Sean Hall brings us another article on a topic he knows so well, what is the cost of ignoring wellness?
In my last blog, I shared why most wellness programs are unwell, and that the answer is a new capability called ‘energy intelligence’ or ‘ExIQ’.
I’ll get to that shortly, but first I wanted to refocus on the definition of wellness and the economic costs of being unweIl, when you take a holistic approach that includes our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. What I’ve found is staggering and alarming.
The economic cost of ignoring wellness
If we look at physical wellness we literally open a massive can of worms, so for the benefit of time let’s just focus on obesity and sleep. As one of the fattest nations on the planet, obesity is estimated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to cost around $58 billion a year. Add lack of sleep to the mix and a 2012 study commissioned by the Sleep Health Foundation found the cost to be $36.4 billion.
In 2016 the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported mental health spending had surpassed $8 billion however 2012 research found the real cost to the economy to be $28.6 billion. Stress and overworking set us back $30 billion according to Safe Work Australia.
At the heart of our emotional wellness is the health of our relationships and families. The most extreme examples of dysfunction are domestic violence and child abuse and neglect ripping $21.7 billion and $4.3 billion from the economy a year according to a 2015 PWC report and a 2016 publication by the AIFS.
The spiritual cost of ignoring wellness
Our spiritual wellness is greatly tied to feeling fulfilled by the work we do. After all we spend a third of our lives there. Research from Curtin University and mwah. found more than 70% of Australians are not satisfied at work. Of these, the 16% most disengaged employees cost $54.8 billion a year according to Gallup. Australia has one the highest ratios of disengaged employees on the planet. Linked to this is absenteeism, adding a further $33 billion a year.
Combined the above total $266.8 billion annually or 16.4% of the Australian economy. Even loosely calculated and allowing for crossover, the direct productivity costs and impact to business are equally enormous.
Strangely no one is talking about it wellness this way. And we think it’s time we did.
So why are we so unwell? And what can we do to about the human and financial cost?
Wellness is personal. Most of us have a good general idea of why wellness is important. We’ve never been really been taught how to be well so the vast majority of us have an inconsistent understanding of what we need to do to be well. And then, even with the knowledge we have, we are pretty crap when it comes to actually getting off our bums and making the effort required to be well.
What can be done for those who ignore wellness?
The team at Energx believe that a simpler and more practical way to think about wellness and what needs to be done, is to consider things in terms of energy.
We intuitively know how things impact us from an energy perspective whether that is the thoughts in our head, how we feel after spending time with people, after a visit to the bank, after we’ve eaten and everything in between. Every single choice we make in life has an impact on our energy.
So that’s why we are working to help people turn that intuitive feeling into the capability or skill of ‘energy intelligence’ or ‘ExIQ’. And in doing so we’re helping people and businesses find the energy they need, for the stuff that matters.
At the heart of ExIQ are four energy intelligence strengths – the Energx 4Fs. They are:
FUEL: SETTING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR SUSTAINED ENERGY
How we ensure we get the right quality, quantity and frequency of food and water, fitness, sleep and recovery.
FIRE: CONNECTING TO YOUR CAUSE
Deeply understanding and building on your character strengths and applying them to what you care about, so that you love what you do and why you do it.
FEELING: OVERCOMING THE BARRIERS TO CONNECTION
This starts with feeling connected to yourself as a foundation for feeling connected to others – the friends, family and tribe who energise and challenge you in positive ways.
FOCUS: PERSONAL ACTION PLAN, PRIORITIES AND ACCOUNTABILITY
This is your energy diary. How you create space for the things which energise and add value to your life personally and professionally while removing or reframing anything that depletes.
The ability to use the 4Fs exists in all of us. It’s just that in most of us we are unaware the strengths existed and as a consequence the strengths are underdeveloped.
The first step in building your ExIQ is awareness.
Learning any skill starts with being aware of what needs to be learned. It’s important to treat your energy and wellness is exactly the same way. with consistent and focused action or practise we become better. And finally, when we master a skill we are then able to coach others. We need to role model levels one and two before we can credibly move to level three.
ExIQTM builds the capability of energy intelligence at three levels.
- One: Awareness “I know what to do to create more energy.”
- Two: Excellence “I do it consistently well.”
- Three: Mastery “I can confidently coach others on how to create more energy and design energising experiences.”
The great thing about ExIQ is that you don’t need to build excellence in everything to feel better. Mastering even a couple of skills, like sleep and water consumption can have a big impact on your life.
Combined these ExIQ strengths represent an enormous opportunity for us individually and collectively not just to be healthier and happier but to have sustainably more energy to create, innovate, differentiate and have a bigger impact locally and globally.
Article written by Sean Hall