All posts by PRNews Staff

Beyond Blue Monday: addressing burnout and crisis fatigue in the workplace

While Blue Monday traditionally signifies a peak in winter blues and shines a light on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the current global landscape is far more complex. The prolonged exposure to crises, economic uncertainties and climate anxieties are creating a sustained strain on individuals. Concerns regarding crisis fatigue and burnout among the global workforce are also prompting organisations to re-evaluate their mental health support strategies and to prioritise proactive mental health support for employees.

The International SOS Risk Outlook 2024 data identifies burnout, the cost-of-living crisis and mental health concerns as the top risks to organisational wellbeing this year. Mental health emerges as a critical concern, as the pressures of burnout and financial difficulty can manifest in emotional and psychological distress. The survey data also underlines a growing understanding of the direct link between employee wellbeing and organisational success.

With 82% acknowledging the vital role of health and wellness policies in recruitment and retention and 77% see safeguarding employee wellbeing as a board-level priority

  • The World Health Organization also highlights that globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.
  • Burnout rates among the global workforce have nearly doubled in just two years, soaring from 11-18% to 20-40%, with many reporting burnout levels as high as 50%.
  • This staggering data aligns with a recent McKinsey Health Institute study, revealing that 22% of employees across 30 countries are experiencing burnout symptoms at work.
  • Despite a significant rise in global burnout rates, the perceived risk its impact will have in 2024 varies across regions.
  • Globally, 80% of surveyed global senior risk professionals identifies employee burnout as the top threat to their organisation and workforce. Notably, this concern is most pronounced across the Middle East (93%), Oceania (88%), Africa (84%) and Americas (84%), which are exceeding the global average.

Dr Rodrigo Rodriguez-Fernandez, Global Health Advisor at International SOS said “The post-holiday return to work is known for its challenges and for many employees, this period can be a tipping point for exhaustion, chronic stress and burnout. Some may still be facing the lingering effects of the festive season, navigating financial pressures from rising bills after the holiday celebration. Heightened geopolitical uncertainties and ongoing global crises are also amplifying employee anxieties and creating a complex landscape for businesses navigating workforce wellbeing and productivity.

“Employee demands for strengthened mental health and wellbeing support within the workplace had been steadily increasing even before the recent succession of crises. This pre-existing trend has now acquired greater urgency amidst employee experiences of burnout and crisis fatigue. Blue Monday offers a timely opportunity for organisations to assess and strengthen workplace mental health initiatives. When employees feel supported and empowered to take care of their mental health, they are likely to be more engaged, focused and able to excel in their roles. Organisations that recognise this and prioritise on cultivating psychosocially safe work environments – from providing stress management workshops to flexible work arrangements, are not just doing the right thing, they are also making a strategic investment in their workforce & potential.”

International SOS urges organisations to take action and implement proactive strategies to prevent burnout and combat crisis fatigue in the workplace:

1. Create an emotionally open culture and encourage open communication: provide a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health and wellbeing. Encourage them to speak up if they are feeling overwhelmed or struggling.

2. Provide flexibility and promote work-life balance: support flexible working arrangements that help employees to balance their work and personal lives. Promote regular breaks and empower employees to prioritise their wellbeing.

3. Invest in emotional wellbeing: provide access to mindfulness sessions, and stress management training. Partner with certified mental health professionals to offer confidential counselling and support services.

4. Offer employee assistance programmes (EAPs): consider providing support such as financial counselling services or benefits consultations to address anxieties surrounding economic uncertainties.

5. Equip managers with mental health first-aid training: upskill managers to identify signs of distress and offer initial support to employees who may be struggling.

Like this?

Share it:

Beyond Blue Monday: Addressing Burnout and Crisis Fatigue in The Workplace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/2024/01/22/beyond-blue-mond…in-the-workplace

 

Racquetball star Conrrado Moscoso wins The World Games Athlete of the Year award

Congratulations to Bolivia’s Conrrado Moscoso for securing the title of The World Games Athlete of the Year 2023!

Bolivia’s Racquetball star wins the coveted title with an amazing total of 75,389 votes, defeating Luisa Rizzo (ITA) from Air Sports who came second with a total number of votes of 55,834. Moscoso (28), and Rizzo (21), led the race from the start of the final round, and were very close going into the final 24 hours. They have left third and fourth places to Germany’s Marius-Andrei Balan (33) and Khrystyna Moshenska (34), nominated in the Latin dance discipline, from the DanceSport category and Ju-Jitsu ace Faisal Al Ketbi (36), from UAE. The German dancers, performing together since 2015, collected 43,560 votes, while Faisal Al Ketbi, The World Games 2017 gold medallist, recorded 36,824 votes.

IWGA President José Perurena congratulated all the finalists on their success: “On behalf of the International World Games Association, and personally, I would like to congratulate our winner and all the athletes in the Top 10 for their outstanding performances. Congratulations for their performances in this race; but they also need to be recognised and saluted for the constant, tireless hard work and sacrifices that they make to reach the highest possible level in their sport. This Award is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the incredible records and achievements of The World Games’ male and female athletes from all over the world. Athletes are the beating heart of our community, and this trophy symbolises our gratitude.”

Inspire the younger generation to get moving

Conrrado Moscoso has had a highly successful and glittering career in Racquetball. He is the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) men’s singles World champion, and currently leads the Racquetball World Rankings. He won two gold medals and one bronze at the latest edition of the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Immediately after the announcement, winner Moscoso said:  “I am incredibly grateful and honoured to win this Award. For myself of course, but also for the international Racquetball community that I wish to represent with this title. I want to advocate for my sport in my country, my continent and throughout the world because the sport deserves worldwide publicity. My goal is to inspire the younger generation to get moving and find a passion for sport, possibly Racquetball!”

