5 Simple Shortcuts to Wellness in the Workplace
For many, the workplace is a home away from home. For that reason, it’s important to nurture our health and wellbeing during working hours. Here’s 5 easy steps you can take to uplift your work atmosphere and inspire a happier office!
1. Drink Tea, Not Coffee
There are several reasons to choose tea over coffee, but we’ll start with the most obvious one: caffeine. According to nutritionist Cynthia Sass, blends such as a green tea or black tea contain lower amounts of caffeine than coffee, so you won’t get the jitters, nod off or crash out. The rush from tea last longer and ends with a softer landing.
Tea also acts are a worthy replacement for your morning pick me up. The beverage contains the amino acid L-Theanine which, according to research from Oxford University, increases alertness and aids productivity. What’s more, tea contains more antioxidants than coffee, which reduce inflammation, boost immunity and leave us feeling and looking more radiant!
Another thing is variety. If you want to flavour your coffee, you’ll probably have to beef it up with cream and sugar – not ideal with a full work day ahead. With tea, you get a world of flavors with the simple addition of water!
2. Get Outside
The benefits of fresh air on our mental and physical health are so widely accepted as to seem a total no-brainer. Yet often in our busy lives we neglect the power of the outdoors.
According to Dr. Anthony Wong from the Orange Coast Medical Center in California, fresh air intake, even for just an hour a day, increases the oxygen levels in our blood stream. This lowers blood pressure and equips our immune system to fight off viruses and bad bacteria. It also increases the production of serotonin, a chemical essential for feelings of happiness.
3. Move Around
According to sport scientist Jack Groppel, frequent movement is important contributor to wellness in the workplace. You’ve probably heard about the dangers of sitting, so we won’t go into it here. What you may not know is how easy it is to incorporate movement into your workday. Regular walks, desk stretches, even fidgeting with a stress ball or tapping your leg – brief surges of movement energize you, increasing your engagement and efficiency.
So why not suggest a walking meeting? Or spend 20 minutes working on your feet?
Instead of emailing your colleague at the other end of the room, walk over and deliver the news in person. These things may seem small and inconsequential, but little things build up and bring massive benefits to our mental and physical wellbeing.
4. Take Some Downtime
Incredible as our brains are, they lack the capacity to retain focus over long periods of time. Attempts to overstretch the mind can eventually lead to chronic stress and burnout. So don’t be ashamed to take 5 to relax now and again, your brain will thank you.
According to Alejandro Llera, psychology professor at the University of Illinois, frequent interruptions actually refresh the mind, meaning that it can stay on task and remain productive throughout the day. Moreover, intervals of day-dreaming allow our brains to oil their gears and can even boost creativity.
So, remember, it’s not slacking if it makes you more productive, creative and efficient!
5. Keep Healthy Snacks At Hand
Last of all, it’s no secret that the food you eat effects your physical and mental performance. In a growing culture of grazers, what we chow down on between meals can either make or break our workflow. No matter how tempting, you should avoid loading your gut with soda, candy and donuts. These foods only kill your concentration and send you crashing quicker than you can say ‘let’s get lunch’. Luckily though, there’s a variety of office snacks, both healthy and delicious, to tide you over until your next meal.
For a winning combination of fats and protein, eat almonds, cashews, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Grab a spoonful of cashew or peanut butter on your tea break. Need some energy? Break off a generous chunk of dark chocolate. Follow it with some dried fruit for a wholesome dose of natural sugar!
A balance of healthy proteins, fibres and fats stabilises your blood sugar and keeps your energy levels up, leading to a more efficient and productive workday. What’s more, healthy food makes us feel good, leading to happier offices!