Keeping healthy at work

This week is Health and Wellbeing Week, and with that in mind we wanted to look at how to keep a healthy mind and body whilst at work.

Most work related ill health is due to either musculoskeletal disorders (back, neck and joint problems), stress or depression; and as physical activity is known to improve health, fitness and general wellbeing; having an active lifestyle can boost your energy and boost your mood, keeping you more alert and more productive in your job.

Furthermore, the government recommends that to stay healthy, adults should try to be active every day and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, plus strength exercises on at least two days a week in the major body muscle groups (i.e. legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Physical activity can not only help with your physical wellbeing, but also help to prevent or help you to manage stress; but finding time to exercise can sometimes be a problem, and work can be an inhibitor to doing regular exercise so it’s useful to have a few simple rules in mind to help your health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Adjust your seating position so that your hips are slightly above your knees for the healthiest seating position.

Place your mouse or keyword within easy reach and use your wrist or forearm for support, move the mouse with your shoulders, not your wrist.

Take micro-breaks – try to get a few minutes away from your desk every hour or so, it helps to stretch the legs and clear your mind. If possible, nip outside for some fresh air.

Take a lunch break! – many of us skip the lunchbreak that we are legally entitled to, but this is a perfect opportunity to get away from your desk, get some fresh air and go for a walk. This will clear the cobwebs, destress you and you’ll also get some exercise in.

Try some simple stretches – interlock your fingers, and push your palms away from your body, gently stretching the arms, fingers and shoulder blades. Hold this position for five seconds, and sitting slightly forward in your chair, rotate your upper body to the right, reach the right-hand side of the backrest with your left hand.  Hold for five seconds, and then swap sides.

Build some simple exercises and routines into your working day rather than thinking about “working time” and “exercise time”.

Feeling stressed?

Support from your employer can help you manage stresses that may affect your ability to work. By raising concerns early, you can catch problems before they have a chance to build up. If the problems at work ever get too much for you and you believe that your employer has failed in their duty to look after your health and wellbeing then get in touch with us and we’ll see if you could get compensation for the stress you have suffered.

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