We spend more than a third of our awake time at work in a typical week, so it’s important we pay attention to our health when at work, and also the impact of our work environment on our health.
Australian research reveals:
- 72% of workers declare that health and wellbeing is fundamental to the definition of a good workplace
- 1 in 4 express concerns that work adversely impacts personal health
- Preventable disease from unhealthy living is a major cause of workplace absence
- 90% of employees think mental health is an important issue for businesses, but only 50% believe their workplace is mentally healthy
- Lack of sleep impairs work performance by up to 30%
- Ergonomics are important – neck and back pain result in a 20% productivity drop
- The healthiest employees have been shown to be three times as productivity as their colleagues.
Some tips to creating a healthy workplace:
- Bring healthy snacks to work, such as fruits and nuts. Suggest the office only stock healthy snacks
- Move frequently by using standing desks if available, or taking a quick walk every hour to combat sitting. A NSW study found that replacing sedentary behaviour with walking or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity significantly reduced the mortality risk for adults aged 45 and above. Consider walking meetings, standing brainstorms or taking the long-route
- Take breaks, such as stand up to make phone calls, quarantining lunch times, getting fresh air outdoors and grabbing a coffee
- Stay hydrated to avoid dips in mood and energy – use a water bottle, try alternative beverages and offer cool water to colleagues for an opportunity to catch up and rehydrate on a warm day
- Use sleep pods, prayer rooms, lunch time kick-arounds, yoga and exercise classes if they are available in the office or easily accessible close by. Sign up a corporate sporting team, create a walking or meditation group
- International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, “All-cause mortality effects of replacing sedentary time with physical activity and sleeping using an isotemporal substitution model: a prospective study of 201,129 mid-aged and older adults