The start of a New Year is always a time that we reassess our health and wellbeing and think about positive changes we could make. This usually includes things like joining a gym, cutting down on booze or starting a new hobby.
Apart from planning a career change, New Year’s resolutions often don’t take our jobs into consideration. But considering we spend so much of our time at work, ensuring we look after our physical and mental health in the workplace is key to leading happier, healthier lives in 2016.
With that in mind, here are some ideas for simple resolutions that will be easy to implement and measure:
- Eat lunch away from your desk
Taking a break from your desk will help clear your mind and reduce stress. Whether this is leaving the office for a walk, or simply eating lunch in another room, taking some time away from work during the day can be very beneficial to your mental health in the long run.
- Switch off at the end of the work day
In order to get the right work/life balance, it’s important to not take work home with you. Turn off emails on your phone so that you’re not tempted to check and reply to them out of office hours. If you ever do have to take work home with you, make sure you complete it in a different area of your home so that your personal space for relaxing isn’t constantly associated with work. You can read more about getting a good work/life balance in our blog here.
- Get out of the office at least once a day
Even if it’s just for five minutes, getting outside for some fresh air and taking a brief walk can make a world of difference. Being cooped up inside all day isn’t good for our mental or physical health, and getting outside allows us to take a breather, both figuratively and literally.
- Take all your holiday allowance for the year
A recent YouGov survey commissioned by Wolters Kluwer found that a third of British workers do not take their full holiday entitlement. Not taking your holiday allowance can lead to increased stress, reduced motivation and productivity, and an increase in the sick leave you find yourself taking.
- Cycle or walk to or from work
An easy way to fit more activity into your work day is to fit some exercise into your morning or evening commute. This doesn’t need to be as big of a commitment as it may sound – it could simply mean getting off the train or bus a few stops early and walking from there, or walking in one way and getting a lift or on public transport on the way home.
If you have been off work for four weeks or more, you can ask your employer or GP to refer you to Fit for Work. If you’re looking for advice on work-related health, you can visit the Fit for Work advice hub or call the advice line on 0800 032 6235.