4:00am starts, long hours, high levels of alertness and vibrantly presenting to a radio audience of tens of thousands of people are just some of the challenges faced by the talented crew from Nova 96.9.
What outwardly seems like an effortless and comedic journey through the ‘morning shift’, in reality places unique physical, psychological and social demands on those involved.
Rehabilitation Services’ Derick Borean was engaged by the radio station management to develop and present strategies to manage the wellbeing of its morning on air talent, newsreaders and production support staff.
In a face to face presentation session at Nova 96.9 studios in Pyrmont, Derick had the opportunity to educate the morning teams on the real health risks posed by their shifts and some of the strategies to improve their wellbeing and performance.
Physical health risks include chronic sleep deprivation, gastro-intestinal problems, elevated blood pressure, obesity and a higher than normal risk of heart disease. Coupled with the psychological demands of high levels of alertness and concentration, and the inherent shift risks of mental fatigue, anxiety and irritability, it becomes readily apparent that strategies and careful planning are critical to ensuring long term wellbeing and consistently great performance.
Fundamental to the success of positive wellbeing for working unusual shifts is the consistent application of a lifestyle plan and routine. It’s by no means simple, but the investment in such a plan yields tremendous results.
Dealing with whacky circadian rhythms, monitoring serotonin levels, resisting the boom bust sugar rush cycle and looking for alternatives to coffee and red bull were just some of the challenges confronted during the session. Amidst many a laugh, the session provided practical insights for immediate application. By targeting individual elements of health within the physical, psychological and social spheres the cumulative and cooperative impact on wellbeing is significant. Managing sleep and applying sleep hygiene principles formed the first stage of the strategy. Diet and super foods were reviewed, including those food groups that assist with sleep and energy as well as provide benefits for the mucous membranes of the throat and therefore voice.
The goal was to provide a range of sustainable healthy of habits to fit in with a demanding lifestyle so that wellbeing could be maintained, consistent energy levels sustained throughout the shift, and a level of exceptional performance delivered every day. From the feedback provided by all participants, the session was resounding success.