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Improving Your Health At Work

9th January 2020

Improving Your Health At Work

Our health always seems to take a back seat in the grand scheme of things. We hit the winter months and find ourselves struck down with all manner of germs. A lot of the time, we could be doing much more to keep our well-being levels high.

Whether it’s a poor diet, avoiding exercise, not getting enough rest, or trekking out into the elements without some heavy duty layering, we seem to neglect our health when we should be doing our utmost to improve it.

And with workers in Britain typically taking twice the amount of sick days than workers in the US or Asia Pacific, our careers could be suffering.

But what can you do about it?

Watch your stress levels

In the UK, mental health problems are behind 40% of our sick days. The problem is so pressing that Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, is supporting ‘Time to Change’ — a campaign that’s working hard to end the stigma associated with mental illness.

If you’re finding it hard to cope at work, talk to your employer openly and candidly. If you feel like you can’t, get in touch with your local Mind; they’re always happy to listen or offer you helpful advice.

Get plenty of rest and relaxation

It’s important that you make time for relaxing at the end of the working day, otherwise you’re going to find yourself run down (and illness will almost certainly follow).

We know that a lot of you feel guilty for taking time off when you’re unwell. As a result, too many of you drag yourselves into work when you should be resting. If you’re genuinely ill, and going to work will either set you back or put the health of your colleagues at risk, wait until you’re better before you make matters worse.

Alternatively, with flexible working available to most of us these days, why not ask your employer if you can work from home.

Get your heart rate pumping

Exercise is one of the most important factors in improving your health at work.

This doesn’t have to mean joining a gym or taking up a sport. If you want to boost your health and social life in one, try organising running or cycling clubs with your colleagues.

You could also try small things like taking the stairs instead of the lift, going for a walk during your lunch break or walking/cycling to work.

Keep an eye on your diet

There’s just something about being at work that makes our hunger pangs kick in, and if you haven’t planned your meals in advance, convenience food can become irresistibly appealing.

The problem with snacking on junk food is that the high sugar content can leave you crashing — depleting your energy levels, impacting your concentration, and damaging your health.

To give yourself the best chance of swerving temptation, prepare your lunch (along with some healthy snacks) the night before. Salads with nuts and berries thrown in, or chicken with piles of veggies are great for energy and all round well-being.

Up your water intake

Do you get your recommended 6-8 glasses a day? Surprisingly, few of us do.

Without the right intake of water, you can become dangerously dehydrated which can seriously impact your health and your performance at work (making you dizzy, confused, and generally unwell). Keep a large bottle of water on your desk and take note of how much you get through; or, if you don’t like water, try some fruit or herbal teas.

And don’t just drink when you’re thirsty: feeling thirsty is actually a sign that you’re already dehydrated.

Your health is the most important thing you’ll ever have, so invest in it well.

 

 

 

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