How Physical Wellness Impacts Your Productivity
It’s wild to think, and whether we choose to recognize it or not, that many of us spend half our waking hours at work. That’s a lot. Many people face significant stress in the workplace that outweighs any possible benefits and even poses a threat to their health. This is why physical wellness is so essential.
Focusing on physical wellness is becoming more and more popular at the office. Companies are learning that acknowledging rather than dismissing this matter is the right thing to do and a solid business decision in the long run.
Physical wellness for employees is linked to higher engagement and productivity, making the entire company more substantial. Let’s jump into how you can get yourself, your company, and your employees living a better work-life.
The human body is an absolute phenomenon. It’s actually mind-blowing what our bodies can do when we treat it well with exercise, rest and food. When we live this lifestyle routinely, our bodies are known to release what I can only describe as superpowers!
Dopamine— It plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our uniquely human ability to think and plan. In addition to our mood, dopamine also affects movement, memory, and focus.
Endorphins—This is one of the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain. With just fifteen minutes a day of exercise, our bodies release this natural chemical that makes our immune system more robust, which helps us battle off those sick days.
Serotonin—This hormone impacts the entire body. The critical hormone that steadies our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. It also helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion, resulting in improved sleep cycles, pain reduction, and improved overall well-being.
And as if I didn’t give you enough benefits, when we have all these superpowers working simultaneously, this helps lower your blood pressure, which is connected to our coping mechanisms in stressful situations.
With all these natural chemicals in action, the brain functions better than ever, helping you and your employees’ productivity in the workplace go up.
I am not going to stand here and lecture about how ‘sitting is the new smoking’. Much like life, I prefer to take the positive approach. I also don’t have to justify why exercise is essential.
Exercise is fantastic. Merely on the few facts above on how our bodies react when it receives it, we are winning. Employers, here is where you come in.
Encourage your staff to take short breaks to stretch and walk around the office. Invest in sit-stand desks are height-adjustable desks that allow users to alternate between sitting and standing at work. A recent study found that users of adjustable workstations reported improved upper back and neck pain and increased productivity.
Active people also have better concentration, stamina, memory and higher energy levels. Healthy workers are more productive, less stressed and less likely to take sick days. A workplace that encourages employees to be physically active improves employee retention and builds a work culture that cares about employee well-being.
Also, make these small changes for yourself. Before you know it, you will be reaping benefits and won’t imagine a lifestyle that didn’t involve these changes.
Proper Sleep Schedule
We all have experienced, more times than we would like to admit, a not so great sleep. If you can even work, your day is definitely not productive one.
This brings us back to our body chemicals, AKA our superpowers and how they are essential to a healthy mindset. Poor-quality sleep can quickly lead to reduced performance and concentration, poor memory, diminished motivation, impaired judgment, and irritability.
Unfortunately, there are so many factors that affect your sleep to be interrupted. From light, noise, snoring to even what you ate before bed. The secret is to find out what factors affect your sleep and control the ones you can.
As an employer, you cannot send your employees to bed at a specific time, but you can still help promote getting a good night’s sleep. A handful of companies even offer nap rooms to help enhance alertness, strengthen memory, and improve emotions.
Distractions: Good vs. Bad
Not all distractions are bad.
Distractions can be small or big, from your doorbell dinging to the phone ringing. Also, now that the world is healing, that hot summer day whispering our name to enjoy the outdoors. These are all, wait, what was I saying? Oh yes, these are all triggers that make staying focused a challenge.
Aside from turning my phone on silent mode to avoid the constant distractions of my social media and personal email notifications, I have been finding tremendous success with implementing the Pomodoro Technique. Developed in the ’80s by Francesco Cirillo, this technique uses time intervals to stay focused, complete tasks, and limit distractions.
The Pomodoro Technique
Step 1: Any time you want to focus, start with a to-do list and have a timer on hand.
