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07 September 2022

Healthy habits for pest control professionals

HEALTH AND SAFETY | PPC108 September 2022

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Our industry is one of talent, passion and dedication, yet we’re not celebrated for our physical prowess. Regular contributor Michael Coates from Combat Pest Control shares his simple tips for prioritising our health at work and in our spare time.

Long days, lone working, lots of driving and office-based work can all conspire to make physical fitness a low priority in our lives. Being left alone for prolonged periods can see a downward spiral in our fitness level, physical appearance and ability to conduct our job (especially if you’re off work with a health-related injury).

But how do we combat this? This article is about keeping it simple and focusing on those just starting their fitness journey. If you regularly partake in sport, go running or compete in triathlons, great – keep doing what you are doing and skip this article! However, you can also recommend this article to a friend who might get something out of it.

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Tiny healthy habits 

If we start doing small things enough times, we create positive habits. Don’t wait for the big grand rebranding of yourself. Start small and incorporate some or all of these things into your life.

While many pest technicians and field operatives rack up the steps daily, others might struggle to get them in. These tips are designed to add some extra movement to your daily routine. 

Once the tips become a habit, you’ll probably stop even noticing the extra effort – leaving you with just a happier, healthier body.

Before work

Stretch off and start moving in the morning before work. This can be anything from a ten-minute stroll with the dog or a five-minute YouTube yoga class. Starting the day like this gets things moving and helps prevent injury.

Out and about

Add some extra steps to your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Park five minutes’ walk away from a job to give yourself some exercise between appointments. Got a scheduled work call? Take it while you’re walking. If the call with a team member will take twenty minutes, walk ten minutes away and ten minutes back.

After work

Once again, keep it simple but consistent: pencil in thrice weekly (Monday to Friday) walks of around 20-30 minutes.

Walking is good as it’s low impact and can be usually repeated the next day. Running can sometimes cause soreness preventing activity for 24 hours, so walking is a 

At the weekend

Commit to sixty minutes of light exercise on a Saturday or Sunday. Walk, swim, ride a bike – find something low impact that you enjoy doing and then keep at it!

On holiday

Of course you want to let your hair down when you go on holiday, which should include returning refreshed and better than when you went away. Holidays away can be the perfect opportunity to ensure you return physically and psychologically fitter.

Choose a destination with easy access to nature walks, sea swims, gym classes, etc. Start your day with a little walk, swim or stretch. I’d recommend factoring in 45-60 minutes per day to start developing your physical fitness.

Try something new – that’s what holidays are for! Maybe it’s sailing, rock climbing or diving. Signing yourself up for an activity (especially when others are doing it) provides a clear goal and supports your other fitness habits.

These tips might seem pretty straightforward, but physical fitness is meant to be simple. We overcomplicate things, especially in the era of endless online fitness influencers, gyms and classes.

Keep moving, stay consistent and enjoy feeling your mind and body get fitter every day.


Get your workout gear ready the night before you intend to do it. It’s much easier to motivate yourself when your trainers are looking at you when you wake up or get in from work.

Start a WhatsApp group with colleagues or friends who are also starting the fitness journey. Post what you have done and what you are planning on doing, like “I’ve just walked 5km with the dog before work”.

Stay hydrated. Drink at least two litres of water throughout the day. Moving is a lot easier when you’re properly hydrated. 

Give yourself at least eight hours in bed. Sleep underpins everything.

Start small and build up. Don’t start doing ten sessions a week if you’ve gone to zero by week three. Three sessions every single week is much more worthwhile.

Know when you need help. Consult a personal trainer for bespoke assistance. Contact your doctor if you’re worried about other factors of your health.

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