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Ashley Stiefel works as a Sales & Program Specialist at Workspring by day and is a RYT-certified yoga instructor by night. In this post, she writes about Workplace Wellbeing and how you can make simple changes to your work routine to improve your focus and energy levels throughout the work day.
Wellbeing at work is a trending topic in today’s world. It seems that everywhere we turn, friends and colleagues are talking about “getting their steps in” for the day, cutting sugar (or another type of food) from their diets, trying out meditation, or about their newest workout routine. However, while health and wellness are certainly an important part of our lives, we all know it can be challenging to find time for wellbeing amidst conference calls, client meetings, deadlines, and the overall chaos that can occur during the course of a day in corporate America.
The average American spends more time working (about 36% of the day) than anything else, even sleeping (Steelcase). More time at work can lead to higher levels of stress, which is costly to employers and employees alike. Approximately 60% of lost workdays each year can be attributed to stress (Steelcase). Problems at work lead to more health complaints than any other stressor in the United States—even financial problems or family problems (Steelcase). Clearly stress from work plays a large factor in people’s health and overall wellbeing. What can we do throughout the workday to combat stress and improve our lives both at work and after hours?
Change doesn’t have to be drastic, over the top, all or nothing. It’s the small, consistent changes that make the difference. For example, eating healthy snacks and meals to properly energize your body helps keep your mind clear and focused (see article on energy foods). Alternating your posture throughout the day and taking breaks to stretch your legs helps improve blood circulation and sends fresh, oxygenated blood to your brain along with a plethora of other health benefits.
Yoga is everywhere. Another great way to improve your physical health and combat the stress of office life is to add yoga poses throughout the day. Yoga has been shown to help with not only weight management and flexibility, and also create mental clarity, improves your mood, and in turn, leads to better decisions and increased productivity (Men’s Journal).
While you may not have time to attend a yoga class every day, try some simple stretches from your desk. If you only have a couple minutes, come to a comfortable seat, blink your eyes shut, and plant your hands on the tops of your thighs. Focus only on your inhales and exhales for two minutes; if your mind wanders, then pace your breath by counting to five for each inhale, hold your breath, and then exhale for five counts. Afterwards, your mind will feel more focused and energized to tackle whatever task is next on your to do list.
Workspring aims to be a resource within the topic of wellbeing. Check some of our other articles to keep your life healthy.