Given that we spend approximately one third of our lives working, it's no wonder many health issues either arise or are aggravated by the work environment. Work stress can significantly compromise health on a variety of levels, be it sleep problems, sapping energy resources, depressing mood, compromising immune function, limiting physical activity and mobility, poor eating behaviour, weight gain....all of which, over the long run, can cascade into much larger issues.
It makes sense then that forward-thinking business owners want to create happier, healthier work environments....an environment that not only breeds employee happiness, productivity, and customer satifcation, but also spills over into the home and family environment. Such business leaders are far and few between, but meet my cousin John Stix who is transforming the culture of the company he co-founded, Worldline. As this recent article highlights, Working for Happiness does run in the family!
As for what you can do as an employee in a less than ideal work environment? Be as proactive as you can in making healthful decisions:
Instead of eating sugary office snacls or low quality food options, bring in easy snacks like nuts and seeds, hummus and veggies, hardboiled eggs or plain rice cakes with almond butter.
Healthy lunches are a breeze to make if you pack your dinner leftovers from the night before and maybe throw some of that pre-washed spinach with it.
Get out and walk whenever possible. Walk to a colleague's desk instead of messaging them to discuss something, take the stairs whenever possible, walk or bike to work or if that's not possible, park further away to get some more activity in.
Remember to take time to breathe during the day and focus on relaxing and releasing any physical, emotional or mental stressors on each exhale.
Do whatever you can to make your work environment the happiest and healthiest you can. Let's hope that more companies will get on board this healthful trend and create more CHO's - Chief Happiness Officers - like John Stix.