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Make Personal Health and Wellbeing a Priority

Make Personal Health and Wellbeing a Priority

While, Farming as a lifestyle is mainly very positive for wellbeing, Teagasc Health & Safety Specialists, Francis Bligh & John McNamara realise that it's not always a "bed of bluebells". So today, Friday April 30, on National Workplace Wellbeing Day farmers are reminded that this day is for them too

Farming as a lifestyle is mainly very positive for wellbeing. Fresh air, lovely scenery and the freedom to decide on the jobs that need to be done makes working on a farm enjoyable and interesting. Friday April 30th is National Workplace Wellbeing Day. It is important to recognise the importance of wellbeing in the workplace for employees and to also recognise how vital it is for all farmers who are their own employees.

Take time out for yourself

Keeping a focus on positive mental and physical health and wellbeing is very important. A major Irish study was published in June 2020. The research found 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. 75% of all farmers participating in the research were advised to visit their GP to get further support and advice. Getting a little more structured exercise, cooking healthier food and spending more time on leisure activities are some of the small steps that can have a very positive impact on health and wellbeing. Teagasc publication ‘Staying Fit for Farming’ provides information on ways to stay healthy. You can download this free publication by clicking here

Manage workload

This time of the year is very busy on farms. New births, spreading fertiliser and slurry, grassland management, field work and farm paperwork can impact on your ability to cope with the workload. It is important to seek assistance with some of these tasks if required. Rushing to get jobs done, tiredness and working alone have been shown to increase the likelihood of accidents and negatively affect health and wellbeing.

Positive mental health

It is important to recognise stress symptoms and take action. Consult your Medical Doctor (G.P.) and share your worries with those you trust. Consult your Agricultural advisor/consultant about farming problems, don’t leave it on the long finger.

Covid 19 has had a negative impact on the day to day business of buying materials, selling stock and socially interacting with other farmers. It is important to use your phone to help stay connected

Teagasc publication ‘Positive Mental Health in Farming’ has a wide range of information and advice on minding your mental health. Teagasc publication ‘Coping with the Pressures of Farming’ has been researched and collated to address the many and varied issues that contribute to stress.

The video below ‘Farmer health and wellbeing’ focusses on stress in farming.

Further information

Carbery Group, Cork recently held a Webinar on Farm Safety, Health and Wellness. This informative webinar series is available to view as a 3 part series on the Teagasc website and can be accessed at the following links

You might also like to read Taking care of the Farmer and farm problems 

You can contact any of our Teagasc offices using this link Teagasc Advisory Regions here 

More information about national workplace wellbeing day please click on the following link National Workplace Wellbeing Day (IBEC) 

Wishing you a happy National Workplace Wellbeing Day from Teagasc!