IRF President Osvaldo Maggi spoke with great enthusiasm: “On behalf of the global Racquetball community, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate our champion Conrrado Moscoso of Bolivia on this tremendous achievement. We are so proud of him for winning and we would like to thank our supportive fans that made it possible. We look forward to seeing what the next edition of The World Games in Chengdu brings!”

A great honour

For 21-year-old Luisa Rizzo, flying her FPV drone at speeds of over 160km/h around an intricate obstacle course is much more than a simple hobby. The remarkable Italian pilot came third in the FAI World Drone Racing Championships in Namwon, Korea in 2023. She also entered the Guinness World Record Book for clearing 56 gates in 60 seconds on live TV when aged just 16.

Happy about her second place, Rizzo said: “I am delighted with this final result. It is a great honour, not only for me but for the entire air sports community, to receive this distinction. It was thrilling to follow the voting evolution since the start of the year, and I had no idea that I was going to get so much support from The World Games community. I am endlessly grateful for the mobilisation and encouragement, and I wish I knew who voted for me, in order to thank them one by one. I would also like to thank IWGA for their promotion of non-Olympic Games Sports.”

World Air Sports Federation President David Monks echoed the young athlete’s excitement: “We would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Luisa Rizzo for her second place. The depth of her talent and outstanding performances in one of our disciplines is undeniable and brings us all together. We are honoured that she gets to be recognised in her specific field.”

Growing popularity of DanceSport

Right from the beginning of their union, Balan and Moshenska became one of the most successful and mesmerizing couples in the world. They are German Champions and have been finalists in every major competition in the world. Since 2020 they are #1 on the World Dance Sport Federation World Ranking List and continue to dominate the international Latin Dance scene.

Thrilled about their third place, the pair commented: “We are incredibly grateful to be second runners-up in The World Games Athlete of the Year Award. We hope DanceSport will get more recognition all over the world, because it is an artistic sport which makes you feel and look good.”

World DanceSport Federation President Shawn Tay commented: “I’m delighted to witness Marius-Andrei Balan and Khrystyna Moshenska’s remarkable journey towards the third place in the IWGA Athlete of the Year Award. I’ve known Marius and Khrystyna for over a decade and have seen them persist through all the triumphs and hardships in their career. Their global acclaim is in recognition of their sheer hard work, discipline, and dedication, as well as an important indication of the growing popularity of our beautiful, artistic sport. We, at the WDSF, are very proud of Marius and Khrystyna, and thankful for the recognition from IWGA.”

Dreams are fuelled by determination and can turn into reality

The Abu Dhabi native Ketbi, finished fourth in the race among 22 top athletes. He is the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 World Champion in Ju-Jitsu in the -94kg category. He also won TWG 2017 gold medal in Wroclaw, Poland, in the same category, and grabbed TWG 2022 golds in the -85kg group and Open Men discipline in Birmingham, USA.

Ju-Jitsu Faisal Al Ketbi commented: “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the visionary leadership of the UAE for their limitless support, which made this achievement possible. I also extend my deepest appreciation to all my supporters who have been with me on this incredible journey. This achievement is a testament to the dedication, hard work, and endeavour that has fuelled my passion for Ju-Jitsu. I dedicate this achievement to my teammates, coaches, family, and fans who have stood by me every step of the way. This achievement is not just mine; it’s a collective effort, and I am overjoyed to be able to honour my country with this recognition. Together, we’ve proven that dreams fuelled by determination can turn into reality. I hope this win serves as a beacon of inspiration, encouraging aspiring athletes to pursue excellence and contribute to the sport’s continued success on the global stage.”

To close the 2023 season, a total of 22 athletes were running for The World Games Athlete of the Year title. As a reminder, in the voting for 2022, the individual winner was Valeria Cardenas (COL) from the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF).

The International World Games Association (IWGA) is a non-profit-making international sports organisation recognised and supported by the International Olympic Committee. The IWGA comprises 39 International Member Sports Federations. It administers and promotes The World Games (TWG), a multi-sport event held every four years that features around 35 sports on its programme. The next edition of TWG will be in Chengdu (CHN) from 7-17 August 2025. 5,000 participants from more than 100 countries are expected to take part in this 12th edition. The latest Games were hosted by Birmingham, Alabama (USA).

For more information: The World Games website

 

Like this?

Share it:

Racquetball Star Conrrado Moscoso Wins The World Games Athlete Of The Year Award is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=14966&preview=true

ICONSIAM’s THAICONIC SONGKRAN CELEBRATION achieves sensational success

ICONSIAM, Thailand’s newest iconic mixed commercial complex hosted a 12-day Songkran event titled ‘THAICONIC SONGKRAN CELEBRATION: Joyful Songkran Festival, Continuing the Legacy of World Heritage’. The successful turnout, with tourists from all around the world joined in the fun, exceeding the initial target, and attracted over 2 million visitors from all over the world in 12 days.

In celebration of the Songkran Festival’s prestigious recognition by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, ICONSIAM portrayed as a global landmark on the Chao Phraya River, joined forces with the government and private sectors to welcome the Thai New Year with a world-class Songkran celebration titled “THE ICONIC SONGKRAN FESTIVAL 2024.” This event is the one and only Songkran celebration in Bangkok set against the breathtaking backdrop of the magnificent Chao Phraya River that lasted for 12 days (April 10 – 21, 2024) and honours Thai identity by blending traditional Thai recreational activities with contemporary cultural entertainment. The event delivered the most memorable experiences.

