Managing Personal Wellness in the Workplace

Muncie, Indiana – At the beginning of the new year, many people begin to refocus on personal health and wellness. As an employee, this is extremely beneficial to assess for oneself because it can lead to fewer sick days, heightened productivity, less stress and work as an overall morale booster. When we feel our best, we are the best version of ourselves, and that is reflected in the workplace.

Unfortunately, working in an office setting can be counterproductive to fostering the level of wellness that you seek. Sitting has been deemed the new smoking, and it is taking a toll on our health. Long hours staring at screens are causing more stress on our eyes than ever before. While attempting to meet deadlines and attend numerous meetings, we let our diets (and New Year’s resolutions) fall by the wayside. However, there are a number of ways to jumpstart managing your own personal wellness at work with a bit of focus and intention.

Office Fitness

It is important to take as many breaks as possible from your desk. Sitting for long periods of time, over the course of months and years, will slowly take a toll on your overall health. Form a team within your office building to go on regular walk breaks for even just 5 minutes at a time. Having others to hold you accountable is helpful when you are stressing about getting your daily tasks done for your supervisor. If you are unable to leave the building, take the stairs to meetings instead of the elevator to burn some extra calories along the way. Lastly, by simply drinking more water you can take more frequent trips to the water cooler to get your steps in for the day.

Eye Care

Never in human history have we stared at lit screens as much as we do today. Many Americans work in front of a computer for an 8-hour work day, only to go home and stare at their phone, tablet or television to decompress from the day. The light from the screen causes stress on our eyes that can lead to a number of issues. Try adopting the 20-20-20 rule this new year to take action to protect your eyes. This practice encourages you to look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes and look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It allows your eyes to rest and reset before diving back into work. If you work near a window or have a nice piece of art nearby this can be a nice reprieve. If you are not as lucky, simply taking a break and looking at the floor twenty feet away will have the same positive effect.

Eat Well, Feel Well

It is common sense that if you eat well, you will feel well. When you are stuck at a desk for most of your day, stomach distress can be extremely uncomfortable. Many Americans have developed food allergies that unbeknownst to them have led to higher rates of GERD, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. By adopting a healthy diet, you can help yourself eliminate sick days spent in digestive stress. Although it takes extra time out of your day, packing your own lunch will help you make healthier choices and have an easy out when the rest of the office opts to go out for tacos. Make sure to pack things that you like and don’t go over the edge with trying to restrict yourself to the things that you love. It is recommended you avoid large amounts of gluten, dairy and sugar if you commonly have stomach issues to help reset your system. Try an elimination diet for the new year and see what it can bring you!

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Brooke Faulkner is a mother of two and wilderness enthusiast. When she's not writing, she can usually be found zipping around the mountains on her ATV.

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