It's fantastic that the NHS is looking at providing health and fitness facilities for staff - zumba and yoga classes are a great start - but how are these to be implemented? and, how are you going to persuade a nurse who has been on a 14 hr shift to rock up to a zumba class rather than go home have a nice fat glass of wine and put their feet up?
Medical staff who save our lives and look after us like no one else can, need to be fit for their job… but they are not. Just imagine how amazing our health care service could be if it was run by staff who were in peak condition both mentally and physically? A racing car driver, a footballer or an astronaut will have millions of pounds pumped into health, fitness and wellness programmes so that they can do their jobs. Jobs which do not save lives.
Zumba is great fun, Yoga is incredibly balancing; the value of both, along with weight management, smoking cessation and counselling services will be a great help to NHS staff. There is one key element however that the NHS must not overlook…And that is a consideration of culture. You can't just put in facilities/services and expect people to turn up. You have to sell it in by considering specific needs and making it an integrated part of workplace life. This doesn’t cost a lot more money, but it does require a lot of careful thought . Here's hoping Mr Simon Stevens has had a good old shake out in a Zumba class, spent a while breathing through some Yoga poses and made sure that all these services are really going to have the desired affect.
A response to BBC report 'NHS staff offered Zumba to stay healthy" 2nd sept http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34120675
Jane Wake – who devotes most of her time making fitness and health actually 'fit'.