Photos supplied

Mr. Supoj Chaiwatsirikul, Managing Director of ICONSIAM Company Limited, said, “As a world-class landmark along the Chao Phraya River, serving as a significant tourist destination in Bangkok and Thailand, ICONSIAM hosts the Songkran event to be more enjoyable and memorable than ever before this year. The celebration is particularly meaningful as the ‘Songkran in Thailand’ festival was registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO at the end of last year.

“THE ICONIC SONGKRAN FESTIVAL 2024 showcases the rich traditions and customs of Songkran while welcoming tourists from around the world with warm hospitality and contemporary Thai entertainment. This collaborative effort seeks to create a historic event and promote Songkran in Thailand as a world-class festival. The goal is to honor Thai cultural heritage by blending contemporary elements and presenting it in a way that resonates with future generations. The Songkran Festival plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth for Thailand. This year at ICONSIAM, we are expected to welcome over 2 million Thais and international tourists over the 12 days.”

“THE ICONIC SONGKRAN FESTIVAL 2024″ at ICONSIAM featured Thai culture and traditions. Some highlights include:

  • Songkran Mahothorndevi Parade: A 7-day parade along the Chao Phraya River from showcasing Thai cultural richness, featuring top 7 famous actresses and artists, including Aff Taksaorn, Pie Rinrada, Becky Rebecca, Bella Ranee, Mai Davika and Diana Flipo, as well as internationally renowned Thai artist Minnie, a member of South Korean girl group (G) I-DLE, to be represented as Miss Songkran 2024.
  • Bathing of the Buddha Sihing: ICONSIAM has brought the replica of the Phra Buddha Sihing from Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan, Chiang Mai Province to be placed at Exit Gate 1, G Floor, ICONLUXE Zone. Visitors can participate in a water-pouring ceremony to ask for blessings and purification. This traditional ritual is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to those who take part in it.
  • Songkran Water Splashing: Enjoy water splashing festivities at Water Splash Landmark at River Park, the only place in Thailand offering such an experience amidst the scenic backdrop of the Chao Phraya River from today until April 21. Moreover, there are mini concerts performed by well-known Thai artists, and other cultural performances added to the festive atmosphere for visitors both locals and tourists to enjoy.

Visit www.iconsiam.com for more information.

Hashtags: #ICONSIAM #THEICONICSONGKRANFESTIVAL2024 #THAICONICSONGKRANCELEBRATION #THAILANDSONGKRANFESTIVAL

Like this?

Share it:

ICONSIAM’s THAICONIC SONGKRAN CELEBRATION’ achieves sensational success is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=15037&preview=true

Ovolo Hotels signs strategic brand alliance with Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Via PRNewsGIG

In a landmark partnership poised to elevate Ovolo Hotels’ brand across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, the designer hotel collection proudly announces a strategic brand alliance with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), encompassing its iconic boutique designer hotels across Hong Kong, Australia, and Bali. The partnership will see Ovolo Hotels expand its global presence through SLH’s global sales, distribution, and marketing platforms.

Ovolo Hotels, known for its avant-garde approach to tourism and hospitality; is a dynamic and innovative hotel brand with a collection of boutique designer hotels. Each Ovolo represents cutting-edge design, technological integration, and an unwavering commitment to sustainability, encapsulated in its distinctive ‘Do Good. Feel Good.’ policy and achieving the Bronze Benchmark across its Australian and Bali hotels from Earth Check, the world’s leading certification, consulting, and advisory group for sustainable destinations and tourism organisations.

Dave Baswal, CEO of Ovolo Hotels, shared his enthusiasm about the collaboration, saying, “At Ovolo, we are thrilled to partner with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a brand synonymous with independently spirited hotels and excellence. This strategic alliance not only strengthens our presence across key global markets while remaining independently owned and operated, but also allows us to showcase the distinct character and innovation that defines Ovolo while connecting with travellers emotionally.”

SLH offers discerning guests a prestigious collection of over 560 independently curated hotels in more than 90 countries, each offering bespoke and personalised luxury experiences coupled with a firm sustainability objective. Synonymous with independently spirited hotels, delivering curated stays that reflect the individuality and character of each destination. The brand’s ‘Considerate Collection’ aligns with sustainable practices, embodying a commitment to responsible luxury on a global scale. Each SLH room night booked and stayed using the SLH INVITED loyalty member rate includes a donation to reforestation organisation Tree-Nation. To date, SLH has donated 20,330 trees for an eponymous forest in Tanzania.

Mark Wong, Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, expressed passion about the partnership, stating, “We are elated to welcome Ovolo Hotels back to the SLH membership. The renewed alliance with Ovolo Hotels brings more exciting promotional prospects; and elevates SLH’s presence in Australia and wherever the Ovolo Hotels brand name goes. Each characterful Ovolo hotel exemplifies the high standards of excellence and impeccably embodies the spirit of individual character and connects with the independently minded traveller that SLH member hotels are known for.”

This strategic collaboration seamlessly integrates the following hotels from the Ovolo Hotels collection into SLH’s curated collection with plans to add the By Ovolo Collective collection in Q1 2024:

Ovolo hotels:

By Ovolo Collective:

This synergy amplifies the diversity and uniqueness of the offerings, creating a one-of-a-kind proposition for travellers seeking bespoke luxury designer experiences across continents.

