The Future of Work Capsules: Trends and new development shaping the future of healthcare


How is your health today?

Do you also consider the absence of disease or infirmity as health, or the complete state of our physical, emotional, mental, financial and social well-being – not merely the absence of disease or infirmity?  Regular, healthy activities we are usually encouraged to promote for good health include regular physical exercise and the need for all to have adequate sleep. The avoidance of unhealthy activities such as smoking and alcohol consumption are of very high concern.

It may appear to you as though these activities do not scale up now. Don’t do that! They are equally very important. But most relevant and shocking in recent times has been the call for us to do something about our excessive seating habits as discussed in previous editions. The chair is the biggest culprit. The future of TVET should be looking at the building, for now, of standing office chairs.

Our individual choices usually affect our health. Yes, we all must know this. Structural causes and per research genetic disorders also affect us all. So while you discover the genetic issues, a change in lifestyle can support a healthy journey of wellness.  Individual health choices are decisions that people make about their own health and well-being, and these choices can have a significant impact on a person’s overall health and longevity.

Considering sleep as a personal health choice – it can make or unmake you. At a conference recently, one of the speakers kept complaining about excessive and frequent headaches during our breakaway session. I encouraged her to get enough rest. “Prioritise sleep and rest more,” I said. Medication is not only when we take pills and tablets. Sleep in this instance is medicine we ought to prioritise and use. Dear reader, not only sleep is medicine; so is laughter, a smile, exercise and water. Yes you heard me right water. So please take more water and do not replace it with other fluids. Let’s discuss just five (5) of the individual choices we make that affects our health.

  • Getting the right amount of sleep: Sleep is important for both physical and mental health. It helps the body repair cells, get rid of waste and make memories. You need to know your age-bracket and the required sleep you need. We are usually advised that too little or too much sleep can affect our lifespan.
  • Eating well-balanced meals: A healthy diet can provide energy and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases.  Health professionals advise, for instance, we adopt the rainbow in our fruit and vegetables selection choices. What this implies it that we need to choose varieties of colorful fruit and vegetables as this can help us get all the nutrients we need. Variety, then, is the spice of life. How can we remember to choose variety? Simply put – eat all seasonal fruits and vegetable. They come in different forms, shapes and colours.
  • Regular physical activity: Regular physical activity can improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve mental health. When last I wrote about leaving our vehicles behind, most callers alerted it’s difficult – because when they tried work colleagues kept asking where their vehicles were.                       Ofori was so frustrated, because for him it wasn’t just the queries of friends asking “where is your car?” – some added that the economic situation was preventing him from buying fuel; a situation that angered him so much he just stopped.

Please don’t worry people who want to take this individual healthy choice. Don’t do that. But as I discussed with most callers, all choices come with some consequences which could be positive or negative. That is the power of choice for you. You sometimes need to be deliberate and intentional about which healthy life choices to adopt. Consider the benefits and let that drive you on, not the challenges.

  • Avoiding preventable death and disease: Smoking is a major cause of preventable death and disease. Quitting smoking can greatly reduce the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, strokes and other health problems.
  • Managing stress: Chronic stress can have negative effects on both physical and mental health. Finding healthy ways to manage stress – such as through exercise, meditation or talking to a therapist can improve overall well-being. Please prioritise your mental health, knowing stress is a silent killer. Find a safe space to share your frustrations if at all possible. Let’s create hope our own ways by prioritising our mental health.

The power of choice and its effect on health

It’s important to work closely with your healthcare provider to make the best decisions for your individual needs. Personally, aside these known options I try to make informed decisions about my health – which implies that I consider the merits and demerits of life choices I adopt. I also consider the risks involved, the cost element sometimes, and other personal considerations. Let’s look at a practical scenario:

You enjoy Ghana jollof so much, and will buy this anywhere it’s deliciously prepared for sale. But have you considered the kind of oils used. For mass consumption – truth be told – most vendors use vegetable cooking oils. Hello, please do me a favour – get some selected vegetables yourself and try to squeeze oils from them; carrots, cabbages and what have you. What oils did you get? It’s all branding! Beware – they are not all natural oils. I will provide you some healthy choices sooner. Grab copies of my book to learn more.

Eating a non-balanced meal

Eating a non-balanced meal can bring out several challenges. A non-balanced meal is one that does not provide the right amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly – leading us to several health problems.

