Stressful meetings, overtime and continual pressure to deliver first-class results – ever increasing competition, and company goals aimed at making greater profits year after year, all have an impact on employees' day-to-day work that is not to be taken lightly. And, in view of demographic changes, they now have to demonstrate all-out commitment for a considerably longer period of time. The result: mental overload and burnout, often with negative effects on physical health as well. But here, even small motivational incentives from employers can have a big effect: training opportunities, workplace massage or fruit and healthy snacks can not only help relieve stress, but also promote physical health among employees – as your company's most important resource. Because the healthier and more efficient your staff, the greater the quality of their work.
We asked employees what effect their current job has on their health and have some tips on how you can lead a healthy lifestyle - despite having a packed schedule.
According to a new survey from CareerBuilder.co.uk, 41 per cent of UK workers admit they have gained weight at their current jobs, with 18 per cent confessing they have gained more than 10 pounds in their position.
When workers were asked what they felt contributed to their widening waistlines, sitting at their desk most of the day was the top culprit (58 per cent). Physical and mental exhaustion was also high up on the list, with 38 per cent claiming they’re too tired from work to exercise.
Other answers included:
- No time to exercise before or after work - 34 per cent
- Eating because of stress - 32 per cent
- The temptation of the office biscuit tin - 28 per cent
- Having to skip meals because of time constraints - 18 per cent
- Workplace celebrations - 16 per cent
- Pressure to eat food co-workers bring in - 15 per cent
- Eating out regularly - 13 per cent
- Happy hours - 6 percent
Placing a priority on health and wellness
While you may not be able to change your work environment, you can alter your lifestyle to one that focuses on health and wellness. Scott Helmes, Managing Director of CareerBuilder UK, offers the following five tips for leading a healthier work lifestyle:
- Schedule your workout sessions: Just as you would put an important meeting or conference call on your calendar, set aside time on your schedule for exercise. If you’ve already blocked out the time and said no to other commitments, it will make you more likely to prioritise it.
- Get up and move: Find simple ways to add more movement to your daily activities. Instead of parking next to your office, choose a spot a few blocks away. If you take the bus or train, get off a couple stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. When heading up to your office, take the stairs instead of the lift, go for a walk during your lunch break or tread over to someone’s desk instead of sending an email. Little moves like these can add up.
- Avoid the fizz: Those fizzy drinks filling the vending machine may be calling your name, but they’re also packing lots of sugar and empty calories. Drink water flavoured with cucumber, strawberries or lemon instead. If a caffeine boost is what you need, try green tea.
- Bring your lunch: Sometimes it’s nice to take a break and go out to eat at lunchtime; the survey found that 47 per cent of workers regularly eat out at work instead of packing a lunch. While it can be good to get away from eating at your desk every so often, consider bringing most lunches for the week from home. Packing a lunch is an easy – and cost-effective – way to ensure you’re getting healthy ingredients and controlling your portion sizes.
- Snack healthier: According to the study, 66 per cent of workers confess to snacking at the office. Snacking is often associated with eating sugary or salty high-fat foods, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about choosing the right kinds of snacks. Keep nutritious snacks like almonds, hummus, carrots and air-popped popcorn at your desk so you don’t have to rely on the vending machine or biscuit tin to curb hunger between meals.
Would you like to know more about playing an active role in improving the health of your employees?
Read more about it here.
Image: © Marcin Balcerzak - shutterstock.com