Implementing healthy habits in the workplace is the cornerstone for improving productivity and concentration and ensuring long-term health and well-being.
Whether laborious or sedentary, your work impacts your overall physical, mental, social and emotional health. Therefore, it is imperative to take responsibility for your own workplace habits.
Consider introducing some of the following:
Work can be complex and demanding at times, and alongside personal issues, the average worker can become overwhelmed quite quickly. Employees operating under high-stress levels are more likely to suffer from illness, absenteeism and, in some cases, burnout.
Warning signs of high levels of stress may include struggling to cope with tasks and responsibilities, an imbalance between work and home life, feeling undervalued by managers and co-workers, or using unhelpful coping strategies such as drinking too much or using drugs.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and cope with stress effectively. There should be clear boundaries between work and personal life; set rules for yourself, such as not checking emails after hours or spending time on a hobby without thinking about work to adopt a healthy balance between the two.
Those struggling to switch off from work outside business hours may want to experiment with stress-relief strategies such as meditation or yoga or staying connected with friends and family outside of work. Learn to practice assertiveness in work situations; for instance, say no to extra work or ask a colleague for assistance with a challenging task.
Move More Often
Sitting for extended periods of time is harmful to your health. Office workers, in particular, will benefit from moving more often throughout their usual workday. Some ways to reduce sitting time include having walking meetings, visiting a colleague at their desk rather than sending an email, standing to take calls, taking the stairs and not sitting on public transport.
Short, regular breaks are another way of splitting up desk time; aim to move for a few minutes every hour or so. Simple activities such as stretching, changing your posture and moving your arms and legs at work can make a big difference.
Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine before, during or after work, to help counteract the effects of sitting. Utilise your lunch breaks to cram in exercise by joining a lunchtime exercise class or teaming up with a colleague to go for a run.
Check Your Ergonomics
Avoiding sitting altogether is unrealistic for many workers. However, there are ways to improve your ergonomics and office environment for better health.
First and foremost, developing proper posture is critical. Poor posture can quickly become second nature and consequently result in back and neck pain. To adjust your posture while sitting, ensure your ears, shoulders and hips are aligned vertically and maintain a constant awareness of your posture.
When using a computer, keep your feet flat on the floor and have your computer monitor at eye level. Ensure your keyboard is positioned so your forearms are parallel to the floor, and use your whole arm, not just your wrist, when using a mouse.