Ryan Tuckerman, Group Director of Sales, Distribution & Revenue at Ovolo Hotels, added, “This partnership is a testament to the shared values and commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences that both Ovolo and SLH have. The integration of our eight distinctive hotels into the SLH collection amplifies the diversity and uniqueness of our offerings, opening new and existing markets through increased sale and distribution networks. Together, we look forward to truly connecting with the independently minded traveller in our regions.”

The collaboration marks the beginning of a new era for Ovolo Hotels as SLH comes together to offer unparalleled experiences that transcend borders and redefine the very essence of bespoke designer luxury.

Ovolo Nishi – Canberra, Australia

Discover Canberra’s culture, nightlife and wildlife in cutting-edge style at Ovolo Nishi – a boutique, eco hotel that’s big on luxury but small on impact. The perfect sanctuary, expect lovingly restored retro furniture, original artworks, and totally stress-free service on call. Plus, every room includes free wi-fi, flat screen TV, a blissful bathroom and 24-hour access to the on-site gym. For added indulgence, stay in a Meandering Atrium suite, and stretch out in the atrium jungle of Tasmanian tree ferns, or recharge in the bathroom with twin overhead rain showers and Insta-worthy concrete bathtub.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo – Sydney, Australia

Relax in style at Ovolo Woolloomooloo, the perfect luxury hotel for exploring Sydney, complete with indoor pool and innovative plant-based dining. Surrounded by gently lapping water, Ovolo Wooloomooloo’s unique location on the wharf offers its guests the ultimate in peace and tranquillity, all within easy reach of Sydney’s buzzing CBD. This five-star hotel brings the historic architecture of a working wharf bang up to date, with a sensitive renovation that honours its industrial heritage. Rooms are generously sized, light, and airy, decorated with pops of colour, mural-adorned headboards, clever lighting, and a nod to modern minimalism.

Ovolo South Yarra -– Melbourne, Australia

Get your groove on at Ovolo South Yarra, a hotel where classic rock and contemporary art collide. Feel cool, calm, and connected as you ease into the rhythm of a rockin’ stay. Rooms are a relaxing mix of neutrals and vintage-vibe prints, offset with accents of colour and chrome. Try the chic Boogie City room, with city views and a comfortable queen bed. Or check in to a Rockstar suite and channel the energy of power couples Sonny & Cher, and John & Yoko.

Ovolo The Valley – Brisbane, Australia

Guests are invited to immerse themselves in Brisbane’s most creative, cultural scene at Ovolo The Valley, a contemporary urban hideaway with a rooftop pool and showstopping Rockstar Suite. Based in Brisbane’s buzzing Fortitude Valley, it pops with colour, contemporary design and all the creature comforts, perfectly mirroring its hip surroundings. Relax by the rooftop pool by day, and drink in (literally) the Valley’s live music, bars and restaurants by night. It’s the perfect retreat for shopaholics, gourmands, and night owls alike.

Ovolo Central – Hong Kong SAR, China

A chic urban gem, Ovolo Central perfectly punctuates Hong Kong’s bustling SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong districts. This design-led spot puts guests at the beating heart of the action – with buzzing restaurants and late-night destinations on the doorstep. Light rooms are a work of contemporary craft. Walls pop with bold artworks and geometric prints, while dedicated seating nooks offer space to unwind. Each room comes equipped with a host of personal perks – think super-soft slippers, tea and coffee on tap, a fully stocked
minibar, and a little loot bag of sweet treats.

Laneways By Ovolo – Melbourne, Australia

Inspired by the hidden laneways and street art that Melbourne is known for, Laneways by Ovolo is the perfect spot to kick off your heels, or slip on some sneakers and hit the cobblestones. Guests can experience easy access to all the top landmarks & points of interest in the city: art galleries, shopping, sporting arenas as well as world-class restaurants & bars. During your stay, be sure to grab a cocktail or pot of local craft beer at the downstairs Amphlett House — an upbeat bistro-pub with honest fare offering vibrant drinks on tap.

Mamaka By Ovolo – Bali, Indonesia

The first-ever beachfront resort by Ovolo, Mamaka by Ovolo raises the bar with its suite of incredible offerings sure to wow guests. The stylish urban resort right in the beating heart of Kuta Legian impresses with maximalist décor that packs a punch as geometric patterns grace the walls and cool blue hues reflect the beachside environment. Then, there are the exquisite facilities including a stylish wellness centre where guests can sweat it out with included boot camp or yoga classes, a rooftop pool that runs parallel to the ocean at Mamaka Rooftop Bar & Pool, and it is also the only hotel in the world to have an official Rip Curl School of Surf.

About Ovolo Group:
The Ovolo Group was founded by entrepreneur Girish Jhunjhnuwala and first entered the real estate market in 2002; then further expanded into the hotel industry in 2010. Ovolo Hotels quickly became one of Hong Kong and Australia’s most dynamic independent owner operated hospitality firms by providing guests with the best in effortless living across hotels and food and beverage outlets.

The Ovolo Group is a collection of contemporary hotels that keep you connected to the little luxuries you love, all effortlessly included. The company prides itself on being in touch with the modern traveller through award-winning interior designs, detail-driven comforts, complimentary value-added services like the mini bar and breakfast, with cutting-edge technology. Ovolo Hotels have been acknowledged for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, receiving the accolade “Hotel Brand of the Year”, at the 2019 and 2020 HM Awards.

A proud Hong Kong brand, Ovolo Group remains a family-owned and privately-operated business operating four hotels and three restaurants in Hong Kong, and eight hotels and seven restaurants across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

Ovolo also has the By Ovolo Collective within its portfolio of hotels, a distinctive collection of four hotels. These include Nishi Apartments in Canberra Australia, The Sheung Wan by Ovolo and The Aberdeen Harbour in Hong Kong, and Mamaka Kuta Beach in Bali Indonesia.

