Many of us have a busy work schedule. Add our family responsibilities and you can feel like you’re swimming against the tide. If the global pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we all need to take good care of our bodies and minds.Today let’s explore some simple, manageable steps you can take to boost your health at work.
Reducing the risk of workplace injuries and accidents
Statistics show that private employers reported over 2.8 million workplace injuries in the US in 2019. While employers have a responsibility to comply with guidelines safe workplace, it’s also essential for workers to be aware of hazards and risk factors. Even jobs that appear to be relatively safe, for example, office jobs, can carry risks. Back pain is one of the most common work-related ailments, and slips and trips are a common cause of broken bones, dislocations and strains and sprains. If you spend hours each day sitting at a desk on a computer, make sure your work area is set up ergonomically to prevent repetitive motion injury to your body. Problems like carpal tunnel can be prevented by proper chair and desk placement. Working from home? Don’t spend the day sitting on the couch or bed with a laptop. Use a good chair with proper back support or use a standing computer desk. Many physicians consider sitting the new “smoking”. Try to get up periodically or do simple exercises from your chair.
Follow employer safety instructions, take advantage of safety equipment and seek advice if you start to develop symptoms. See your boss if you have concerns about your health or safety. Report accidents or pains to your superior promptly and complete incident reports as needed. If they are unwilling to listen, or you feel that you are at risk as a result of their negligence, call a personal injury attorney today. Every employer has a duty to adhere to the relevant industry rules and regulations. Measures such as regular risk assessments, providing training and equipment and using warning signs to alert people to hazards and dangers can all help to create safer workplaces.
Protecting your mental health
Many of us automatically think about our bodies when the topic of health crops up in conversation. The truth is that mental health is equally important. Forbes has an excellent article, 12 Simple Steps to Prevent Burnout. Working long hours, tackling difficult jobs and trying to balance work with looking after children, paying bills or caring for older relatives, for example, can be incredibly challenging. If you are prone to stress or you find it hard to switch off after work, it’s beneficial to take steps to protect your mental health. Try to manage your time, take time out to relax or enjoy interests and hobbies, exercise frequently and get into a routine that enables you to get enough rest. Ideally, adults should get around 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Talking can also help you express emotions and thoughts. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family, there are helplines you can call or you could see a therapist. See Tips To Help You Sleep Better for more ideas.
Eating well and exercising
When you’re running from one meeting to another, you’re stuck at your desk at home for hours on end or you’re busy serving customers or treating patients, it can be tough to find time to eat well and exercise. Time management is key when it comes to striking a healthy balance. If you usually grab lunch on the go, start making a nutritious meal the evening before and plan a menu in advance so that you can rustle up a quick, easy, healthy dinner when you get home. I also found that making a large basic salad of lettuce, celery, and carrots on Sunday helped me have a lunch salad that week. Each morning I put some of the basic salad in a lunch container and added a few tomatoes and cucumber slices. If I had left over cut up cooked chicken or avocado, I put that ton top. I had a small container for salad dressing and included whole grain crackers. Each day the salad and crackers with the addition of a small apple was my lunch. Plan ahead. Sandwiches also work well. If you don’t have the time to make a healthy lunch, find cafes and restaurants close to work that offer healthy options. At one downtown job, my favorite restaurant was a very popular place with great green and fruit salads. Many of us would get an order for a group, call it in, and go pickup the fantastic food. I still think of their huge fruit salad fondly.
Schedule exercise classes or block out time in your daily routine to go for a long walk, a run, a bike ride or play sports. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. At one job, I took a small walk everyday at lunch time. You can also work out at home by using gym equipment, streaming workouts online or joining virtual classes or training sessions. See Shape’s great article, 5 Ways To Find Time For A Workout On A Busy Schedule for more ideas.
We spend most of our time at work so it’s crucial to understand the importance of looking after yourself, even when life gets hectic. Take steps to lower the risk of accidents and common work-related illnesses, protect your mental health and ensure you eat well and lead an active lifestyle.
This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own. Photos via Pexels.
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