Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Gaining Wellness around Christmas Time

John McNamara Health & Safety Specialist has Wellness pointers for all.


Enjoying good food is synonymous with the holiday period.  We live in a period of time when good food is both readily available.  However, it is far easier to avoid weight gain than to lose weight so moderation is necessary.  This is particularly the case with snacking and consuming confectionary, which are high in sugars. Diabetes is rising in the Irish population including among farmers. You can carry out a free   Diabetes screening to determine your risk level at the Diabetes Ireland Web site at https://www.diabetes.ie/living-with-diabetes/are-you-at-risk-of-type-2-diabetes/     


Farmers get lots of exercise around the farm with several studies indicating them getting in excess of the recommended 10,000 steps per day.  However, over the winter period exercise levels are likely to drop off. In addition, cardiovascular fitness requires short bursts (10 minutes plus) of moderate or high intensity exercise which means getting ones heart rate up and perspiring somewhat. As days begin to lengthen, make a conscious effort to get suitable exercise every day.  

Farmers get most of their exercise from movement around the farm. Consider taking exercise regularly away from the farm such as a brisk walk or cycle or maybe swimming. There are superior Wellness benefits to be gained from exercising in Nature such as forests or scenic beauty spots.   In recent years, Ireland has greatly increased its provision of nature trails, green and blue-ways. Why not use these resources over the festive season with family and friends.


Health Check

A major Irish study published in June 2020 revealed that 74% of male farmers have four or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This means they are three times more likely to have an acute cardiac event (stroke or heart attack) compared to those with fewer risk factors. Seventy five percent of all farmers participating in the study were advised to visit their GP to get further support and advice.  In the longer term, 60-70% of factors influencing health are under a person’s own control.   Plan a health check for the New Year as part of a plan to maintain your health.

Managing Work Time in spring

Managing farm work time is vitally important for quality of life and wellness as it allows time for leisure and rest. Long work hours and poor or unsafe working conditions can lead to both stress and injury.  When the Christmas period is nearing its end, it will be time to consider ways to cut the spring workload.   Think back on last year and reflect on any changes you could make to cut the workload and make your farming life easier. 

Download the Staying Fit for Farming booklet here.