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6 Easy Tips to Improve Your Wellness at Work

Wellness at work is incredibly important for maintaining high productivity as well as strong mental and physical health. Read on for how to keep your work-life balance on track.

How much time and effort do you put into your wellness at work? We know how easy it is to get wrapped up in today’s busy culture, where productivity trumps mindfulness and workplace stress becomes the norm. But neglecting wellness means neglecting your physical and mental health, which only leads to burnout and even healthcare costs.
Protect your physical and mental health by changing your habits, reprioritizing your day, and implementing practices to improve your wellness at work. In doing so, you'll reduce your risk of health issues, enjoy your workdays more, and have time to take care of yourself!
This guide highlights some of our top tips to promote your wellness at work so that you can enjoy a better work-life balance anywhere.

What We Mean By "Wellness"

wellness at work
Wellness is achieved through daily healthy habits that help you improve your physical and mental health. So it isn't merely the absence of disease but a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing.
You can support your physical health through a healthy lifestyle and diet, good ergonomics, and regular physical activity — to name a few. And you can work toward good mental health with things like a balanced work-life schedule, a clean work environment, good relationships, and even activities like mediation.

Why We Need Wellness at Work

Did you know that for every dollar spent on corporate wellness programs, employee absenteeism costs fall by $2.37 and medical expenses by $3.27? It should come as no surprise, then, that workplace wellness is an $8 billion industry, and employees can take advantage of this shift to improve their work-life balance.
Employee wellness isn't new, but it's becoming an integral part of modern company culture for office workers everywhere. Yes, even for remote workers, which has become part of the new norm after the pandemic sent many of us to work at home. So if you're feeling burnt out or like you could stand to improve your physical and mental health (can't we all?), take a moment to see what you can do for your wellness at the workplace each day.

6 Tips for Better Wellness at Work

wellness at work
Don't sit by and watch as your life becomes more stressful, staying too caught up in the busy culture to maintain your wellbeing. This cycle isn't fun, and it isn't good for you. Instead, implement tips and tools like these to start improving your wellness at work today.

1. Ask About Employee Wellness Programs

Contact your human resources (HR) department and ask about employee assistance programs. In addition, find out about any workplace wellness programs that you can take advantage of to improve your overall work-life balance and priorities.
Ask about financial resources, workplace health stipends, employee health incentives, and memberships you have access to. You might also want to explore any other health insurance packages available so you can better care for your health away from work.
If you find that your workplace doesn't offer any wellness initiatives or perks, tell them what would be helpful for you and share your opinion. (Sometimes, the HR department needs a little nudge.) And if you're currently looking for a job, look for employers who support employee wellbeing with healthy workplace culture and a solid health benefits package.

2. Schedule Mindful and Active Breaks

Don't forget about scheduling breaks so you can have some “me” time. Skipping breaks is detrimental to your productivity, creativity, and focus, and it can lead to burnout and fatigue, increasing your stress levels.
We suggest taking a 10-minute break every hour or a five-minute break every 30 minutes. Here are some of the benefits of regular breaks at work:
  • Improves mental health and wellbeing 
  • Increases productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction
  • Promotes health habits
  • Decreases stress
  • Consolidates memories
  • Increases learning
Schedule breaks for yourself throughout the day, and alternate between mindful and active breaks. During mindful times, check-in with yourself and how you're feeling about your workday. For example, ask yourself things like: “How am I feeling today? Is time passing quickly or slowly? Do I need to relax or tend to my mental health right now?” And during active breaks, get up and move around, stretch, or walk around the block.
Make sure you're fully detached from work when you take your break. That means not checking your work email or making a to-do list for when you're off your break but instead focusing on something that activates a different area of your brain.

3. Switch to Homemade Snacks and Lunches

Whether you work on-site or at home, making healthy snacks and lunches for yourself ahead of time is a good idea. Here are some of the many benefits of ditching your processed foods and restaurant dishes in favor of healthy food from home:
  • Saves money (financial wellness)
  • Saves time (mental wellness)
  • More nutritious ingredients (physical wellness)
Healthy eating also reduces the risk of chronic diseases and gives you more energy for whatever the day has in store. Try focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks and simple meals made from whole ingredients for lunch.
And while you're thinking about your diet, don't forget to stay hydrated! Dehydration can decrease your mental processing abilities, so always keep your water nearby.

4. Use Your Vacation Days

We all need time off, so use all your breaks and vacation days. It's pretty common to see people ignore vacation days, allowing them to add up and eventually drop off, but it's not healthy. Maintaining wellness at work sometimes requires you to step away from work for a time.
Regular vacations help promote a healthy lifestyle. There's no shame in using your vacation time to relax and have some time away from work. So whether you travel somewhere or indulge in staycations, schedule your vacation days every year to ensure you have time to recharge.

5. Socialize With Coworkers

Socialization is another integral part of how workplaces try to promote healthy employees. A healthy social life can improve your mental wellness and physical health. Don't think that "happy hour" is the only option, either; you can socialize with your coworkers through numerous other ways, like trivia or game sessions, company offsites, or even just a coffee chat (virtual or IRL).  
Interacting with fellow employees can contribute to positive emotions and improved wellbeing. If your employer offers workplace wellness programs, participating in these also often involves socializing with coworkers.
Just like with your breaks, try to avoid making time with coworkers about work (unless you're lucky enough to have walking meetings). So, for example, if you're socializing in the break room or walking with team members, try to talk about interests or hobbies instead of work.

6. Give Your Office a Makeover

Take time to give your office a makeover, cleaning and organizing the space so you can easily find everything. If you want to promote wellness at work, it's often best to get rid of clutter and design a relaxing space. You might also add a few personal things like fresh flowers, artwork you love, or family photos.
And don't forget to consider your office ergonomics. Ergonomic furniture is designed to meet your body's needs, often using adjustable settings that help you maintain good posture. And some employers even offer wellness benefits and stipends for on-site and remote workers to revamp their workspaces. Check with your company's HR department to find out.
Poor ergonomics increases your risk for musculoskeletal disorders and issues such as:
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Muscle strains and low-back injuries
  • Tendonitis
If nothing else, look into getting a good standing desk and a comfortable office chair with an ergonomic design that fits your height and work style. You might also want a monitor arm to keep your computer at eye level when you're working.

Take Care of Yourself

wellness at work
Focusing on wellness at work can help improve your job satisfaction, mental health, physical health, and emotional wellbeing. It can also help you do your job better because your needs are being met. Use these tips to change your workday and prioritize your wellness, and don't forget to take advantage of available workplace wellness programs.
If you're working from home right now, you might need to find some new furniture on your own, even if your employer is paying. By supporting your body with ergonomic office furniture, you'll build a healthy foundation for total workplace wellness. And if you're not sure what you need, check out our Design My Office quiz for a complete ergonomic workplace setup.

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