Ovolo acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we are located. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Learn more: www.ovolohotels.com

#OVOLO #SLH

Images supplied.


Like this?

Share it:

Ovolo Hotels signs strategic brand alliance with Small Luxury Hotels of the World is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=14992

There’s more we can do for mental health in Australia – and it starts with what we eat

Via PRNewsGIG

What we eat has a profound impact on the mind, body and brain, yet the power of nutrition and dietetic supports remain largely underutilised within Australia’s mental health care system.

The nation’s peak body for dietetic and nutrition professionals, Dietitians Australia, released a mental health brief to evidence on how nutrition therapy can be harnessed to tackle the spectrum of mental health challenges faced nationwide.

The Dietitians Australia: Nourishing the Mind, Body and Brain Evidence Brief 2024 details evidence-based solutions for better integration of dietetic and nutrition services into Australia’s health care system to shake up the way we manage mental health conditions across the nation.

“Our health care system needs to evolve to manage the often-complex needs of people living with mental health conditions.

 “That includes ensuring Accredited Practising Dietitians take the leading role within multidisciplinary teams when it comes to providing effective, evidence-based dietary therapy for the prevention, treatment and management of mental health conditions their symptoms and commonly co-occurring physical illnesses,” Dietitians Australia President Tara Diversi said.

“The brief highlights the emerging evidence that has found making changes to the quality of food intake, can lead to the remission of depressive symptoms in some people.

“Australians must be supported with food and nutrition guidance to prevent occurrences of mental health conditions, with evidence showing eating a diet that isn’t made up of nutritious foods can increase the risk of developing mood and anxiety disorders.

“There are limited pathways for Australians facing mental health challenges to access nutrition therapy and dietetic services through the Medicare system.

“We’ve been calling on the Government to create avenues through Medicare and other funding programs to support Australians with depression, mood disorders and severe mental illness to access individual and group consultations with Accredited Practising Dietitians as part of a holistic and truly multidisciplinary approach to care.

“Currently there are only limited Medicare item numbers for people with eating disorders and other chronic health conditions to access an Accredited Practising Dietitian for mental health care.

“Mental health conditions cost the economy upwards of $70 billion dollars a year from lost productivity.

“The personal and societal impact cannot be quantified, but is an enormous load for many Australians’ who live with and support people with mental health conditions.

“Dietitians stand ready to play a poignant role in transforming the way we manage mental health care in this country and will continue to advocate for ways we can better nourish the minds, bodies and brains of all Australians.


Like this?

Share it:

There’s more we can do for mental health in Australia – and it starts with what we eat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=15020&preview=true

WHO calls for greater attention to violence against women with disabilities and older women

Older women and women with disabilities face particular risk of abuse, yet their situation is largely hidden in most global and national violence-related data, according to two new publications released today by the World Health Organization (WHO). The health agency is calling for better research across countries that will help ensure these women are counted, and that their specific needs are understood and addressed.

Where there is evidence on gender-based violence amongst these groups, data shows high prevalence. One systematic review found greater risks of intimate partner violence for women with disabilities compared with those without, while another also found higher rates of sexual violence.

“Older women and women with disabilities are under-represented in much of the available research on violence against women, which undermines the ability of programmes to meet their particular needs,” said Dr Lynnmarie Sardinha, Technical Officer at WHO and the UN Special Programme on Human Reproduction (HRP) for Violence against Women Data and Measurement, and author of the briefs. “Understanding how diverse women and girls are differently affected, and if and how they are accessing services, is critical to ending violence in all its forms.”

Intimate partner and sexual violence are the most common forms of gender-based violence globally and affect around 1 in 3 women. Older women and women with disabilities are still subjected to these types of violence, but also face specific risks and additional forms of abuse, sometimes at the hands of caregivers or health care professionals. These include coercive and controlling behaviours such as withholding of medicines, assistive devices or other aspects of care, and financial abuse.

Among women aged 60 years and older, a review conducted by WHO found that physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence remained the most frequently experienced forms of abuse. However, as partners aged, some women reported a shift from predominantly physical and/or sexual violence to psychological violence, including threats of abandonment and other controlling behaviours.

Older women and women with disabilities can be extremely isolated when violence occurs, making it more difficult for them to escape and report the abuse. Stigma and discrimination can further reduce access to services or information, or result in their accounts of violence being dismissed by responders.

“Gender-based violence is rooted in unequal power and control over women,” said Dr Avni Amin, Head of the Rights and Equality across the Life Course Unit at WHO and HRP. “For older women and women with disabilities, their dependency and isolation are further exploited by perpetrators, increasing their risk of abuse. Services must be responsive to their needs and identify appropriate contacts through the health and care systems, so that all women experiencing violence can access empathetic, survivor-centered care.”

WHO recommends several measures to address evidence gaps. Noting that older women are currently represented in only about 10% of data on violence against women, this includes extending the age limit for survey participation. They also suggest incorporating questions relating to different types of violence, encompassing a broad spectrum of disabilities.

The two briefs, Measuring violence against older women and Measuring violence against women with disability, stress that older women and women with disabilities and their representative organizations should be engaged in all phases and aspects of survey design and implementation, to ensure they are appropriate and user-friendly. Formats like Braille or EasyRead can expand accessibility.

The briefs are the first in a series on neglected forms of violence and were developed as part of the UN Women-WHO Joint Programme on Violence against Women Data, through HRP. They are intended for use by researchers, national statistics offices, social care and welfare services and others involved in data collection on violence against women. Funding has been provided from the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Alongside the briefs, WHO has developed a survey module to support data collection on violence against older women, to be used alongside existing surveys. Resources to support inclusion of measures of disability in such surveys will be released later in the year.

