical activity component was based on the key message that every move counts. This theme was carried over from week to week. Anytime an employee participated in any form of physical activity for 10 minutes or more, they logged that into their worksheet and gained points for their team. Participants also gained points for every kilometre travelled and/or steps that they took for the day. I got lots of motivation from B.C.’s Physical Activity Line.

The food challenges were based on Canada’s Food Guide and provincial initiatives. These changed week to week. Examples included eating vegetables and fruit, and reducing the amount of trans fat and high sodium foods that were consumed.

One of the big successes of the challenge was the creation of the “Break Challenge.” During the challenge, employees were encouraged to participate in some sort of physical activity for 15 minutes while at work. Each day a group of staff from the Dawson Creek Health Unit could be found outside walking around on their coffee breaks. It was common on the really cold days to find staff lunging, frog jumping, or walking in the hallways. At the end of Week 1, employees had participated in 342 physical activity breaks, 306 hours of physical activity, and had walked 2097 kms.

At the end of the challenge I surveyed participants, asking them what they liked best about the challenge and what changes they had made in their workplace as a result of the challenge. Some of the comments were:

  • Breaking down the challenge week by week made it feel more manageable and seem less daunting. I also liked the fact there was a different challenge each week.
  • For me the best part of the challenge was the joining of the individuals in our health unit to challenge each other in a supportive environment.
  • Able to critically look at the everyday and identify small opportunities for positive change vs. drastic and likely short lived changes.

This is the challenge that I developed for my fellow co-workers. It was fun and really got people engaged. For more information on some of the weekly challenges, or to find out which health unit won bragging rights, make sure to keep an eye for my future updates on the Northern Health blog. Alternatively, if you are looking for a workplace wellness program that your workplace can join, we encourage you to look at the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wellness Fits program.

Crystal Brown

About Crystal Brown

Accepting a position as an Environmental Health Officer with Northern Health, Crystal Brown moved from Nova Scotia to Dawson Creek in 2004. Since then, Crystal has developed an interest in health promotion and how our built environments impact our health. As the B.C. Branch President-Elect since 2011, Crystal works provincially and nationally with the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors to promote the mission statement and maintain the integrity of public health. In this, she also participates in initiatives that will help to strengthen and advance the profession. To stay active, Crystal attends a morning outdoor boot camp, runs and walks her dogs. In August, Crystal participated and completed her first ever Emperor's Challenge in Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

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