Many businesses are opting for health wellness programs to create a healthy work environment for employees who come into the office, which can consist of anything from an office gym to employee yoga breaks to weight-loss challenges.
While not every organization has the resources or staff to implement the above wellness approaches, there are still many ways to encourage employees during the workday while still completing the daily tasks at hand.
Employer Tips for Creating a Healthy Work Environment
Exercise at Your Desk
Exercising at your desk is an easy way to stay fit. One specific workout that helps to relieve stress is called the Namaste. To do this, all one must do is place hands together in the prayer position at heart level. Then push your hands against each other as hard as possible for about 20 seconds and repeat until a feeling of calmness is present. Other fun desk workouts can include stapler curls, seated leg raises (put your legs straight in front of you, and hold as long as possible), and even seat stretches. For employees feeling a little extra ambitious about exercising at the desk, there’s now several types of exercise equipment available, including under-desk ellipticals and bicycles.
Ergonomics, which involves designing and positioning work equipment in ways that are healthy and safe, is important for good health and work efficiency. As an alternative to sitting in a normal desk chair, consider opting for a workout balancing ball to tone and strengthen your core while you sit at your desk and work. Some employers might even allow stand-up desks, which can help you burn more calories, reduce back pain, and even improve anything from mood to energy to productivity. Another important desk enhancement that can contribute to good health and posture is making sure your keyboard, mouse, and computer screen are properly positioned. Ideally, a computer keyboard and mouse should be positioned to keep your elbows at your sides and arms at a 90-degree angle. The ideal computer screen placement should be when your eyes are level with your computer address bar.
Stay on the Move
Taking the stairs is a great way for employees to get blood flowing and have a clearer head. Instead of sitting while eating or catching up on work at your desk over lunch, consider taking your sandwich or salad on a little walk, and enjoy the fresh air. Invite coworkers to take daily walks around company corridors during work breaks to have some accountability and encouragement at staying active. If applicable to your workday or schedule, consider using lunch breaks for workout classes, and eat lunch on the go. You might even challenge your whole team by organizing an in-office workout class during lunch or breaks that can include anything from video-driven workouts to yoga. All in all, just keep moving.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things employees can do to stay active and burn calories at work. Use your imagination, and remember—any activity is better than none.
Employee Tips for Establishing a Healthy Work Environment at Home
Establish a home office.
Whether you work at home full or part-time, you need separation from your work. No matter how often you work at home, it is best to not work in common spaces. By working in a dedicated workspace, you will be able to focus on your work and not be distracted by home tasks such as the cleaning.
Establish work hours.
Again, whether you work in a corporate setting or work at home, you should establish dedicated work hours. Make a schedule and try to keep it. If 6:00 p.m. is your stop time, try to stick to it. Your family will thank you! And remember, if you work at home, try not to work on the sofa or at the kitchen table. You can quickly build some long hours without even realizing it.
Establish a creative and inviting space at the office.
Studies show that if you like what you are doing, you will do a better job. The same goes for if you like where you are working, you will be more productive. Try creating an inviting space at your office. Make it your own, and let it show your personality and the things you love. If you are comfortable working away from a desk, develop a more non-traditional setting. It’s your space so you can set yourself up for success!
Establish no phone time.
With smartphones and tablets, technology enables us to be connected to our work 24/7. Try to separate yourself from your phone. Give yourself a cut-off time for no longer checking emails. Consider setting your phone to "do not disturb," only allowing family calls through. Also, even if your phone is your alarm clock, try to move it to the other side of your nightstand. Your brain needs rest.
The team at LBMC Employment Partners has years of experience and knowledge on creating healthy work environments for your employees. Contact us today to learn more!