April 7 is marked across the world as the World Health Day and the theme this year is ‘Beat Depression – Let’s Talk’. Depression can affect anyone without any barriers of age, class or sex. It can make even the simplest task like getting out of bed in the morning seem really tough. It also has a significant on both personal and professional behavior and leads people to withdraw from their families and friends, often at a time when their support is most needed. Latest figures released by the WHO indicate that the number of people suffering from depression has increased by over 18 percent in the period from 2005 to 2015. Depression is also the leading cause of disability in the world.
Speaking about this common mental disorder, Dr. Shajir Gaffar, CEO – Dubai and Northern Emirates, VPS Healthcare said that depression has detrimental effects on a sufferer’s professional and personal life. He said, “In some extreme cases it can even lead to suicide. At Medeor 24×7 Hospital, under the VPS Healthcare umbrella we believe that it is important to tackle the issue from the beginning or prevent it from setting in. According to Dr. Gaffar, it is important to keep depression at bay by keeping communications open and creating a welcoming and nurturing environment for patients. He also added that research has found that active participation in sports can positively affect the mental health of patients. Medeor 24 x 7 Hospital has chosen to mark World Health Day this year by hosting the Medeor Sports Day at the Ahdaaf Football Club.
Studies have proved that regular physical activity helps to keep mental skills like learning, critical thinking, and using good judgement sharp and this can go a long way towards fostering a productive work environment.
Dr. Arun Kumar Sharma, Specialist Neurologist at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai said that physical activity stimulates the release of mood enhancing neurotransmitters and brain chemicals like endorphins, popularly known as happy hormones which can help a person feel relaxed. This is particularly true in the case of team sports during which employees can interact with their colleagues in a recreational setting.
Sports can boost the quality of sleep as people tend to fall asleep faster into a deep sleep. They wake up with a better mental outlook the following day. Participating in team sports leads to an increase in strength, skills and stamina which improve productivity at the work place. Dr. Sharma said that another advantage of sports is that it uses up the excessive stress hormone, adrenaline, thus dissipating tension and minimizing chances of depression in the long run.
Most of us spend the majority of our adult life at the work place. In fact, we spend more waking time with our colleagues than with our friends or family.
“Playing in a team sport is also a social activity and increased social interaction is known to reduce stress and improve a person’s mood. Most importantly, it reduces social isolation and is a great opportunity to mingle with people,” said Dr. Shajir. “On the Medeor Sports Day employees will be given a chance to interact with all their colleagues without the hierarchical restrains that exists in a work environment and through random pairing of departments that do not usually mingle together at the work place will have a chance to assimilate. We hope through initiatives such as this our employees will be motivated and will help in combatting mental illnesses.”
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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