Step 2: Set your timer for 25 minutes and focus on a single task until the timer goes off.
Step 3: When your session ends, mark off a Pomodoro (checkmark) on a piece of paper.
Step 4: Enjoy a five-minute break! Use the washroom, fill your water glass, or if you are too focused, drink some water, and rest your eyes from the screen!
Step 5: After four checkmarks take a more extended, more restorative break of 15-30 minutes.
STEP 6: Once your more extended break is over, start the cycle all over until your workday is complete.
You Are What You Eat
Many people have a tendency to eat more than our body needs when we are stressed, and let’s make it clear that most of us aren’t reaching for that fresh apple. And surprise, surprise, this food we are consuming isn’t helping. It’s a vicious cycle.
Many professionals have found that eating a quick but healthy breakfast while meal prepping lunch is the perfect solution. But, if you feel a little timid about meal prepping? Don’t be! Here are some of the perks about the prep!
You save time, honestly! If you start your week off with meal prepping, you won’t be wasting time trying to figure out what to cook or whether you should order takeout. And if you had a tiring and long day, guess what, your dinner is ready.
Let your wallet gain weight, not you. It feels great to eat healthily, but if you are going out to grab food, it, unfortunately, is more money than a greasy cheeseburger. But meal prepping saves money because you can buy ingredients in bulk, freeze extra food for later, and, most importantly, spend less money eating out.
Make correct portion sizes! As much as it looks delicious, we all know that restaurants tend to give double to triple a standard portion size leading to consuming more than our daily suggested calorie intake to maintain a healthy diet. When you prepare your own food, you’re able to control your portions. Because of this, meal prepping has become the new go-to routine for reaching your weight goals.
Oh, and employers! You can also promote healthy eating when stocking your kitchen or vending machines with healthy options, so your employees reach for a banana, not a bag of chips.
Unplug & Recharge
Over the past year and everything going on globally, we have been forced to shift in many ways. Hanging out with our friends meant staring at our screen that much longer. Keeping up with current events and safety, we are left absorbing so much negativity. There’s no possible way for that not to affect our physical wellness in the long run.
Once again, I am bringing up our superpowers, serotonin and dopamine and the rest of the natural and extraordinary chemicals.
So, take moments in the day, whether it’s first thing in the morning or right before bed, if you can fit in both, even better. Hide your phone, read an actual book, meditate in the morning, or start a new hobby. This enables you to prioritize, manage, and make you a more overall happy person in life and at work. Balance is key.
Meditation is vital in managing your breathing and mental, physical wellness. Even small sessions of taking deep breaths for 30 seconds can be a simple change, leading to better productivity. Practicing mindfulness is associated with several overall well-being forms, including reduced stress, enhanced connections, and stronger focus.
After this pandemic, we have genuinely appreciated more than ever the benefits of seeing our friends and family after not being able to see them for so long. Seeing people that we care about is essential to our mental and physical wellness. And if you are lucky, some of these people might be your coworkers also.
A critical factor for improved mental well-being and psychological health is spending time with others. Go for a walk with a colleague during your lunch break, start the day with a yoga class that inspires you, or finish the day off with boot camp and friends. It’ll all help to boost positive interactions and stop the build-up of stress. It helps reboot their system, and the friendly competition strengthens coworker relationships along the way.
Providing an opportunity for colleagues to connect during or outside of a formal work environment fosters healthy personal and professional relationships.
So when it comes down to it, health is wealth.
There are many small habits you can add to your day and your company. Implementing new positive practices into your workday will soon leave no room for any negativity. And one thing I can suggest, start small. Start with meal prepping your breakfasts only if you find you aren’t a morning person. Try a quick breathing exercise at your work to combat stress.
Nothing grows instantly, and that definitely applies to people and positive changes. Water yourself slowly, and you will flourish before you know it.
It’s that time to sign off, and I hope you come back next week for our next blog to help you upgrade you build and grow your online presence.