When you talk about work/life balance, it may sound as though work is separate from life. Yet we spend about a third of our life on work, and our bodies are with us during those hours. The truth its, work and wellness go hand in hand. Work affects health, and health affects work.
How work affects wellness
In the past, sitting at a desk hunched over your work for 40+ hours a week was the mark of a good employee. Today, we’re more mindful of the negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle — and of sitting, even if we’re active. Here are some of the risks of sitting at a desk all day:
- Physical inactivity increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, or other cardiovascular problems.
- Sedentary living can increase depression or anxiety.
- A lack of physical activity has been shown to increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
- People who live a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to develop diabetes.
- People who live a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to become overweight or obese.
There are other ways that work can affect your health, even if you’re not sitting at a desk for eight hours at a time. Issues at work can also lead to stress, which can lead to a lack of sleep, which can lead to unhealthy eating habits, which can lead to more stress. It’s a downward spiral.
How wellness affects work
Healthier, happier people tend to perform better at work, which is more satisfying and rewarding. On the other hand, poor work performance due to poor health can increase stress and have a negative impact on mental health. Stress and frustration at work can lead to unhealthy behaviors, resulting in a lower quality of life.
Be mindful of the pitfalls, and strive to make healthy decisions. Here are a few simple tips for workplace wellness.
Drink plenty of water
Slurping coffee all day long might help you get your work done on time, but it’s not the best beverage for your health. Too much coffee can keep you up at night, elevate your blood pressure, and can cause dehydration. Drink water and stay hydrated.
Don’t grab fast food for breakfast and eat out of the vending machine for lunch just because it’s convenient. Pack a healthy lunch and some healthy snacks to avoid a diet of junk food.
Sitting for extended periods of time is hard on your body. If you sit at work all day, invest in a comfortable, ergonomic chair.
Enjoy your work space
Enjoying your work can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. Make sure that your work space makes you happy.
Make a point to take breaks from your work. Walking around a few minutes every hour is a good way to stay active, and it can increase productivity.
Stay fit and active
In addition to walking around at work, make a point to exercise before or after work as well. Physical activity is not only good for your physical health, but it can help improve your mood.