I think our number-one health issue is with the choice of oils we use. This bad branding options are everywhere.  What this branding is doing to our generation is serious. During COVID, a friend with three different citrus plants/trees planted in the house was constantly ordering Vitamin C from pharmacies. I was so concerned and had to come in and provide some education: research has it that the multivitamins industry is unregulated, be careful. Don’t replace your oranges, lemons and lime with vitamin C tablets and pills. Don’t do that – that’s negative branding. If it’s from the plant (natural plant – the tree in your house) eat it; if it manufactured from a plant (the factory plant, that machine) don’t eat it. Only a few will understand and appreciate this.

A non-balanced meal can lead to malnutrition, which is a condition wherein the body does not get enough nutrients to function properly. This can cause a range of health problems – including stunted growth, a weakened immune system and increased risk of chronic diseases. Eating a non-balanced meal that is high in calories and low in nutrients can lead to weight gain and obesity, a major risk factor for several chronic diseases. A non-balanced meal can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

These diseases are often caused by a combination of factors including poor diet, lack of physical activity and genetics. The factors beyond our control are there; those we can control like choice of good oils, let’s try to do something about it. We all enjoy Hausa kooko, too (porridge made from millet). Unfortunately though, this porridge has very little to no fibre. You know why – the vendors sieve out the roughage to enable them get perfect porridge to suit our branding expectations. We actually need the roughage to support our digestion needs. You may want to consider other healthy options like oats, or limit its intake. It can then be said that the most important things to you are special but not necessarily considerwd perfect. Our quest for perfection is leading to something else. Let’s consume our varieties of fruit and vegetables in season, along with whole-grains, lean protein and healthy fats.

There are several health problems associated with the consumption of oils. While some oils can be a healthy source of fat, others may cause health problems. Heathline, in its research on oils, postulates that healthy effects of oils vary depending on the fatty acids they contain, the plants they are extracted from, and how they are processed.

One concern is the consumption of vegetable oils that are high in omega-6 fats. Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid – meaning that you need some of it in your diet because your body can’t produce it. But excessive intake of these omega-6 can cause an imbalance, leading to inflammation and other health problems.

Another concern is the consumption of oils that have been refined or chemically altered containing trans-fats linked also to risk of heart disease. We have enough healthy oils in town – Coconut oil, Palm oil, Olive Oil are available. Stop saying you don’t like the scent when you cook with it. Think of the benefits the body derives and make a change. In summary, while some oils can provide health benefits, others may cause health problems. It’s important to choose oils that are minimally processed and contain healthy fats, as there are several healthy oils which can be used for cooking and food preparation.

The future of healthcare is expected to be shaped by several key trends and developments. Some of the most significant changes experts predict will occur in the coming years border on these three: Digital transformation wherein artificial intelligence will be the driver. Care then will be organised around the consumer instead of the institution driving our current health care systems, and data will be a great deal.

Consumer-driven care will be the deciding factor for stakeholders’ collaboration and partnership. Health will be considered holistic, as discussed earlier. It must look at your mental, social, emotional, financial, physical and spiritual needs. It’s interesting how science now makes reference to spiritual needs. The truth of the matter is that God in his word has taught us how to eat.

You can reach out to learn how. The third thing I will look at is the use of sensors. We all enjoy having our devices track, generate, gather and share data with us. For the future, our devices will know us better – as my new book puts it. Can you predict correctly for one month your sleep pattern? Your smart-watches can. And they have sensors always on and in demand, for instance. These are among the new technologies which address health needs if the quality of nutritional inputs is compromised.

Be safe and well, dear friend. I wish among all other things that your health prospers too. If you are an employer, invest into employee-wellness – which includes activities and programmes that aim to improve employee health and well-being. This will reduce stress, build relationships, improve productivity and reduce burnouts. These are just a few examples of the trends and developments that are shaping the future of healthcare. It’s clear that technology will play a major role in driving change and improving patient outcomes. However, it’s important to note that the future is uncertain and constantly evolving, so it’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen.

Be well.

Baptista is the author of the new book ‘Prepare for the Future of Work’ – which outlines current trends and changes to the future of work, the workforce and work itself. She is the CEO of FoReal HR Services. Building a team within an efficient & effective workforce is her business. Affecting lives is her calling!  She is a Hybrid Professional, HR Generalist, public speaker, researcher and a prolific writer. You can reach her via e-mail on [email protected]   or follow this conversation on social media pages; @Sarahtistagh.   Facebook / LinkedIn/ Twitter / Instagram: FoReal HR Services.   Call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313.  Follow the hashtag #theFutureofWorkCapsules #FoWC

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