Related link: Violence against women (who.int)

Publications:


Like this?

Share it:

WHO calls for greater attention to violence against women with disabilities and older women is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source:https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=14989

Black Belt in Martial Arts: A Path to Personal and Professional Growth

Sir Sean Connery, Forest Whittaker, Guy Ritchie are all black belts in martial arts as is Tom Hardy and tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and it’s becoming more popular in the media too. Mixed martial arts (MMA) is the fastest growing sport in the world, selling out arenas across the globe – and rival broadcasters are chomping at the bit to sign up programmes.

As an entrepreneur, mother, media professional and a dedicated practitioner of the martial art of karate, my journey to achieving a black belt has been transformative; the lessons I’ve learned on the mat have transcended the boundaries of the dojo and provided invaluable insights which guide me in all aspects of my life.

One of the most fundamental lessons I’ve learned in karate is the power of incremental progress. The journey from a white belt to an advanced one taught me that what seems impossible at first can become achievable through consistent effort and determination.

Karate has taught me the importance of emotional control. In the heat of contact sparring, it’s easy to let anger or frustration cloud your judgment. I’ve learned to process my emotions rather than suppress them, ensuring they don’t dictate my actions or demeanour and help maintain composure.

I discovered that success often requires adaptation and persistence. Just like martial artists adjust their techniques in sparring, I’ve learned to be flexible and willing to modify my approach in various situations in business. It’s not about finding a one-size-fits-all solution but about continuously refining and trying different strategies.

I also realised the importance of focusing on my strengths rather than fixating on others’ abilities. This lesson has translated into my professional life, reminding me not to engage in the damaging habit of constant comparison which is a minefield for our mental health.

Karate has shown me the profound connection between the mind and the body. The mental motivation that I receive from my teachers is a vivid illustration of how the mind dictates the body’s actions. This understanding helps me find motivation and inspiration even on the most challenging days.

Breaking through the barriers of self-doubt and difficulty is a core aspect of martial arts training. The experience of persistently working toward breaking boards to earn my black belt has instilled in me the unwavering belief that tenacity is one of the fundamental keys to success. It took several attempts and countless hours of practice, but the feeling of accomplishment and newfound confidence were immeasurable.

My journey to a black belt taught me that commitment and unwavering belief in oneself are often more critical than innate ability. It’s not about being the strongest or most talented but about having the discipline, indomitable spirit, and perseverance to overcome challenges. These attributes are equally applicable to my professional life in the competitive world of media and entertainment.

Achieving a black belt in karate is not merely a testament to physical prowess; it is a symbol of internal growth, discipline, emotional control, and a core inner confidence. Just as a black belt represents the highest level of skill and dedication in martial arts, it stands as a reminder that these qualities are the true ingredients of personal and professional achievement.

This interview with Sarimah Ibrahim was authored by Heather Suttie.


Like this?

Share it:

Black Belt in Martial Arts: A Path to Personal and Professional Growth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/2024/02/19/black-belt-in-martial-arts-a-path-to-personal-and-professional-growth/

Singapore to host 2025 World Para Swimming Championships

Competition to be held in Asia for the first time in history with around 600 athletes set to compete at the world-class OCBC Aquatic Centre within the Singapore Sports Hub from 3 to 9 October 2025.

Singapore’s top Para swimmers joined an event in the host city to mark the announcement of the 2025 World Para Swimming Championships ⒸAndy Chua/SDSC

World Para Swimming and the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) unveiled on Monday (5 February) Singapore as the host city for the 12th edition of the World Para Swimming Championships. The Championships will unfold at the world-class OCBC Aquatic Centre within the Singapore Sports Hub, from 3 to 9 October 2025.

Aligned with Singapore’s 60th birthday celebration, the World Para Swimming Championships will serve as a testament to the nation’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity. Significantly, this milestone event marks the inaugural occasion of the World Para Swimming Championships being hosted in Asia. It also presents a rare opportunity for swimmers, both with and without disabilities, to vie for victory as the 2025 World Aquatics Championships is also going to be held in Singapore.

Craig Nicholson, Head of World Para Swimming, said: “We are delighted to announce that next year’s World Championships will take place in Singapore, marking the first time the competition is held in Asia. This is a major milestone for our sport and is also evidence of the growth of Para swimming in the country and the region. Singapore hosted the Citi Para Swimming World Series for the first time in 2019 and since then we have had the opportunity to see first-hand the great work of the Singapore Disability Sports Council, providing opportunities and breaking barriers for persons with disabilities in society. We look forward to working together with the SDSC and their partners to welcome the world’s best Para swimmers to the OCBC Aquatic Centre in 2025.”

Para swimming has been a consistent stronghold for Team Singapore, producing Paralympic medallists and world record holders such as Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh Rui Si. Additionally, Asian Para Games medallist Toh Wei Soong, Asian record holder Sophie Soon and numerous ASEAN Para Games medallists have contributed to the nation’s rich Para swimming legacy. Beyond elite competition, the SDSC also welcomes nearly 100 individuals with physical, visual and intellectual disabilities to its national championships annually.

Dr Teo-Koh Sock Miang, President of the SDSC, expressed, “We envision this landmark event propelling Singapore onto the global stage as a country that commits to empower individuals of all abilities. With the generous support of Sport Singapore and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, we aim to reach out to more Singaporeans through the awareness and partnerships that will be fostered by this event.”

