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Ways To Improve Mental Health At Work & Stay Healthy

03 Sep 2018

A young man with a mobile phone on the stairs in a modern office learning how to improve his mental health at work

Ways To Improve Mental Health In The Workplace

We know that Kiwis lead busy lives, but even when you’re a workaholic and find yourself stuck in the office all day, your health still needs to be a priority.

So here are some tips to make sure your job doesn’t compromise living an active and healthy life:

Plan some distance

According to last year’s New Zealand Household Travel Survey, on an average day 81% of people don’t manage to go for a walk of even 100 metres. For most people, it should only take just over 70 seconds to walk this distance.

We know that every step counts, so get some extra steps in by planning some distance to and from work. Try walking or cycling, and if that’s not possible, why not get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way, or park your car a bit further away than you usually do.

Once you’re at work, simple things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking instead of driving or catching a cab to nearby meetings can add a few more steps to your day.

Man walking

Change your environment

A good way to make being active part of your daily schedule is by changing your environment.

Many office workers spend a lot of the day at their desk, with everything in arms reach. Try a standing desk, or swap your chair for a stool for part of the day to focus on your posture and core. You could even store your belongings on a high shelf to encourage your body to stretch and move.

If you are too focused on your work and forget to move around, smartwatches like the Fitbit Versa are great for reminding you when you haven’t taken enough steps in the last hour, or you can set reminders on your phone.

Prep your meals and snacks

Although it’s convenient, buying lunch every day isn’t really the best choice for your health - not to mention, hard on the bank balance. Preparing your lunches for the week ahead of time, will mean you’re less likely to grab a burger from the nearest fast food chain, and you’ll know exactly what is going into your food as well.

The same goes for your afternoon snacks – make sure you have a healthy selection within reach such as nuts or fruit, and keep the chips away!

Relax, take your time

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Deadlines, meetings and high expectations can really take a toll on your stress levels, which can in turn affect your sleep and eating patterns.

No matter how busy you are during the day, make sure you take some time for yourself to relax and allow yourself to think clearly. Try some deep breathing to calm your mind – the Fitbit Versa has some breathing tutorials that you can follow if you need guidance.

Do it together

It can be difficult being the only person focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially if junk food and wine are afternoon staples around the office.

Encourage your colleagues to get on board - plan a healthy shared lunch, have a walking meeting instead of staying in the boardroom, or challenge each other to stay away from junk food for a week.

Important things to know

Information correct as at September 2018