by Savannah Peters, MS, ATC, LAT

When you think of a healthy person, what do you visualize first in your mind? Weight, skin, posture, or dietary traits perhaps? These traits put us on the right track for a healthy lifestyle, but it takes much more than a physically healthy body to enjoy a long and fulfilling life. A Harvard study conducted over the course of 80 years asserts strong relationships and communities make people happier, healthier, and allow them to live longer. Over the years, researchers were surprised to find the strong positive relationships we have in our life have powerful influences on our physical and mental health. 

The Power Of Relationships

We all want to be as healthy as we can be for as long as we can be. As healthcare providers, Work Right has an opportunity to encourage and share resources for lifelong healthy habits with our industrial athletes.

Physical health is way more than just physical. Many of our industrial athletes are traveling professionals – working away from home and family, remaining focused on that work in order to provide for your family and your community. This type of focus and discipline can often result in a feeling of loneliness. “Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism” Robert Waldinger, current director of the aforementioned study, says. It’s easy to get isolated and that’s why it is important to uphold a culture of care within your setting.

“Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too.”
– Robert Waldinger

Mark Twain once said that “The good life is built with good relationships.” When we Prioritize the Person, we take a step in building good relationships and creating a positive influence in others lives. As Aaron stated in our last newsletter, daily reminders to practice a positive mindset make all the difference. We can all make efforts to strengthen our relationships and live a healthier and happier life.

Getting Started

It all sounds good, right? Good relationships can lead to a happy, healthier life. They protect our bodies, but they also protect our brains. But what’s the easy fix to get there? There aren’t quick fixes, unfortunately. This journey is lifelong. Whether your 20, 40, or 60 years old, there is a path forward. Here are some initial suggestions to get you started:

– Call a family member you haven’t talked to in a while.

– Research events happening in your community.

– Let your co-workers know you support them.

– Replace screen time with people time.

– Designate a monthly date night with your significant other, or a game night with friends.

– Be curious about your friends and co-workers lives. Ask questions.

– Take steps to repair a fractured relationship.

Savannah Peters, MS, ATC, LAT || Savannah is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Injury Prevention Specialist in Hillsboro, OR. She grew up in southern California, then pursued further education in New York where she studied and played volleyball at Clarkson University. She holds a master’s degree from Stony Brook

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!