How Healthy Is Your Workplace?

By Veronica Blatt

image of a healthy workplaceOur guest blogger is Glenn Arnold of Arnold Group Australia in Melbourne, Australia. Arnold Group Australia has been a member of NPAworldwide since 2004. Arnold Group Australia has a number of specialist divisions that provide recruitment services in safety, injury management, general insurance, broking, sales and marketing, and shared service. Glenn is currently serving on the NPAworldwide board of directors.

I recently read this article by Debra Villar for the Human Resources Director. It reminded me that despite that fact that we as recruiters are often providing advice to clients about their workforces, we do not often take our own advice. When was the last time you consciously thought about your working environment and your personal health? Many of us work alone. Many of us work very long hours to keep up with the demands of our clients. What happens to your livelihood if you don’t operate at 100% or can’t work at all?

Have your heard the term, “sitting is the new smoking,” coined to highlight the effects of prolonged sitting? An alarming statistic shows that we can spend up to 18 hours sitting a day, by traveling in a car or public transport, then sitting at a desk all day before coming back home to sit on the couch.

Debra suggests that regular exercise at the gym may not make up for the fact that you have a sedentary job. We are meant to be continually active. Movement throughout our day and increasing what is called incidental exercising is crucial for optimal health and well-being.

Here are some basic tips from Debra that are simple and effective strategies to make your workplace healthier.

  1. Breathe. Not the normal shallow chest breathing most of us are used to, but practice diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing helps increase oxygen to the body, decrease stress levels and increase overall health and well-being. When you inhale, you expand your diaphragm down and out (belly out) and when you exhale relax your abdomen and diaphragm; complete this cycle without lifting your chest.
  2. Get out and get some sunlight. Safe sun exposure is essential for our mood and general health. Vitamin D deficiencies can cause muscle weakness, decrease immune function, inflammation and many more.
  3. Get up out of your chair. Taking breaks from your seated workstation can alleviate muscle aches and pains, increase your concentration and promote productivity. Plan walking meetings and choose to walk to your colleague’s desk instead of sending an email.
  4. Decrease your levels of toxins in your day to day life. Toxins are found in packaged foods in the form of preservatives, sugars, colors and additives. Also, check your household and beauty products for toxic chemicals. Choose fresh foods and organic skincare.

Not all workplaces are concerned about the health and well-being of their staff and sometimes we may not have control of our work environment. Therefore, it is essential we establish everyday healthy habits both at work and at home. This will enable you to achieve complete wellness anywhere you are.

What’s your favorite healthy habit at work? Please share below!

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  1. Anne Downing, 8-June-2017:

    Great article Glenn! Very important for all of us to take these steps to have a healthy work-life balance!

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