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Moving on the job – Karen Maloney

By September 28, 2023No Comments

Why Workplace Wellbeing Is So Important

Hello, I’m Karen Maloney, your go-to advocate for Health & Wellbeing. I’m a motivational speaker and a practitioner in both Reiki and Seichem. I also enjoy diving deep into the world of Strategic Intervention Coaching.

My mission? To empower you to take the reins of your life, live more consciously, and unlock your untapped potential. Today, let’s explore why wellbeing in the workplace isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity.

Vital Elements of Workplace Wellbeing

When we talk about well-being in the workplace, it’s easy to think it’s all about the physical environment. And yes, research has proven that elements like fresh air, natural light, and open spaces are crucial.

Ergonomics? Absolutely essential for avoiding those pesky backaches. And let’s not forget the magic of a positive team environment – it can turn even the most mundane tasks into a joy.

But there’s one element that often slips under the radar: movement. So, why is movement so vital in the workplace?

To learn more about creating an effective wellness strategy, check out our corporate wellness programs.

The Role of Movement in Workplace Wellbeing

Tony Robbins has the saying, ‘Motion creates emotion,’ and I genuinely believe it. It doesn’t mean bringing all your emotional baggage to the office and offloading it on all your colleagues. It refers to the fact that we create energy and unleash creativity when we move.

This awareness of movement as an intrinsic factor of creativity, productivity and efficiency translates directly into improved workflows. But like anything with power, there are two sides to the coin. Let’s explore them both in more detail below.

The Benefits of Movement in the Workplace

In this hustle-bustle world of deadlines and meetings, we often overlook the simplest form of self-care: movement. Trust me, it’s not just about dodging that afternoon slump.

Daily movement can transform not just your body but your mind and soul, too. Why don’t we explore how a little movement can make a world of difference in your workday?

  • Boosts Creativity: Ever hit a creative block? A quick walk or even a few stretches can get those creative juices flowing again.
  • Enhances Focus: Sitting for long periods can lead to mental fatigue. Short bursts of physical activity can re-energise your mind, improving focus and productivity.
  • Improves Emotional Well-being: Movement releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. A happier you is a more productive you. For more strategies on emotional well-being, consider using employee assistance programmes for wellbeing.
  • Promotes Team Bonding: Group activities like a quick office workout or walking meetings can foster team spirit and improve collaboration.
  • Reduces Stress: Physical activity is a known stress-buster. A few minutes of movement can help you return to tasks with a clearer mind and improved physical health.
  • Fights Off Health Risks: Prolonged sitting can create various health issues, from obesity to heart disease. Incorporating movement can mitigate these risks.

The Cost of Stagnation: A Wake-Up Call

How many of us are guilty of sitting at our desks for too long without a break? What happens? We can become sleepy, unmotivated, lack focus and find it difficult to engage our brain. Our minds, like our bodies, can become rigid and stuck when we don’t give them the freedom to move.

A report from the Irish Independent also highlights the toll that overworked employees can take on staff morale, motivation, and well-being –  further emphasising the need for regular movement and breaks in the workplace. Employee satisfaction should always be a priority if you want to maintain and improve your corporate health.

Want more examples of what being a sedentary worker does to your mind and body? Consider this:

  • Reduced Mental Acuity: Extended periods of sitting can lead to brain fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions.
  • Physical Discomfort: Lack of movement can result in back pain, neck strain, and other musculoskeletal issues.
  • Decreased Productivity: As your energy levels dip, so does your productivity. Tasks take longer to complete, and the quality may suffer.
  • Emotional Drain: Stagnation can lead to frustration, irritability, and even mental health ailments like mild depression over time. If you’re experiencing emotional or mental challenges, consider exploring mental health workshops for additional support strategies.
  • Impaired Creativity: A static environment can stifle creative thinking and challenging problem-solving abilities.
  • Increased Health Risks: Prolonged sitting is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
  • Social Isolation: When you’re glued to your desk, you miss out on social interactions that can boost your mood and foster team cohesion.
  • Reduced Learning: Our brains are wired to learn through movement and interaction. Stagnation can limit your opportunities for learning and growth.

