Benefits of workplace wellbeing

April 4, 2016

Implementing healthy habits in the workplace is the cornerstone for improving productivity, concentration and ensuring long term health and wellbeing.

The work you do, whether laboursome or sedentary, has an impact on your overall physical, mental, social and emotional health status. Therefore, it is imperative to take responsibility for your own workplace habits. Consider introducing some of the following:

Stress management

Work can be difficult and demanding at times, and alongside personal issues, the average worker can become overwhelmed quite easily. Employees under high levels of stress 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 simply 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 while at work can make a big difference.

Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine, either 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 foremostly, developing proper posture is critical. Poor posture can easily 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 in a vertical line 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 you your whole arm, not just your wrist, when using a mouse.

For more tips on keeping your business on track, contact us at Leenane Templeton on 02 4926 2300

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