5 Ways to Improve Employee Wellness at Work
It’s well known that sitting all day at the workplace can lead to health issues. While many workers find themselves in sedentary jobs, even more find themselves standing at work all day—which has been shown to be just as problematic. Prolonged standing at work increases the risks of varicose veins, is more tiring than sitting, and requires 20 percent more energy.
In industries that require employees to be on their feet most of the day, there must be a practice of giving employees a break (and not to just sit down). The good news is that it doesn’t take much movement or time to help solve these problems. We’ve found in lab tests and field research for our wellness platform Smart Break that just as little as five minutes of exercise per working day can decrease headaches, neck, shoulder and lower-back symptoms, while also improving mental well-being.
So take a minute to read this and learn five ways to improve employee wellness at work.
Empower your employees to take breaks. Individual control over the nature and pace of work allows for distribution of effort over the working day. Getting senior executives to buy in and take breaks during the day goes a long way to achieving work-life balance and peace of mind as a company.
Take a break before you need to. The timing of a break is more important than the length of a break. Taking even 15 seconds out of a day while you’re feeling productive and “in the zone” will allow you to push yourself that little bit more.
Take short breaks often: A 2 to 5-minute break after 30 minutes of work is more beneficial than a 15 to 20-minute break every two hours. Even breaks measured in seconds can make a tremendous difference when taken frequently.
Get away from the desk. Take your break away from your workstation, and give employees the possibility to move about and change posture. Take a quick walk outside, check out new areas of the company, and get out of your comfort zone.
Provide your employees with information about taking breaks. Working continuously lowers the quality of the work and the productivity of the employees. By training your employees on how to break, you instill that balance is an important part of your culture.
The idea of self-care, making time, and moving during the working day requires courage and commitment. In order to break the norms and create positive change, employees need to be empowered to get out of their comfort zones. It helps them grow into their careers and is healthy not just for them, but also for your company. Putting a priority on employee wellness creates a healthier workforce, more productive employees, and a stronger workplace culture.
About the Author:
Lawrence Smith is the Vice President of Smart Break USA, which provides a simple and effective workplace wellness solution designed by specialists for companies of all sizes. He spent 12 years as a professional soccer player before transitioning to become an advocate for workplace wellness. Learn more at http://smart-break.com