If you visit their website, you’ll learn the PEI Business Women’s Association (PEIBWA) fosters the success of women in business through a network of community based facilitators, members, clients and partners. Through guest speakers, seminars, mentoring, symposiums and networking, services are extended to members. PEIBWA also partners with ACOA to deliver program elements of the Business Women’s Initiative, including services tailored to meet the needs of Island women in business.

This week I was the presenter at a Lunch & Learn on Workplace Wellness.  Workplace Wellness programs are, thankfully, a growing trend.  Addressing the needs of employees, wellness programming allows for the enhancement of employee health and promotes productivity for the business.

In the Lunch & Learn I shared some interesting statistics regarding health measures in Atlantic Canada and in Prince Edward Island along with personal and social costs of health issues.  I briefly addressed wellness related to occupational health & safety and ergonomic workspaces.  I talked a bit about healthy eating and how the workplace can support healthy eating behaviours.  However, I focused largely on physical activity initiatives in and connected to the workplace.

The presentation was attended by a dozen or so PEIBWA members and two association staff members.  While the audience munched on a great salad and sandwiches provided by the hotel, I attempted to make friends with the machines which held sway over my power point presentation.   There were beverages, a lovely veggie tray with dip (which was subbed in for the potato chip tray to make the menu more fitting to the presentation topic) and a simple display of colourful sweets.

I have a tendency to speak quickly, arising from some combination of my Cape Breton roots and my hyperactive/attention deficit nature, but I worked at pacing my speaking and the slide show.  I think I was successful with this as I did not finish the 45 minute presentation in less than 15 minutes.

After folks had eaten and asked questions, we got to the best part…the moving.  I led the group through some simple joint mobility exercises for neck, elbows and fingers.   This ended up providing a few good laughs and left us feeling a bit looser and healthier.  The movements are great for anyone but particularly useful to those who sit at desks or in vehicles for long periods of time and especially for people who spend a lot of time keyboarding.  In response to expressed concerns, I gave some postural tips which seemed to be enlightening and welcomed.

The door prize I provided of free personal training sessions was won by a woman who works for Rodd Hotels & Resorts which is, coincidentally, where the Lunch & Learn was held .  I am excited about working with her as she recently changed the nature of her work within her organization and this has affected the amount of daily activity she gets, particularly as it relates to mindful activity.

Each member in attendance was provided with a class pass for two for the studio and I hope to see some of them again in the coming weeks.

Thank you so very much to Melody Beck, Executive Director of PEIBWA for following up on my offer to present and for making the logistics of my presentation problem free.  Thank you to Paula Laybolt, office staff of PEIBWA for taking care of registration and, I’m sure, a ton of other details.

I hope I was able to offer something of value to those who attended.  I was incredibly honoured to learn at the end of the session that there had been a request from other association members for me to present on Workplace Wellness in the eastern part of the province which I will be doing in the spring.  What a complement.