The benefits of a healthy workplace are innumerable, from happy staff and work satisfaction to higher productivity and lower absence rates. Perfect when your staff need a little extra boost, motivate employees and improve workplace health by sharing these top tips for mind and body:
- Sit less
We all know we should be moving about more, but we should also aim to reduce sitting time, as excessive sitting is linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes and other health problems. Granted this is difficult to do when your job is desk-based, but there are small changes you can make. NHS’s Start Active, Stay Active report recommends breaking up long periods of sitting time with “shorter bouts of activity for just one to two minutes” – stretch your legs with a short walk for every hour of sitting, make sure your posture is good and that your screen is adjusted correctly.
- Walk to work
Few people are lucky enough to live within walking distance of work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work a little exercise into your commute. If you drive, try finding somewhere to park which is ten minutes or so away from your workplace. If you get the train, swap your drive to the station for a walk or if the tube is your modus operandi how about jumping off a stop earlier?
- Introduce easy exercise
No we’re not talking about racing wheelie chairs in an Office Olympics (although arranging a fun team activity can boost morale as well as breaking monotony). There are other ways to get moving at work. If possible take the stairs, try to walk over to see colleagues instead of emailing, utilise waiting for the printer by stretching and lunging, and periodically raise alternate legs underneath your desk.
- Stay hydrated
The effects of dehydration – from headaches to tiredness – won’t help you get through your day. Keeping a large bottle of water on your desk is a good way to remind yourself to drink it. Tea and coffee do count – though watch your caffeine intake.
- Say no to sugar cravings
3pm rolls round and it feels like lunch was forever ago. Though the vending machine seems to be calling, you can stave off the craving for an unhealthy snack with a little preparation. Nuts, homemade popcorn and dried fruit make for handy healthy snacks, or prepare celery, carrot and cucumber batons the night before for something a little fresher.
- Take control of stressful situations
To address stress in the workplace, try taking an active approach to solving problems rather than letting them get you down. There is a solution to any problem. Tackling problems one at a time and brainstorming all your possible options is not only practical, but empowering.
- Connect with your colleagues
They aren’t just the people you work with – they’re the people most likely to understand your workplace stresses. They may well be dealing with similar worries themselves. Putting in the extra five minutes in the kitchen to ask about them will build relationships, eventually resulting in a support network, so when you need help you will feel comfortable asking.
- Take time off
Work can be stressful, and it isn’t the be all and end all of life. When you leave work for the evening or weekend, leave workplace stress in the office. Have some ‘me time’, earmarked just to do things you enjoy.
- Set goals and challenges
If work is feeling overwhelming, it can help to break it up with to-do lists, mini goals and targets. This makes the challenge manageable. If you are finding work monotonous or need a break from thinking about business, try setting challenges outside of work such as playing a new sport or visiting a new place.
- Time management
A common cause of workplace stress comes from feeling rushed for time and adds undue pressure onto your already busy day. Writing down lists and prioritising what is important will keep you on track. Making sure you take a lunch break away from your desk to re-energise will stop you flagging later in the day.