“There remains a large number of Singaporeans with disabilities who can find inspiration, success and achievement in Para swimming and Para sport. We would like everyone to be able to gain inspiration and confidence from the exceptional Para swimmers that they will witness at this event. We implore supportive partners and sponsors to collaborate with us in forging a lasting legacy for persons with disabilities and the broader Singaporean community.”

“The 2025 World Para Swimming Championships promise to be an unforgettable celebration of diversity, athleticism, and community.”

Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law, who graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour, said, “Hosting the World Para Swimming Championships is a significant milestone for the disability sport community in Singapore. It will enable our Team Singapore athletes to compete against the world’s top Para swimmers on home ground, and inspire Singaporeans, as they witness the competition up close.”

Transformative impact

Community activations featuring various Para sports in Singapore are in the plans to raise awareness and reach more persons with disabilities.

“SportSG fully supports efforts to uplift the lives of persons with disabilities through sport, through initiatives such as our Para Sport Academies, SportCares programmes, and inclusive ActiveSG facilities. Hosting the World Para Swimming Championships will enable us to build on these efforts in the same year that Singapore will also host the World Aquatics Championships and celebrate SG60. The organising committee seeks to co-create this event with our partners and deliver a memorable experience for all athletes, officials and members of our community. We look forward to everyone’s active participation in cheering for the world’s best aquatics athletes and immersing in the event festivities,” said Alan Goh, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Singapore 2025 World Para Swimming Championships.

Five-time Paralympic champion swimmer Yip Pin Xiu added, “I never imagined that we would one day get to showcase Para swimming to this level in Singapore. To know that it would happen at a world-class pool, with the top Para swimmers in the world competing right here on our little island, feels truly surreal. It not only shows that Singapore has taken concrete strides towards promoting inclusivity over the years but has received the confidence to play a leading role in the global landscape. I hope that more Singaporeans and organisations will take up the opportunity to watch the Para swimmers at the World Championships and find ways to be a part of this. Together we can understand how sports, and respect, can help to transform our stories as individuals and as a community.”

Emphasising the sense of community, Para swimmers, athletes from diverse sports, coaches, officials, and parents joyously marked the announcement with a traditional ‘lo hei’—a cherished Singaporean dish during the Lunar New Year that symbolises the act of “tossing for good fortune.” This heart-warming gesture was a collective wish for success in the upcoming World Championships.

Singapore has successfully hosted international Para swimming events in recent years, in particular the Citi Para Swimming World Series in both 2019 and 2023. It remains the sole Asian destination on the tour in 2024. The biennial World Para Swimming Championships, most recently hosted in 2023 in Manchester, Great Britain is anticipated to draw approximately 600 elite Para swimmers from over 60 nations to the vibrant garden city.

As part of the leadup to the Championships, a new Para swimming learn-to-swim programme, called Swim Together, was also introduced by the SDSC on Monday.

Developed by World Para Swimming, Singapore will be one of the first countries globally to launch the programme, with workshops commencing in May 2024 alongside the Citi Para Swimming World Series Singapore. The SDSC aims to equip more local swim coaches with the skills and confidence to welcome individuals with disabilities into the world of swimming.

 

Like this?

Share it:

Singapore to host 2025 World Para Swimming Championships is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=14969&preview=true

Protein – where are you getting them?

Welcome to the journey of vibrant health, where we navigate the maze of wellness with a focus on a crucial aspect often overlooked – protein. As a seasoned pharmacist and health coach with over 24 years of experience, I’ve witnessed the impact of chronic diseases, muscle wasting, and sarcopenia. It’s this wealth of experience that fuels my passion for disease prevention and the critical role that PRIORITISING PROTEIN plays in the foundation of good health. It’s so crucial that I highlighted it as one of 3 strategies for foundational health in my keynote speech at the AFT International Sports Festival. You can watch it here.

What is protein and where are you getting it?

Protein Basics: Fueling Your Body’s Engine

Protein, alongside fats and carbohydrates, is an indispensable nutrient vital for optimal health. Imagine your body as a car; fats and carbs are the fuel, but protein is the actual car itself. Beyond structural support for bones, teeth, hair, and nails, protein acts as the building block for muscles, organ tissues, blood, and more. It plays a pivotal role in various bodily functions, from regulating hormones to creating immune cells, repairing tissues, and producing essential enzymes.

Proteins – where are you getting them? – photo supplied by PharmacistEdit.com

The Risks of Protein Deficiency

Deficiency in protein can lead to severe consequences, with sarcopenia involving the loss of muscle mass, and the potential worst-case scenario would be losing heart muscle mass. Protein deficiency affects organs, from the developing brain to the immune system and gut mucosal function. Signs of deficiency include muscle wasting, fluid build-up, anemia, and slow growth, particularly alarming in children.

How much protein do we need?

Understanding Protein Requirements: Fueling the Body Adequately

To ensure optimal health, understanding protein requirements is crucial. The recommended minimum intake is 0.84-0.94 grams per kilogram of body weight depending on age and gender, established in 20061. However, this guideline might not account for the increased protein needs of today’s larger population, especially when relying on lower-quality protein sources like ultra-processed fast food.

Target 30 grams of protein per meal – photo supplied by PharmacistEdit.com

Protein helps manage appetite, food cravings, and food metabolism

Protein and Healthy Aging: The Science Behind It

Protein isn’t just about structure; it’s a multifaceted nutrient with profound effects on overall well-being. It manages appetite, food cravings, and food metabolism. When combined with regular resistance exercises, adequate dietary protein helps build and maintain lean body mass, strength, and facilitates healthy aging. Australia’s CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation) recommends 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram per day for healthy aging and muscle health.2

 

Strategies for Optimal Protein Intake: Quality Matters

When it comes to choosing protein sources, quality is paramount. Opt for unprocessed meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy as your primary sources. Not only do these options provide the necessary amount of protein, but they also offer an ideal amino acid makeup and high digestibility.

