Wellness in the Workplace: Tips for Healthier Workdays

by | Apr 17, 2024 | Occupational Health

Maintaining personal wellness can often take a back seat in today’s fast-paced work environment. However, the importance of health in the workplace cannot be overstated. At Access HealthCare Multispecialty Group (AHMG), we believe in a holistic approach to health that extends beyond our clinic walls. Below are some practical tips for cultivating a healthier workday, benefiting your physical as well as your mental well-being.

Ergonomic Environment:

  • Adjust Your Workspace: Align your computer screen at eye level to avoid neck strain. Choose an ergonomic chair that supports your lower back. Position your keyboard and mouse to keep your wrists in a natural position.
  • Frequent Movement: Every hour, take a moment to stand, stretch, or walk around. Use apps or set alarms as reminders to take these short breaks. Simple stretches at your desk can also alleviate muscle tension.
  • Proper Lifting Techniques: Teach and practice proper lifting techniques to avoid back and joint injuries. Bending the knees and keeping the back straight are crucial.
  • Tool Ergonomics: Use ergonomically designed tools and equipment to reduce strain. For jobs requiring repetitive motions, ensure proper handgrip and tool weight to minimize the risk of strain injuries.

Mindful Eating Habits:

  • Healthy Snacking: Keep healthy snacks within reach. Replace chips or sweets with fruits, nuts or whole grain options. These choices provide sustained energy without the sugar crash.
  • Portable Nutrition: For those without the luxury of a desk, carry portable, non-perishable healthy snacks like granola bars, trail mix or beef jerky.
  • Stay Hydrated: Keep an insulated water bottle handy to maintain hydration – essential for everyone, but particularly crucial for outdoor or physically demanding jobs. If you find water too plain, add slices of fruit like lemon or cucumber for a refreshing twist.

Mental Health Breaks:

  • Scheduled Breaks: Allocate 5-10 minutes every two hours for a mental break. This can include stepping outside for fresh air, practicing brief meditation or just resting your eyes from the computer screen. Incorporate stretching or light exercises during breaks to release physical tension, especially important for physically demanding jobs.
  • Mindfulness Practices: Simple breathing exercises or guided meditations can be done at your desk. Apps like Headspace or Calm offer short sessions that fit into a busy workday.
  • On-Site Relaxation: If possible, find a quiet space for short mental health breaks. Even a few minutes sitting in a parked vehicle or a quiet spot can help recharge your mind.

Active Lifestyle:

  • Incorporate Movement: Use part of your lunch break for a quick walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Consider a desk setup that allows for periodic standing or light stretching.
  • Workplace Wellness Programs: Participate in or initiate wellness challenges or group activities like yoga classes or walking clubs. These not only promote health but also foster team building.
  • Stretching Routine: Start the day with a group stretching routine to prepare the body for physical work and reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Activity Variation: If possible, rotate tasks throughout the day to engage different muscle groups and avoid overexertion.

Work-Life Balance:

  • Effective Time Management: Use tools like to-do lists or digital organizers to manage your workload. Learning to prioritize tasks can reduce stress and increase productivity.
  • Respecting Physical Limits: Recognize the signs of physical fatigue and avoid overexertion. It’s important to listen to your body to prevent burnout and injuries.
  • After-Work Unwinding: Engage in activities outside of work that promote relaxation and rejuvenation, like hobbies, sports or spending time with family and friends.
  • Disconnecting: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal time. Practice digital detox by turning off work notifications after hours and engaging in relaxing activities.

Whether you’re in an office or on a construction site, taking steps towards a healthier workday is crucial. For blue-collar workers, being mindful of your physical health on the job is especially important.

Integrating these wellness practices tailored to both office and field environments can lead to improved health and job satisfaction. Remember, small changes can make a big difference to your overall well-being. For more wellness tips check out our blog.

Stay safe, stay well!