06 JAN, 2016

Five Workplace Wellness Resolutions Everyone Should Make for 2016

It’s the first week of 2016 and if you’re like many people, you have been toying with the idea of dusting off your running shoes, digging that gym membership card out of the depths of your purse or backpack, and shaving off some pounds. We all know how well that goes for most people, no matter how good the intention is.

In lieu of getting a killer six-pack by the summer, there are some small, more realistic goals you can work towards that will improve your overall health and wellbeing. In addition to looking and feeling better, focusing on workplace wellness can help you to be more productive and engaged in your job.

Below are five resolutions you can make in your work life to improve the wellbeing of both your mind and body:

  • Bring lunch from home at least 3 times a week. Even if you eat a relatively healthy takeout lunch, it still may contain added salt, fat, or preservatives. You’ll also be more likely to order something less healthy once you’re hungry and waiting in line, smelling the temptations. Avoid the mid-afternoon slump and that huge dent in your wallet by doing some meal prep on the weekend. Aim for three days per week to start and slowly try to work up to five.
  • Spend time away from your desk every day. The Energy Project and the Harvard Business Review recently studied the daily habits of about 20,000 U.S. managers and their teams and found that white-collar employees who step away from their desks a few times during the workday, especially at lunchtime, report feeling 40% more engaged in their work and 40% more creative than people who spend their lunch hours grinding away. If your office doesn’t have a cafeteria and you must eat at your desk, go for a post-lunch walk.
  • Get up offa that thing! (In the wise words of James Brown.) Seriously though, it’s important to make sure you’re not sitting for nearly eight hours straight. Not only does it negatively affect your posture, muscles, and even your organs, prolonged sitting also slows down your brain function. Be sure to do regular stretches to maintain good bone and joint health, and schedule regular breaks to get up and get water or just walk around a little to get your blood flowing.
  • Participate in your company’s wellness program: Nearly 80% of employers now have some sort of wellness program. Many of these programs offer rewards for things you should be doing anyway but might neglect, like getting a yearly physical or age-appropriate screening. Rewards might include reductions on your health insurance premium, gift cards, or cash rebates.
  • Quit your stressful job. If your job is a source of constant stress and anxiety, look for a new one! Constant stress can cause mental and emotional anguish, weight gain, and heart problems, among other issues. No job is worth your health, so be sure to put yourself first.

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