In essence, prioritising protein isn’t just a dietary choice; it’s a lifestyle commitment to ensuring your body receives the essential building blocks for longevity and vitality. Remember, the fountain of vitality awaits those who prioritise protein.

Stay tuned for the upcoming articles where I’ll delve into the other two strategies that are the foundations of good health (hint – we’ll talk about hydration and sleep).

For more tips on incorporating diverse foods to increase micronutrients in your diet, visit the PharmacistEdit.com website here.

References:


  1. National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government Departmentof Health and Ageing, New Zealand Ministry of Health. Nutrient Reference Values forAustralia and New Zealand. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2006.
  2. Noakes, M, (2018) Protein Balance: New Concepts forProtein in Weight Management; CSIRO, Australia.

This article was first published in https://pharmacistedit.com/protein/ and has been provided by Theresa Loo, specialist pharmacist, health coach, podcaster and cofounder of Pharmacist Edit.

Like this?

Share it:

Protein – where are you getting them? is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=14890&preview=true

Not So Sweet: Understanding The Unspoken Connection Between Erectile Health and Diabetes

This November, let’s delve deeper into the intricate link between type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and men’s intimate health

November is designated as Men’s Health Awareness Month and Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has taken the initiative to shed light on a pressing health concern that affects men at a higher rate than women – Diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)[1], men are more likely to receive a diagnosis of diabetes than women. World Diabetes Day on 14 November is an opportune time to delve into the intricate link between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and men’s health, with a specific focus on how diabetes can contribute to Erectile Dysfunction (ED), impacting men’s overall well-being.

Men and Diabetes: A Closer Look

This increased susceptibility of diabetes among men can be attributed to several key factors, including hormonal differences and body fat distribution. Hormonally, females have a more favourable effect on insulin sensitivity, with research suggesting that estrogen plays a role in enhancing it[2]. Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) Consultant Endocrinologist and Internal Medicine Physician, Dr. Kim Piow Lim explains.

Testosterone enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and reduces inflammation, leading to improved beta cell health. However, research has shown that lower testosterone levels in men are associated with a greater risk of Type 2 Diabetes[3].
Another contributing factor is body fat distribution. Men often carry excess weight around their abdomen, a pattern known as central obesity. Visceral fat distribution is associated with a higher risk of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes.
Low testosterone level in men can increase visceral fat leading to increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes compared to women.
Dr. Kim Piow Lim, Consultant Endocrinologist and Internal Medicine Physician

ED and Diabetes: an unspoken challenge

While the management of blood sugar is a central concern in diabetes care, it is crucial to recognise that diabetes is not limited to its physical manifestations. It can have far-reaching effects on a man’s overall well-being and quality of life, with one such consequence being Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) Consultant Urologist, Dr Cheng Hood Goh highlights the connection.

After the age of 40, 10% of men develop ED, and as age increases, so does the risk[4]. With the presence of diabetes in men, the risk of developing ED increases 3.5 times compared to non-diabetic patients. Getting an erection involves increased blood flow in arteries and reduced blood flow out of veins. Diabetes disrupts this process due to neuropathy, decreased nitric oxide (NO) levels, and increased prothrombin factor, causing reduced blood flow and blood vessel clotting. Diabetes can lead to ED through two primary mechanisms: vascular damage and nerve damage. Vessel diseases, dysfunction, and the accumulation of advanced glycation end products result from hyperglycemia. This impairs the relaxation of the vascular smooth muscle of the penis and ultimately leading to ED. Besides the physical impact, the emotional consequences of ED are often underestimated. It can strain intimate relationships leading to communication issues and emotional distance between partners. For many men, their sense of masculinity and self-esteem is closely tied to their sexual performance, and this is why ED can have a profound impact on self-confidence and self-worth. However, this should not deter men from seeking professional help before their condition progresses into a severe form. 21% of male patients with ED experience severe dysfunction. Beyond its impact on the quality of life, ED can also lead to psychological challenges, such as the development of severe depression disorders. Thus, he strongly highlights the importance of early medical attention.

The Role of Nutrition

Effective diabetes management involves nutrition. To support this, Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) introduces the Better Days Recipe Booklet. It features delicious yet healthy and diabetes-friendly recipes that focus on controlling the “3 Highs”: High Blood Sugar, High Blood Pressure, and High Cholesterol. These recipes help manage diabetes and contribute to overall well-being by stabilising blood sugar levels and potentially positively affecting ED.

Dr Lim strongly agrees the critical role that nutrition plays in managing diabetes and overall health. He recommends a well-balanced diet that is low in carbohydrates, sugars, and trans fats while being rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. “This diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. It is also advisable to reduce the consumption of processed foods and high glycemic index (GI) items like white bread, instant noodles, processed meats, and sugary or salty snacks.”

However, maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or variety. There are numerous healthy and fresh options available in the market, such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, legumes, nuts, and fruits, providing ample room for dietary preferences and customisation.

References:

This article was adapted from a news release provided by Sunway Medical Centre Velocity Malaysia.


Like this?

Share it:

Not So Sweet: Understanding The Unspoken Connection Between Erectile Health and Diabetes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.asiafitnesstoday.com/not-so-sweet-understanding-the-unspoken-connection-between-erectile-health-and-diabetes/