08 January 2016

Top 4 apps #NurChat Nurses use for self-care and wellbeing

Nurses are often singled out for making unhealthy lifestyle choices, namely in relation to food, smoking and exercise. In the latest study looking at the health and wellbeing of nurses, obesity in nurses in Scotland was ‘worringly high’ compared with other healthcare and non-healthcare related professions.

 

In a recent #NurChat twitter chat, nurses were asked about the challenges of self-care and managing their own wellbeing when faced with working long days and night shifts, high levels of workplace stress and their work surroundings.

 

Some nurses felt their working routines and the physical environment stacked the odds against them. One nurse who works night shifts said there were no healthy options for meals during those hours and the only source of food was a vending machine stocking unhealthy snacks. Community nurses also found healthy eating a challenge with very few options in a long working day between multiple locations.

 

Nurses have previously come under fire for their low levels of engagement with health promotion messages, however many nurses in the #NurChat were only too aware of the need to make more healthy choices. The majority favoured smaller, more sustainable changes over high-pressured New Year’s resolutions. Drinking more water and less coffee, exercising more regularly, avoiding refined sugar in foods, being more mindful and finding a positive in every day were all goals for nurses in the #NurChat.

 

The use of apps to support healthy lifestyle choices and track physical activity were also widely embraced. Many nurses found apps that help them to lead healthier lives and gave their top 4 recommendations here.

 

Water drink reminder

It’s had over 10 million installs worldwide and reminds you to drink periodically during the day to meet the fluid targets you’ve set yourself.

 

Fitocracy

A work-out app that offers free workout routines, allows you connect with people who have similar fitness goals and rewards the user with points as workouts are completed. It also offers expert coaching through the app.

 

Nike Fuel Band / FitBit

Activity tracking using a wearable band and its accompany app is very popular. One nurse said she felt the FitBit didn’t track activity properly but it was great for monitoring a daily step goal, which inspired her to move more.

 

TomTom MultiSport

Another wearable fitness tracker but this one is similar to a smart watch. It has a partnering app and together one nurse found it was a great system for monitoring performance when cycling and running.

 

You can get involved in the next #NurChat on 19th January 2016 at 8pm when we'll be running a Revalidation Masterclass for nurses.