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Just for the health of it

By Robin Russell

With spring upon us and the natural urge that comes with springtime to be in better health, we are putting the spotlight on ways to keep your workers healthy.  You may not think of Accountants as the type to dish out advice on keeping active, but we're different at Lincolns ...

The average Australian adult sits for approximately 39 hours a week. Those employed in more sedentary occupations, including clerical and administrative positions, spend on average 22 hours a week sitting for work (ABS 2015).  It is important to make the best choices during the day, so you are able to enjoy your life when you are ‘out of office’.

Here are a few tips you might find useful.

Brain food

Fueling your body in the best possible way is beneficial to your work performance and overall wellbeing. Follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines for advice on eating for health and wellbeing. Have a look at the website for meal plans, serving sizes and recommendations.

Coffee lovers

Studies show enjoying your daily coffee between 9.30am and 11.30am is the most effective time to absorb your caffeine hit, by taking advantage of the dips in your cortisol levels. Be aware that we can develop a tolerance, so having a cup at the exact same time each day will make your alertness-boosting beverage less effective. If you need a mid-morning snack fruit is a quick and easy option. If your office is partial to a birthday morning tea, mid-morning is a good time to have a small slice of cake, as your body has adequate time to absorb the nutrients and burn the energy during the day, opposed to dessert before bed.

Lunch hour

Eating lunch at a consistent time each day is helpful to reduce hunger pains. Your best option is to bring dinner leftovers so you are not reaching for a quick option at lunch time. If you did leave your lunchbox on the kitchen table there has been an increase in local cafes offering healthy options and many will deliver to your workplace. Also, if you have the option to store food at work, start the week by stocking up on a loaf of wholegrain bread, a bag of salad mix and lean sandwich meat that you can put together at lunch time.

The 3pm slump

If you have had a big or heavy lunch, in most cases your body will become fatigued. This is because your brain has switched its focus to digestion and away from problem solving. The afternoon is a good time to have a protein-rich snack, avoiding a sugar filled option. Some quick options include 30g of unsalted nuts, hummus, avocado or guacamole with vegetable sticks, or a small serving of quick oats. These options will keep you fuller for longer and are low GI, meaning the energy in the food will burn evenly, avoiding a spike of alertness leading to further slump of fatigue.

Clean machine

Warning - your phone and keyboard are trying to kill you!  Well, not quite that extreme, but commonly used office equipment is usually covered in germs. This significantly increases if you share a workstation. Try to make it a habit to wipe down your phone, desk and keyboard at the end of each week, or daily if you have the option; helping to reduce the spread of cold and flu.

Try an inexpensive option of making your own antibacterial spray.  Fill a spray bottle with:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 15 drops lavender or tea tree essential oil

Keep office active

If your role consists of sitting for long periods, you would be familiar with stiff joints and possibly sore neck and shoulders.  It is a good idea to get up and have a stretch every hour to limit your sedentary behaviour, this can be difficult if you are focused on a task so setting a calendar reminder may be helpful. Take a quick walk to pick up your printing, pop your head outside for some fresh air or hold some stretches. Lunch time is a good opportunity to find 30, so leave a pair of trainers in your car.

If you are usually active before or after work it is extremely important to warm up before you exercise. This is especially important if you have been stationary for most of the day as this can cause seized and underworked muscles which increases your chance of injury. A warm up will loosen the body, and prepare the mind for action. Try a quick 5 minute warm up consisting of dynamic movements like skipping, walking lunges, toe touches, and high knees.

Useful links

Eat for Health and Wellbeing brochure

Australian Dietary Guidelines

Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines

Australian Health Survey Key Findings


Payment surcharges - only charge what it costs you


Do you charge your customers a surcharge on transactions? 

From 1 September 2017, all businesses that impose payment surcharges on transactions need to comply with the new law that bans excessive payment surcharges.  This law has applied to large businesses since September 2016.  From this month it applies to all businesses.

A payment surcharge is considered excessive if it exceeds what you are charged.

For example, if your cost for Visa transactions is 1% then you can only surcharge 1% on Visa credit card payments.

The ACCC have stated that the average cost of processing a credit card payment is 0.5 % for debit cards, 1-1.5% for credit cards and 2-3% for American Express cards. This is the limit that a business can charge onto a customer using merchant facilities to make a payment.

For more information see:

The ACCC website

News article

Need help?  Call us now on 9841 1200

A coffee with...

By Dot Ruck

Our "Coffee With ..." this month features Darrell Panizza of WFI.  From sign writing to insurance, how did he get there?

Click here to read the full article.


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