So the next time you find yourself stuck in your chair, remember these costs. A little movement can boost your well-being and significantly improve your work performance.

The Myth of “Busyness” and Quality Over Quantity

We often equate “busyness” with productivity. But here’s the truth: taking short, frequent breaks to move can boost your productivity. Your brain is a muscle, and just like any other muscle, it performs best when regularly rested and recharged.

Modern society is obsessed with ‘busyness’ and always appearing busy.

People equate long hours, first-in-last-out work ethic, and all‐nighters with success, but the classic case of quality over quantity wins out. In fact, busyness can lead to mediocrity and reduced expectations.

Scheduling short breaks (even 2 minutes every hour!) is the key to success and, in turn, workplace wellbeing as you avoid burnout. The small, repetitive actions compound and make the most significant impact over time!

Small Steps, Big Impact: 10 Practical Tips for Movement at Work

Integrating more movement into your workday doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here are some simple yet highly effective strategies to get you moving.

1. Hourly Reminders

Set a reminder on your phone or computer to go off every hour. When it does, take a moment to stand up, stretch, or even do a quick set of jumping jacks. This not only breaks the monotony but also reinvigorates your body and mind.

2. Ten-Minute Walks

Utilise your lunch break for a quick 10-minute walk. It’s an excellent opportunity to escape your work environment, get fresh air, and clear your mind. Plus, it’s a simple way to get some daily exercise.

3. Standing Calls

Make it a habit to take phone calls while standing. If you can, pace around your office or workspace during the call. It keeps your muscles engaged and helps you focus better during the conversation.

4. Walk and Talk

Instead of sending an email or making a phone call, walk over to your colleague’s desk to deliver your message. It adds steps to your day and fosters better, more personal communication within the team.

5. Desk Exercises

There are plenty of simple exercises you can do right at your desk. Think leg lifts, seated leg tucks, or even desk push-ups. These mini-workouts can be done in just a few minutes and offer a quick way to get your blood flowing.

6. Stair Climbing

If your office has stairs, use them. Skip the elevator and climb stairs to get your heart rate up. It’s a small change that can significantly affect your daily activity level.

7. Stretching Routine

Incorporate a quick stretching routine into your day. Focus on tense areas, like your neck, shoulders, and back. Even a few minutes of stretching can relieve stress and improve your posture.

8. Active Meetings

Propose walking meetings for less formal discussions. It’s a fantastic way to combine productivity with physical activity. Plus, a change of scenery can spark new ideas and perspectives.

9. Dance Breaks

Yes, you read that right! Put on your favourite tune and take a two-minute dance break. It’s fun and an excellent way to shake off stress and energise your day.

10. Team Challenges

Organise a step-count challenge or a quick group workout session to encourage team involvement. The more, the merrier! It fosters a sense of community and makes the habit of moving more likely to stick. For more organised approaches to team physical activities, check out these physical activity workshops.

Conclusion: The Power of Habit in Workplace Well-being

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

So there you have it. We’ve journeyed through the landscape of workplace wellbeing, and I hope you’ve found some wisdom to take away. Remember, it’s not just about one-off actions but about creating sustainable habits that professionally and personally enrich your life.

From understanding the pivotal role of movement to debunking the myth of “busyness,” we’ve covered much ground. And let’s not forget the practical tips you can implement right now. Small steps, big impact, right?

So, as you go about your workday, I encourage you to make movement a habit. Whether taking a quick dance break or opting for a walking meeting, these small actions can compound over time to create a productive but also joyful and healthy workplace.

And hey, if you ever find yourself in a rut, just remember Jim Rohn’s words. It’s the habits we cultivate that sustain us in the long run. So why not start now?

Connect with Karen

Please find out more info from Karen by following her below.  @kazmalie

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