By Raine St. Claire
With office workers devoting around 1800 hours annually to their jobs and juggling demanding commutes and family obligations, the significance of incorporating personal health and well-being into the workplace becomes evident. Prioritising and preserving mental health takes precedence.
As hybrid working gains prominence for improving mental health and well-being, numerous office workers must navigate work-related mental health challenges in companies yet to embrace hybrid models as the future norm for workplace wellness.
Yet, the key to integrating these healthy habits lies in their simplicity. If these habits prove too complex or difficult to sustain, they are unlikely to become ingrained.
It is no secret that tight schedules and looming deadlines trigger anxiety and stress, weakening resolve and promoting harmful behaviours like overeating, smoking, excessive drinking, and neglecting exercise due to time constraints or fatigue. Starting with one manageable healthy choice and gradually incorporating more over time can help prevent feeling overwhelmed.
Here are some workplace wellness tips to incorporate:
- Safeguarding workspace hygiene
A recent study by the University of Arizona revealed that an average desktop contains more germs than a toilet seat.
Disinfecting your desk and keyboard regularly is vital. As is the simple task of decluttering and discarding old documents. This does not have to be an arduous task; an effective 5 to 10 minute morning routine is all that is needed which has also been linked to promoting better organisation and heightened focus.
A recent WebMD study showed that the handles on taps rank as the most unclean area within the office environment, closely followed by the door of the microwave. While your immune system should naturally handle many of these threats, stress and fatigue will weaken your body’s defence mechanisms. To protect yourself, regularly washing hands and incorporating some Covid-19 protocols is crucial.
- Fine-Tune breaks to boost mental restoration
While many professionals naturally incorporate breaks, there is room to maximise their efficiency. Engaging in breaks involving physical movement, such as refilling a water bottle or doing stretches, offers more substantial benefits than passive activities like scrolling through social media. The Pomodoro technique, with focused 25-minute work sessions punctuated by brief breaks, can also enhance productivity.
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3. Move more
Extended periods of sitting have well-documented adverse effects. Infusing movement throughout the day, whether by taking the stairs, walking during lunch breaks, or prioritising face-to-face interactions over digital communication, can enhance productivity and alleviate physical discomfort.
4. Prioritise hydration
Consistent hydration is essential for optimal cognitive function. Dehydration can lead to cognitive fog, irritability, reduced concentration, and increased anxiety. Elevating the hydration experience can be achieved through infused water featuring fruits and herbs. Tracking water intake through tools like FitBit and Hydro Coach can be effective, while analog approaches like checklists also work well.
5. Curate nutritious meals and snacks
Avoiding unhealthy office snacks and vending machine temptations is possible by preparing and bringing in wholesome meals and snacks from home. This approach empowers individuals to regulate thei dietary intake, leading to enhanced energy levels and financial savings.
6. Explore ergonomic options
For those dealing with discomfort from extended desk work, standing desks offer a potential solution. Early research indicates that standing desks can alleviate upper back and neck issues. Convertible desk options provide flexibility between sitting and standing. While standing desks are a relatively recent addition, studies suggest they contribute to improved energy levels, productivity, weight management, and reduced blood pressure.
They key lies in being deliberate!
It is evident that cultivating a healthier workplace environment requires thoughtful choices. The cumulative effect of these incremental adjustments can significantly enhance productivity while nurturing physical and mental well-being. By embracing these strategies, even amid demanding schedules, professionals can create a work experience that is more rewarding, dynamic, and holistic.