It’s time to see what happens when we try to lead healthier lifestyles while we’re at work. Poor health at work has severe consequences. In the UK alone, the cost of sick leave is estimated to be upwards of £29 billion. This has a staggering impact, not only on the economy but on businesses trying to grow.
This is why creating healthy workplaces is skyrocketing to the top of the business agenda. Being healthy at work, and therefore reducing the likelihood of losing days to illness, is the responsibility of both the employee and the employer. Unhealthy habits can be hard to shift but the good news is being healthier at work is easy, it’s fun, and will leave you feeling great.
Here are our top ten tips for being healthier at work:
1. Fuel your body well
A regular caffeine hit, sugary snacks, fast food on the run…sound familiar? You’re not alone. Eating at work is often seen as something that’s done quickly, in between meetings or getting the next job done. That’s why we have such a fondness for junk food; it’s quick and it’s easy. However, these high-sugar foods may cause an initial spike of energy but are followed by a sugar crash. As an employee, plan what you’re going to eat in advance and if you are going to snack, eat healthy snacks like seeds and nuts. Employers can help create an environment where positive eating, and taking time out to eat, are encouraged. At Quinyx, our kitchen is an amazing place where people can eat well and, as a result, perform better.
2. Stay hydrated
And this doesn’t mean drinking more coffee! We wouldn’t dream of suggesting cutting coffee completely but be aware of how much you are consuming. What’s better is to up your intake of good old-fashioned H2O. Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water a day to stay fully hydrated. People who do this find they are more alert, have more energy, and feel healthier.
3. Manage your stress
We all have to deal with stress while we’re at work. Failing to deal with this stress can lead to long-term health issues and serious problems. Everyone manages stress differently, the secret is finding what works for you. For some, this will be allocating time outside of work to ‘switch off’ while others may find keeping a clutter-free desk helps. Enjoying time outside of work helps you find perspective and balance. Sports, hobbies, and other interests all help keep your brain refreshed and revitalized meaning when you are at work you can perform to a higher standard. When it comes to stress we all have a choice as to whether we let it consume us or deal with it effectively and turn it into positive energy.
4. Be mindful
Practicing mindfulness helps employees slow down, focus on the present and, in turn, increase their productivity. Not only does mindfulness encourage employees to think, it also helps employees reduce stress, improve focus, make better decisions, resolve conflicts and improve overall well-being.
Sometimes the best thing to do is stop, put everything down and take a deep breath. We’ve all been there! Focussed breathing, or simply one big breath to suck it all in and let it all out, is a super-quick way to relieve tension and help us feel better.
Don’t sit for too long if you can avoid it. Our bodies aren’t designed to be sitting down for long periods of time and as a result, they struggle to cope with a sedentary lifestyle. It might be using a standing desk or taking a walk at lunch that gets you moving. At Quinyx it’s a quick game of table tennis that helps get the blood pumping.
Smiling releases endorphins which lower stress and make us feel happy. Do things that make you smile and, for employers, encourage activities that make your staff smile. We took a trip back to the 80s recently and it made us smile!
8. Be transparent
Transparency in the workplace ensures there are no hidden agendas, no mysteries to unravel and everyone has visibility of what is happening. This is true not just in the sense of financial transparency but also in the way we communicate with our colleagues. Open, honest and transparent communication is a far healthier way of working than the alternative.
9. Use technology
Whether it’s fitness or sleep tracking devices or apps like Quinyx, we can use technology to make our lives easier. We can rid ourselves of frustrations we had when we weren’t using the technology, we can make better decisions based on data and we can be more productive.
10. Enjoy work!
The last one goes without saying. You will be healthier at work if you enjoy it. Love what you do, be passionate about your work and once you do that, you’re no longer working; you’re living, and what could be better than that?
Creating a healthy working environment and being healthier at work is a great place to start when it comes to optimizing your workforce and having high-performing teams.