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Wellbeing / Health & wellbeing

How to have a healthy workplace

We’re constantly told we need to eat better, exercise more, get more sleep, and spend more time with our families and friends. But sometimes, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Read on for some tips on how to have a healthy workplace.

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It’s time we stopped trying to cram it all into our evenings and weekends and started tackling the real problem – our work. Chances are you spend more time working every week than anything else. If you’re going to spend at least five out of every seven days “at the office”, you need to make sure you’re looking after your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. You need to have a healthy workplace – Good health isn’t a weekend hobby!

Refresh your body

Sitting behind a computer for eight or more hours can do your body a lot of damage. Here are some things to consider:

  • Posture is so important. Use a comfortable chair which supports your back. Arrange your desk and computer so that your feet are flat on the floor, your arms rest comfortably at your keyboard, and your monitor is directly at eye level.
  • Stay active. Get up regularly and get your blood flowing. It’s also a good idea to stretch your legs, back and neck every hour, particularly if you experience any pain in those areas.
  • If you work from home, you have more opportunity than most to prepare fresh, healthy lunches and snacks for yourself. But regardless of where you work, choose foods that are nutritious and which provide you with plenty of energy to keep you at your most creative and efficient throughout the day.
  • Don’t be a coffee addict. One or two cups a day is fine, but don’t rely on it to keep you awake all day. If you’re feeling tired, try a tall glass of water – it will perk you up at least as much as a coffee and cleanse your body at the same time.

Want more articles like this? Check out the health and wellbeing section.

Revitalise your mind

  • Use a different part of your brain. We tend to use one particular mode of thinking when at work, and concentrate all our mental efforts on a single task. Try engaging your mind in a different way when you take a break. For example, if you spend a lot of time thinking creatively and laterally, it might be good to refresh your mind with something more rational and logical like a crossword or a sudoku.
  • Make your office or workspace a haven of inspiration. Surround yourself with images and words which will help you stay focused on your goals and vision, spark your creativity, or look at things differently.

Revive your spirit

  • Flying solo can get a little lonely from time to time. If you don’t naturally have a lot of interaction with others on an average work day, make the effort to call friends, colleagues or clients on a regular basis. Why not meet them for lunch? Not only will you feel better emotionally, it’s a great opportunity to discuss current projects and get some feedback and advice.
  • Find little ways to feed your soul at work. Play your favourite music, sit outside and work in the fresh air, or bring plants and flowers into your office. You’ll feel happier and more positive about how you’re spending your time if you crreate a healthy workplace.
  • Remember to enjoy yourself. Hopefully you started your own business to pursue your dreams and passions, so have a good laugh at yourself when you catch yourself losing perspective. Make a decision to have a bit of fun every day. It’s transforming and it’s contagious.

It’s easy to say “this sounds all too hard.” But small changes towards a healthy workplace can make a world of difference, for you and your business.

Kath O'Sullivan

is a writer, editor and facilitator who helps people find their authentic voice and use it to tell the stories of who they are.

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