Work wear…to sweat or not to sweat? Shouldn’t even be a question.

A newspaper article on the Menopause
When you go on holiday and read about the menopause.

I am unsure whether it is me who is responsible for conversations about the menopause popping up, or there is a trend towards women of all ages discussing it with greater ease than previous generations. This Christmas period I flew to Lanzarote with Jet 2 Holidays. What a great experience, not only for the holiday itself with Jet 2, but the actual time of the year. We celebrated New Years Eve in the sun and returned to old Blighty with Christmas decorations still sprinkled around town. It felt like a very long holiday, in a good way. Now, I could bang on about how good the service was from Jet 2 and the Rubicon Palace, but this is not a travel blog.

On the flight I met an air stewardess who seemed to be getting one hot sweat after the other, I must quickly add she was not complaining. I could just tell it was happening, call it Menopause telepathy if you like. Or, that I’ve had so many now I spot an advocate miles away.  She noticed the Guardian supplement discussing the menopause in my hand, and this quickly led to a  conversation about the symptoms a woman has. I was a little taken back, as she appeared a lot younger than myself.  I couldn’t help but ask had she been to see anyone medically.  She said she had and was told because her periods hadn’t stopped she wasn’t in the menopause. What many young women and it appears GPs for that matter, do not know is  the peri menopause can happen up to ten years before you stop your cycles. This time is crucial to future health, as it is then women should start to embark on a healthier life style. You know when you start to accept a glass of wine is not one of our five a day.

It was soon revealed that her mum had also gone through an early menopause and was still getting symptoms. It was something she obviously had knowledge of, which unfortunately as many of us know is not the norm.  As we chatted intermittently via her duties as an air stewardess, I noticed that she kept pulling at the delicate scarf around her neck. I asked what was the material, after inspection we both agreed that it was some kind of polyester mix. Polyester is a synthetic type of material, basically rather than absorbing sweat, it allows perspiration to build up inside the garment. Now when you are having a hot flush or sweat or what ever you want to call it, you basically feel as though you are being boiled alive. So this is the last type of material you want any where near your person. Think of it like when you were a teenager and you want to loose some weight and someone says to you why don’t you put on a black bin bag and go jogging. You will loose loads. Yes, I can admit. Guilty as charged.

So my plea is for employers, wherever you are? Please consider us womenfolk when designing and ordering uniforms or workwear. No, take that back. My plea is to women everywhere. If you are uncomfortable in the work wear that is issued because of its material, tell your employer. It’s not about being a pain in the backside, it’s about sharing the issue and making yourself and others more comfortable.  Not only physically but mentally, the more we dilute the subject of the menopause and its connotations the happier people will be.

Think about it, work staff will be more productive because firstly they have been considered and secondly they will not be distracted (as much) with hot flushes and the embarrassment this can cause. It is a simple request to look at the materials being used in the garments and adjust accordingly. When you imagine how much a small neck scarf can affect someones comfort, the mind boggles when you consider a pair of nylon trousers.

3 responses to “Work wear…to sweat or not to sweat? Shouldn’t even be a question.”

  1. Ahhh, the sweat! Feet on the floor huh? Totallly trying that. I find that as soon as I feel it building I just lean into it so to speak, take deep breaths and relax instead of fighting it and imagine all that heat soothing all my aches and pains! Looking forward to reading more!

  2. Really interesting! It comes down to economies of scale which makes it so important that people start making a fuss about the impact the material used in uniforms could make to someone’s well being and ability to do their job. Awareness of this issue could encourage organisations to think about what materials are used and how many women this affects in the work place which I suspect is a lot!

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