UCL Occupational Health Service: summer health

5 July 2013

British Summer time has finally arrived and everybody is thinking of staying in shape. Eating a healthy balanced diet plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall good health not just in the summer months but all year round.

NHS choices, the UK’s biggest health website gives an example of the different types of food that make up a well-balanced diet which are shown in the EATWELL-PLATE

Preventing Hayfever – The main triggers of hay fever are tree and grass pollen. The pollen count is always higher when it’s a nice, bright, sunny day. Remember don’t sleep or drive with windows open. Avoid sitting outside between 4pm and 7pm or in the early morning as the pollen count is highest at these times.

Travel Health For those people travelling abroad it is advisable to start planning your trip 4-6 especially if you need vaccinations for the visiting country. Ensure your travel insurance gives adequate as well as taking your European Health Insurance Card(EHIC) .

Keep Hydrated During hot weather, when travelling in hot countries or when exercising you need to drink more water than usual to make up for the fluid lost by sweating

Picnic and Barbecues- Make sure meat is cooked through to avoid food poisoning and don’t forget cover up on a hot day.

Sun Safety Questions and Answers A little exposure to the sun is not a bad thing as we get vitamin D from direct sunlight. However, take care if out in the sun for long periods by using good sunscreen protection and always avoid the midday sun to prevent burning. Sun Safety

The summer 2013 edition of Lifelines is now available from your Employee Assistance Programme. Contents in this edition include: 'Running Effective Meetings' – ‘Walking your way to good health' – 'Summer holiday child care challenge'

Further information

Foreign Travel Advice

National Travel Health Network and Centre

Cancer research Uk - SunSmart

NHS Choices Healthy Eating

Elaine Fletcher, Occupational Health Services, Human Resources Division