With work consuming an average of 47 hours a week, it’s important to think about the impact the workplace has on your health. The workplace can be full of hazards: stress, germs, physical discomfort, anxiety. Bringing that stress home could potentially lead to trouble sleeping, weight gain or loss, irritability and even burnout.
By becoming more aware and adopting a few simple tricks, you can prevent and counteract these hazards before they overtake you and your team – it’s especially important for leaders to set a healthy example for your staff.
There are many things you can do to in the workplace stay happy and healthy. Here are some simple ways to get started:
- Take a lunch break – It can be a challenge, but taking a lunch break is more important than ever – refuel your body and brain by stepping away. Lunch breaks can help us clear our thoughts, be more productive in the afternoon and allow us to enjoy a break from emails and deadlines.
- Stretch – Whether you’re feeling stiff or sluggish, stretching your muscles can be a huge help. Check out these simple desk stretches or the Cleveland Clinic’s Two-minute Chair Yoga.
- Look at your posture – How are you sitting right now? I bet a lot of you just straightened up! We all tend to slump and slouch as the day goes on, leading to back pain and trips to the chiropractor. So train yourself to be aware of your posture through normal work activities – make something you do multiple times throughout the day a trigger to adjust your posture. Maybe every time you get a phone call or email can be a reminder to adjust how you’re sitting.
- Beware of germs – We’ve all squirmed uncomfortably sitting next to a sick co-worker. Take a moment to wipe down frequently used surfaces at your desk and around the office – be sure to get the buttons on the copy machine! Take preventative measures like getting a flu shot, and if you do happen to catch something, stay home when you’re ill and get plenty of rest.
- Bring in some green – This winter weather can get dreary. Bringing in a plant for your desk or office can really help liven things up and give you a refreshing change of scenery. Here are desk plant suggestions from the experts.
- Laugh – This simple trick could drastically improve your day. Share a funny story with a coworker, print out your favorite comic strip and hang it by your desk, listen to a laugh-out-loud podcast or watch some highlights from late-night television. These immediate mood-boosters could be a great remedy when a stressful situation could use a laugh.
- Celebrate! – After a successful event or at the end of a difficult deadline, take a moment to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. A handwritten note, lunch or celebratory event goes a long way in acknowledging the hard work of teams and individuals. Make sure to give yourself kudos after tackling a big project too!
Kaitlyn Boller is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.
I started using a stand-up desk a couple years ago and I’ll never go back to sitting all day. Also, if you have a fitness center, I highly recommend a mid-day workout to relieve stress and get the endorphins flowing.
Great advice! We’re getting a fitness center in January and I’m excited to be able to use that at lunch!
Yes!! These tips for workplace wellness should be a comprehensive guide for creating and maintaining workplace harmony…..if you feel good, you spread good feelings.
As simple as these are, I’m guilty of not taking lunch most days and eating at my desk while working. I’ve been told I need to learn to power down; taking some of these ideas and incorporating them into my daily routine seems like I’d be heading in the right direction. So much easier said than done. Thank you for this blog post. I think I’m going to take your suggestions and incorporate them into the 21-Day Challenge to Federal Employees posted by Meiko Patton. I don’t usually post comments so know you made a difference in my life today.
Thank you, Anne! Good luck with the 21-Day Challenge, I’ll be rooting for you!
If we could get our agency to recognize any Human Design Factors for anyone other than a Air Traffic Controller, the remaining support infrastructure could be a whole lot safer AND healthier. As I sit in a call center office area that I cant get illuninated to ANY known standard. Currently @ .2 Footcandle…
Be a lot nicer to not go to work in a hot dry and dark cave for a work place everyday. For a management structure that can not see the affect it has on the help, and how nasty they feel and treat each other.