Your environment is your space…it is your body, and the settings in which you live, work, and play. Your body probably started out on an even playing field 25 or more years ago. And, your home and work settings have influenced your body’s ability to adapt – to thrive and survive today and forever. Think about where you live, work and play, and think about the sources of stress that present on an almost daily basis and influence your ability to be well and to stay well.
Let’s begin with choice! The choices that you make, about what you put into your body and that with which you surround yourself, impact your outcomes – how well you feel, how productive you are, and how good you look. Are the choices that you are making healthy, or will they impair function? For example, is a can of soda on your desktop – eager to turn your body into an acidic environment that will slow you down, swell you up, and put you to sleep? I hope not!
The work-life connection
A crisis exists today. Millions of people are unwell, suffering from the stresses that are part of modern living: lack of sleep, poor nutrition (and obesity), exposure to dangerous pollutants, no exercise, and time pressures. And people — millions of people — are looking for solutions.
Workplace wellness programs are beginning to earn their place among necessities within the environment. Model programs for disease management are decreasing days lost from work, enhancing lifestyle, and increasing performance. As workweeks are expanding and stress levels are rising, more hours are spent at the workplace, and health takes a toll.
One of the greatest sources of stress for workers, regardless of professional role, is work-related. We all have the same requisite number of hours in a day – only 24. And yet, we try to extend those hours and make them equal 36 or more. It is virtually impossible, and our productivity demonstrates our failure to adhere to the ‘work day’ as a somewhat normal work day.
A workplace is only as good as how it treats its workers. Today’s employers are constantly seeking ways to assist their workers in managing their job responsibilities and their personal responsibilities and needs. Strategies for work/life balance help create supportive, healthy work environments; strengthen employee commitment and loyalty; and result in more productive workplaces and improved customer satisfaction.
As professionals, we have expectations from our work environment, from those with whom we work, and our future. Oprah Winfrey suggests that, “right now you are one choice away from a new beginning—one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human being you can be.”
If your path is paved with good intentions, but your work is unrewarding and your time is not your own, negotiate. Think things over and make a change. Negotiate for change in the workplace; work with your employer to improve the environment, your outcomes, and the company’s success.
As workweeks are expanding and stress levels are rising, more hours are spent at the workplace, and health takes a toll. Initiatives aimed at producing a healthy workforce, enhancing recruitment and retention, decreasing overall healthcare costs, and enhancing productivity and bottom line are evolving. Workplace Wellness Programs provide the structure, encouragement, incentives and ongoing support that many individuals need in order to make lifestyle changes. Embark on the journey to workplace wellness…and begin by treating your staff well!
It’s your choice! It’s your business! It’s your future! Make it a healthy one…