Lifestyle Fixes For Feeling Healthier At Work
Words / Jan McLeod
Workplace wellness is a large topic of discussion in the corporate realm. There is no doubt that discussing solutions for improving wellness can raise challenging and complex questions. However this is completely unnecessary.
I get asked a lot of questions. After frequently receiving a particular question following a workshop run on the impact of excessive sitting, it got me thinking. We are over-complicating workplace wellness solutions. So here to guide those struggling to get active in their everyday lifestyle are five wellbeing tips that can be easily executed in the workplace.
Look for simple solutions
Identify simple wellness solutions where possible. Sitting excessively at work is one of the major impediments to an active lifestyle. However there are a range of easy strategies to combat this:
- Take regular breaks from sitting
- Ask your workplace’s HR company for a sit-and-stand work desk
- Try and implement simple stretches and exercises at your desk to maximise circulation and movement.
I encourage you to be personally accountable for your wellness where feasible, in and out of work. Your role may require you to sit at work; however, if you are aware of the benefits of regular breaks, I would encourage you to be responsible for doing so.
Understand your wellness needs
I often get asked for a list of things you must do to enable optimal wellness at work and I’m guilty as charged in providing it. However, I am now more and more promoting the message of being intuitive in your wellness. Building self-awareness of your body and needs is crucial, whether it be related to what you eat, your quality of sleep or work patterns. We know that wellness is multi-dimensional. There isn’t just a set ‘wellness list’ available to tell you every health investment that must be made.
It’s not black and white.
The quality of your wellness reflects the investment you have made in each of the dimensions of wellness, including the trade-off in priority you assign to each dimension.
Identifying the right solution
Reflect on wellness information in totality, particularly where you are making recommendations for others. You are likely suffering from information overload! It is every person’s guilty habit – googling everything. Whether it is the symptoms of our health or the recommendations on how to live a balanced lifestyle.
You don’t need more information. You need to look at targeted information in the context of the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that you sit more in and out of work. You likely sit on the bus, car or train to go to work, and then perhaps you sit on the couch and watch TV for two – four hours after work. Most people’s lifestyles are sedentary.
The real solution lies in more movement throughout the day. That’s what will mitigate health risks from excessive sitting. Be aware that trends may not be the solution for your situation given their momentary relevance. Accessing personalised advice from a wellbeing expert, nutritionist, lifestyle coach or naturopath is a great way to ensuring the right wellness solution for you.
Move more & sit less
I am in many ways echoing the standard message to that of the phrase “just eat real food.” I can spend time giving lists of food as good or bad, when, in fact, what is most important is for me to encourage more people to eat whole, natural, nutrient-dense real food. There is nothing wrong with having the occasional treat but try to make it healthier.
Ways to getting active in the office:
- Consider bicycling or walking to work
- Take the stairs
- Use ankle weights when stretching your legs
- Move around as much as possible
Now is the time to move more and sit less, to get up and move – and possibly even shake your booty. Have fun and remember to stay well even in the chaotic environment that is the workplace.