Tips and Tricks to Make Your Workplace Healthier

The key to making meaningful changes to achieve a healthy, happy workplace is to take an incremental approach.

Updated on October 27, 2017 8:10 am

Nicola Brown

Tips and Tricks to Make Your Workplace Healthier

There is no shortage of studies and reports coming out telling us that some of our common daily routines are rife with unhealthy practices. Some of these practices include the following:


How to make your workplace healthier

Luckily, there are some easy ways to reverse bad habits in the workplace. Start at the top of the list and work your way down to scale up a happier and healthier workplace.

1. Set a timer for breaks at 20-minute intervals.

Several smartphone apps have caught on to the health perils of sitting, staring, and slouching all day. The Stand Up! iPhone app is a work-break timer you can set up once to fit your schedule and then forget about. Features include customisable reminder intervals, alarm sounds, and a display telling you how long until your next alarm. The free version comes with one alarm. For Android there is Twenty, a much simpler app that reminds you every 20 minutes to stand up and take a two-minute break. Just swipe down to start your reminders when you sit down at your desk.

Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help you avoid sitting and staring at a screen for prolonged periods and give you a chance to stand up, stretch, adjust your posture, stay hydrated, or go for a quick walk for some exercise, fresh air, and sunlight.


2. Challenge yourself to modify one habit per day.

Committing to a permanent lifestyle change is often the hardest part of trying to achieve a healthier, happier workplace. Try setting yourself a daily challenge; change one behavior each day and see how you feel at the end of the week. Here’s an example of one week of daily challenges:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Replace a heavy lunch (like pasta) with a light salad.
  • Use your break time to go for a short walk outside.
  • Stretch your back, neck, legs, and hips every time you take a bathroom break.
  • Replace your morning coffee with 15 jumping jacks.

3. Go for walking meetings.

Instead of booking that drab meeting room with the cast-off chairs for your next one-on-one meeting, book an unfixed location so you can stroll and chat (you get bonus points if it’s outside). This is a perfect opportunity to break up the long hours of sitting we do each day. Try scheduling a walking meeting right after lunch to improve digestion and counteract sluggishness after a heavy meal. The exercise and fresh air will get more oxygen moving through your body, which will help you think better so you may find your meetings becoming more productive and efficient.

4. Invest in a standing desk.

As studies on the deleterious side effects of sitting all day have piled up, alternative desk configurations have taken the world by storm. This step involves a much bigger investment and lifestyle change than a break timer or walking meetings, but when we’re talking about your lifespan, it could be worth it.

The basic idea is to solve the health problem of sitting for extended periods. The most important considerations when choosing a standing desk is the angle of your head, neck, and wrists, which makes an adjustable/customisable desk the best option.

The right approach is incremental

The key to making meaningful changes to achieve a healthy, happy workplace is to take an incremental approach. Try one small change and see how it affects you, then move on to larger modifications to your daily routine. Adopting new practices slowly means you’re more likely to retain them over time, and when it comes to your health and happiness, it’s worth the time and effort. Remember, it’s never too late, so try one of these small changes today!

Article originally published in Fix.com. Edited and reposted with permission.


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