31 Jan 2012, Peter Mills, HRO
Also, I think we often misuse the word, because incorporated in its definition is the concept for a remedy for all diseases or ills. So in reality we should be saying something along the lines of "I have a panacea for you", rather than, "I have a panacea for all of your health issues". Semantics and linguistic snobbery aside the closest thing to a panacea that we know of is physical activity.
The benefits of regular physical activity are truly phenomenal. Regular exercise significantly decreases our chance of developing many chronic and debilitating diseases, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. It also improves our mental health and means fewer coughs and colds and days off work.
What is also quite interesting, and unlike almost any other type of intervention (be it pharmaceutical or behavioural), is there is no plateau effect. In other words, the more you do the greater the benefit you get. Clearly there has to be a stage when you can't do anymore because you ache so much or you've worn your joints away! But you get my gist.
So what are you doing to promote regular activity amongst your workforce? As already alluded to, those who are habitually active take less time off work due to illness and also deliver greater productivity. I have little doubt that corporate-wide physical activity promotion is a panacea for the modern business.
This is where I'd like some help from you dear readers; I need to put together a talk for a national conference in March highlighting new and innovative approaches that companies are undertaking to encourage and foster greater wellbeing in the workplace, preferably with a technological component to them.
If you're doing something that you're proud of please feel free to contact me as I need three or four case studies. Look forward to hearing from you.