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In recent years, the human resources industry has began emphasizing the importance of workplace wellness. This makes sense, considering the average individual spends nearly 90,000 hours at work during a single lifetime. To put it in perspective, that’s a third of your life spent punching the clock, which feels pretty bleak. And as the modern work environment becomes more demanding of our time and energy, it appears people are growing increasingly unhappy with their occupations.
Why is Wellness in the Workplace Important?
There are a number of reasons to prioritize workplace wellness. Because we spend much of our lives at work, it’s important to implement healthy habits, just as you would at home. Besides just improving your mood, practicing wellness in the workplace can boost your overall health from the inside, out.
On the other hand, encouraging workplace wellness is also advantageous for employers. Believe it or not, unhappy employees can cost a company quite a bit, in both time and money. And there’s no way to make up for lost productivity. Even an employee that seems stress-free can benefit, as stress is not the only factor affecting employee health and well-being. Many jobs nowadays are mostly sedentary, and much of the work is done on computers. A lack of movement throughout the work day can lead to some serious health issues, like obesity, diabetes, and severe back pain. Similarly, staring at a computer screen puts strain on your eyes that can lead to further damage down the road. Poor health can result in sky-high healthcare costs, more missed work days, high employee turnover, and dwindling morale—all of which hurt the employer’s pocket.
Effective Workplace Wellness Ideas
While some companies have opted to implement their own workplace wellness programs, there are steps an individual can take themselves to improve their sense of well-being at work. Though these changes may seem small, they can have a big impact on your mood and behavior. Check out the following workplace wellness tips that are guaranteed to have you feeling recharged and ready to conquer the day.
Consider a Standing Desk
A standing desk may seem odd at first, but it can benefit the body in many ways. Sitting requires less energy than standing or moving, and can lead to some pretty serious health risks if it becomes a daily routine. Some of these risks include obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which can lead to more urgent concerns like cardiovascular disease or cancer. Employing a standing desk can help counteract these risks by improving blood flow to your extremities, engaging your leg muscles, and relieving the chronic pain that sitting often causes. In the long run, a standing desk is a small investment to preserve your health and longevity.
Open the Windows to Sunlight
Natural light can do wonders for a person’s mood and mental outlook, and keep them feeling alert and focused. If you’ve noticed your productivity taking a dive, try moving near an open window. Not only will this improve your state of mind, it can also lessen the eye strain that comes from staring at a computer screen. Plus, the warmth of sunlight can be a source of comfort in the generally frigid temperatures of your average office space.
Decorate with Plants
One of the best ways to ensure workplace wellness is to create a space that feels like your own. Your office décor should reflect your personality and character, because who wants to spend all day in a place that feels foreign? Plants make one of the best office accessories, and are as beneficial as they are beautiful. Not only do they act as natural air purifiers, they also deliver extra oxygen throughout the day, which can help boost productivity and concentration. Plus, who doesn’t love having something lush and green to look at? By designing your work space to your liking, you’ll inspire a more peaceful, relaxing atmosphere that you can actually enjoy working in.
Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
It goes without saying that a sedentary job and unhealthy snacking is a complete recipe for disaster. Munching on the wrong foods throughout the day will leave you feeling drained and defeated, and eventually lead to weight gain if gone unchecked. Give your brain a boost by fueling up with protein-packed snacks like almonds, Greek yogurt, or hummus, and don’t forget the fruits and veggies. To make things as convenient as possible, opt for easy to carry treats like carrots, celery, or fresh berries.
Have a Walking Meeting
To maximize workplace wellness, it’s best to avoid sitting for any extended length of time, business meetings included. Instead, try taking your meetings outdoors. Taking a walk and clearing your mind of distractions can actually result in some pretty creative decision making, and you’re getting a bit of exercise to boot! The best part is, you won’t have to worry about nodding off during your boss’s spiel, as your body is much more awake and alert when it’s moving.
Organize Team Events
Part of what contributes to workplace well-being is a sense of community and teamwork. Everyone wants to feel like they belong, whether it’s a small company or giant corporation. Promoting a sense of community among employees is crucial to their happiness and healthiness. But, why wait for upper management to rally the team together? Why not organize an event yourself? Some examples of awesome team building activities include enjoying a fun day trip, organizing a sports game like softball or basketball, or gathering for a potluck. This gives you the chance to get to know your coworkers beyond their role and responsibilities at the office. That way, when the time comes to work together, you have a friendly foundation on which to build.