The first rule of caregiving as many of you know is take care of yourself first so, you are healthy for those being cared for. The same can be applied to our work lives.
Taking care of our health doesn’t stop when we come to work. In fact, there are many ways to maintain and even enhance your health during work.
To truly see the full benefit of how work can influence our health we need to look beyond just our Physical health and incorporate Social and Emotional wellbeing too.
Ways we can maintain and improve our health at work:
- Evaluate work space for comfort, convenience and functionality
- Is your Computer Monitor at eye level?
- Are your arms able to rest comfortably at your sides and on your keyboard?
- Can you access files and other equipment safely and easily?
- Is your work space configured to conduct work and collaborate, if necessary?
- Aim for a balanced breakfast with protein for energy throughout the morning
- Stock your desk with high protein/low carb snacks to give yourself an energy boost that will last, without the sugar crash from candy and other carbs
- Mid-morning consider having one of these snacks to maintain your sugar levels and keep you going till lunch
- Lunch- Another balanced meal that includes proteins to balance the carbs
- Avoid the afternoon slump – too large a lunch with too many carbs and you’ll be building a desk “fort” to take a nap!
- Our Bodies
- Move frequently!! Our bodies weren’t meant to sit all day or for long stretches of time. Most articles indicate about every 30 minutes to an hour, one should get up and move.
- Someone say stretches? Yes, simply stretching at your desk can be the refresher needed to get back to work with a renewed vigor.
- Getting up and moving regularly will improve circulation, burn calories and for those counting- you can get your steps in too.
- Take the steps for an extra burn of calories and stretch of the legs.
- The hip flexors and lower back are two areas commonly sore from sitting. For your lower back a simple touch your toes (or In that general direction) will help stretch the back of your legs, as well as lower back
- Is the Computer’s Font large enough not to strain your eyes? Eye strain can lead to headaches and difficulty concentrating. If you require help increasing your viewing font, contact your office assistant or another tech savvy colleague.
- Our Minds
- Avoid Multi-tasking! Recent studies as found in the book, “Single-tasking” indicate multi-tasking actually has a detrimental impact to quality (as one might expect) but, also productivity! Transitioning from task to task or performing multiple tasks at one time does not allow a mind to focus on a specific task fully which, creates mistakes and can demonstrate poor customer service if one of those tasks is interacting with a customer; whether personally, on the phone or in email. The customer is our central focus in single-tasking, which naturally has a more positive and relational outcome, rather than simply being a transaction between two people.
- The brain is no different than our bodies, in that just like an athlete exerting him/herself and will need to rest and recover from the exertion to perform at that same level again, our minds also need rest and recovery.
- You may have heard it before, so here’s a reminder: upon working on a challenge it is helpful to step away and allow our subconscious to continue working on the problem while our conscious minds are left to relax and wonder. This is what happens when we are struck with “the answer” in the bathroom or shower or some other place we are not likely to be found consciously contemplating a work challenge.
- Brain Games such as Lumosity, crossword puzzles and memory-based apps have become very popular methods for keeping your brain sharp.
- Reading is one of the best ways to not only give your brain a rest from solving problems and challenges but, it serves as a great way to expand one’s perspective. Make the reading industry-based (aging related) and now you’re primed to potentially have an influence beyond your prior scope, benefiting your clients!
- Social/Emotional Wellbeing
- The workplace is the largest common social gathering in which most of the world participates.
- The culture of the workplace dictates how workers interact with one another. If it is a supportive, flexible and stakeholder oriented environment, emotional and social well-being are likely to correspond, just as the opposite is likely as well.
- Studies indicate that having a trusted and well liked colleague at work has a significant impact on not only a person’s wellbeing but their likelihood of staying with the organization. Retention!
- Engaging employees in a way then enables them to learn about one another beyond their roles within an organization helps to cement a more personal relationship, as well as understanding of the individual. How are we seeking to better understand our colleagues? Ice breakers and personality assessments are a great way to peel back the surface layers and glimpse how others see the world in order to better collaborate, support and achieve team goals.
How are you maintaining or even improving your health or that of your employees, on a daily basis? What could you add to the above lists?
By: Ryan McShane
Ryan McShane serves small and medium sized businesses as a Human Resources Consultant and Vice President/COO of Marc3Solutions, www.marc3solutions.com. Marc3 differentiates by operating under Conscious Capitalism Principles: Higher Purpose, Conscious Leadership, Conscious Culture and Stakeholder Orientation.
Ryan also serves as the President of CHRA- Chesapeake Human Resource Association, largest local SHRM Chapter for the state of Maryland with 1,060 members. www.chra.com
Ryan is passionate about helping individuals and organizations evolve to reach their highest potential, through HR consulting, career development, professional assessments and high performance leadership solutions.