Keeping Fit and Healthy in the Office – How the Olympics Have Inspired Us
So, now the Olympics have come to an end we can all confess we watched the athletes in amazement whilst eating takeaway, sweets, actually basically any naughty food, whilst sat on the sofa……. the real question, have they inspired you?
I know myself, I have watched numerous events from the heptathlon to the trampolining and thought I could give that a go. I suppose I could at least start from the beginning and join a gym or start hitting that 10,000 Fitbit step goal.
I myself have clearly been inspired, but has it inspired your workplace? The answer is, we hope so! Staying fit and healthy can have a number of benefits not only on your employees but on your business too.
We will explain the benefits of having a healthy office and some tips to achieve this in our blog post.
What are the Benefits?
Studies have shown that if you are physically active by exercising regularly, it can help improve aspects of your life, including work productivity.
According to the Office of National Statistics 131 million days were lost due to sickness absences in the UK in 2013. Yes not all of these can be avoided, but it has also been shown that a healthy and active lifestyle can reduce the number of days lost due to sickness absence.
How Can Exercise Improve Work Productivity?
If an employee wasted 10 minutes a day being unproductive in the scheme of things that might not seem too bad. But when you add it up this accounts for 40 hours a year, that is practically a whole week of work; and it is just one employee!
Unproductivity can have a massive impact on your business and there are a number of factors that lead to unproductivity, an unhealthy lifestyle being one of them.
If your employees have the opportunity to and are encourage to do more exercise this can improve work productivity by:
- Improves mental health – It is reported that exercise releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that make you feel good!
- Illness prevention
- Increased concentration levels
- Increased energy levels
- More productive and alert
- More tolerant of themselves and more forgiving of others
Tips for a Healthy Office
Many employers have a wellness programme running for their employees, provide gym membership discounts, have an employee gym or have set up a Cycle2Work scheme. Which is excellent if you are lucky enough to work for one of those companies. But if you don’t then there are things you can do.
First of all there is no harm in suggesting setting up wellness programme of Cycle2Work scheme. If you don’t ask you don’t get.
Even without one of these schemes there are a number of things you can do to be healthier at work.
Better Office Snacks
The most common office snack is of course biscuits. We’re all guilty of enjoying one or two with a tea or coffee, or as a mid-morning snack to keep you going until lunch.
Choosing healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and more can greatly benefit you including sustaining energy levels. When consuming snacks which are high in fibre and protein the sugar levels in your body won’t decrease as quickly, meaning you won’t experience that lull and be more productive.
Do you drink your 2 litres of water a day? And no that doesn’t include in your tea or coffee.
Drinking enough water has a number of benefits including increasing energy levels, promotes weight loss, maintains digestive regularity, boosts your immune system, relieves and prevents headaches, and much more.
That 3 o clock lull a lot of us tend to experience could be due to dehydration, so make sure you keep your glass topped up. It is amazing how beneficial water is for us.
Instead of staying at your desk, or hiding away in the break room during your lunch hour why not go for a walk instead. Research has shown that a lunchtime stroll can boost your mood and help you better handle stress.
Keeping active and being a happier person at the same time, what more could you want.
If you are busy at work it is probably so easy to quickly pop to your nearest greasy spoon, fast food restaurant, or supermarket to pick up a less than healthy lunch.
However, as already mentioned choosing the right foods for work can greatly boost your mind and body making you an even better employee.
Check out some of these yummy looking healthy lunch recipes, and of course find some of your own.
Do you work at a desk?
You may not realise it but those of you that work at a desk could be unknowingly damaging your body just by sitting there.
Sitting down for long periods can actually cause:
- Higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
- Muscle degeneration
- Poor circulation in your legs
- Damage to your neck, back and shoulders
- Make you less productive and efficient thinking due to lack of blood flow and oxygen
You need to ensure that you regularly move, even if it is a bathroom break. And make sure that your desk is set up correctly for you to reduce the impact sitting down has on your body. This can be done by completing a Desk Assessment.
Secret Office Exercises
You should ideally aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. That can be really hard when you have a 9 – 5 job, and then family obligations before and after work.
Does that mean you should just give up? No there are some exercises you can do at your desk without your colleagues even realising.
We have tried a few and trust me you can feel it, check out these office exercises yourself to see.
Get Inspired and Get Fit
If you weren’t already inspired by the Olympics, then maybe you will be now that you understand how staying healthy can benefit you at work.
If you think about it the more productive you are, the better worker you are the more likely you may get a pay rise or promotion!
So all in all, let’s start becoming more physically active, hit that Fitbit target.