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Posts Tagged ‘Stress management’

You may have heard of workplace wellness programs and all of the perks that companies offer their employees to help them stay healthy and present. But maybe, for one reason or another, you’ve never really explored what your company has. Even though employee health is good for your company, the focus is YOU so why not take advantage of it all? Here are three benefits you won’t want to miss out on.

Youthful energy: The carefree spirits and good health associated with young adults can be yours too when you take advantage of all the benefits your wellness program has to offer! These programs typically include benefits that are tailored towards helping you to greater physical health — whether that is giving you free fitness classes, getting you a standing desk, or encouraging noontime walks. Being more active through these activities reduces your risk of a whole sleuth of preventable diseases, like obesity and heart disease! These little fitness-y breaks also help you have higher energy levels, a better mood, and less muscle stress. Really, who can say they wouldn’t like to be more healthy?

Organized fun: That being said, sometimes becoming more healthy is hard. Whether it’s to lose that holiday weight or swim a mile, having others support you as you strive towards your goals increases your likelihood of achieving them. Your coworker might be trying to accomplish the same goal, so you can train together and share tips!

Employee health and wellness programs also help you have a greater sense of community at work through team-bonding (or competitive) activities. Think a friendly baseball game with your coworkers vs employees from a different department, a golf outing with the CEOs, or a whole-company charity walk. It’s always fun to make more friends at work, especially through interesting wellness activities.

Unused cash: Even if you’re generally healthy, it would be silly to not use resources already given to you at free or very discounted rates – and you definitely don’t want to spend money on something that you could get for free. My dad has worked at his company for around 10 years and just found out a year ago that he’s been getting a free gym membership with his employment this whole time 😛 .

Besides saving money through free fitness passes, you might be able to save cash in other ways. At some companies, joining a wellness program will make your health insurance premium less expensive or give you free health services. Ask your company to see what you get!

Employees nowadays often spend their 8-hour days sitting slumped at their desk staring at a computer screen, but you don’t have to be one of those people if you partake in some wellness on the job. A healthier you is a happier you and maybe a more productive, likely-to-be promoted you!

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You may have heard of workplace wellness programs and all of the perks that companies offer their employees to help them stay healthy and present. But maybe, for one reason or another, you’ve never really explored what your company has. Even though employee health is good for your company, the focus is YOU so why not take advantage of it all? Here are three benefits you won’t want to miss out on.

Youthful energyThe carefree spirits and good health associated with young adults can be yours too when you take advantage of all the benefits your wellness program has to offer! These programs typically include benefits that are tailored towards helping you to greater physical health — whether that is giving you free fitness classes, getting you a standing desk, or encouraging noontime walks. Being more active through these activities reduces your risk of a whole sleuth of preventable diseases, like…

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Prolonged sitting is linked to a long list of health issues, including lower-back pain and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Here are seven tips for increasing physical activity in the office.

Contact Energy in Motion to learn how workplace group fitness classes can save time and money. Learn why employees love the convenience of our onsite exercise programs and contact Tiffiny at Energy in Motion to learn how you can bring fitness classes to your workplace. #einmotion

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Many people establish an exercise routine to get into better physical shape. Beyond appearances, though, exercise benefits the mind and body in myriad ways you can’t see in the mirror (or in a selfie). Twenty minutes per day is all you need to reap these benefits of exercise!

Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion

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The warmth of the summer months beckon us to spend time with family and friends outdoors and away from work to enjoy these precious days of sunshine. However, there are challenges to maintaining our mental well-being when these days come. I would like to share with you some facts about working in the summertime, and how you can help your staff feel their best.

Spreading the hours around

A study noted in the Huffington Post found that 26 per cent are not using paid vacation days provided by their employer. The majority of those said it was because they felt they had too much work to do and taking time away would leave them behind in their work. Others are saving their vacation days for emergencies, and still others claimed to not want a vacation. By encouraging staff to take time away, even for a staycation, the benefits in creativity can be reaped when returning with a fresh view and feeling more relaxed. Time away also decreases burnout and subsequently can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Covering for others

According to CMHA Ontario, the summer months of vacation time can be a cause of stress for those filling in for others in their absence. Whether it is on the assembly line or in an office, taking on the job of another, often one that they may have little experience doing, can make those employees feel anxious and stressed. When personal life stressors occur during this time, the pressure at work can seem overwhelming. To make vacations work for everyone, discuss with everyone the upcoming workload so you can plan deadlines around vacation dates. Knowing who is on vacation and when will also help you plan your projects. Ensure staff that is covering for others are clearly aware of new tasks and responsibilities, and check in to see how manageable the workload is while other staff is away.

Seasonal Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder typically affects some in the winter months with shorter and colder days, but there are some individuals who are affected by depression in the summertime. Increased humidity is unbearable for some, who may stay in their air-conditioned home to avoid the heat, and are likely less active as a result. When it’s too hot to cook, many choose to eat out or order in and poor food choices are often made. Changes in routine and schedules can bring on feelings of depression, such as having bored school children or university students now at home. Financial strain with camp and entertainment costs is increased, as well as the costs of going on a destination vacation. Wearing shorts or bathing suits can increase feelings of poor body image, and may inhibit some from joining friends at the beach or poolside. Some signs of summer depression to look for in your staff could include difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, and feelings of anxiety. One way to stave off symptoms of depression is to maintain physical fitness, so encourage employees to use their employee discount at the air-conditioned gym, even for the summer months. Another way to maintain mental wellness is to stay connected, so hosting a BBQ for staff to enjoy each other’s company outside of the workplace and engage with each other in a social environment helps build camaraderie, minimize isolation and enhance work relationships.

I hope you take the time to enjoy your summer, with your co-workers, family and friends!

via Keeping Your Cool in the Workplace this Summer — Charles Benayon

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Get Out of Your Slump: Good Posture Tips to Relieve Pain and StressDo you have a demanding boss or difficult co-workers? Stacks of work to get done and not enough time? Everyone encounters job stress sooner or later — but that doesn’t make it easier. There are many aspects of your work environment that you have no control over — but you can take action to manage stress so that work doesn’t take a toll on your well-being.

Stress Matters

Workplace stress has been linked to serious health problems — including heart attack. Your body releases greater amounts of the hormone cortisol in response to stress — stimulating an increased appetite for high-fat, high-sugar foods, and increasing fat storage in the abdomen. A study of workers coping with corporate restructuring and layoffs revealed that chronic job stress led to weight gain. Not surprisingly, consumption of high-fat, high-calorie vending machine snacks went way up during the most stressful periods. Research also shows that intense job stress is an independent risk factor for high blood pressure at work, home, and even while sleeping.

Work Mindfully

Mindfulness is a way of zeroing in on the here and now instead of ruminating over the past, mulling over the future, or doing several things at once. Give your full attention to the task at hand, whether it’s a call, a meeting, or a project. Scrolling through your messages while on a phone conference may feel productive — but in the long run, multitasking will only add to your stress and drain your energy.

Be Nice

Get to know your co-workers by asking about their weekends, inviting their opinions, and eating lunch together. Collegial co-worker relationships make the workplace more pleasant for everyone —and studies even show that a positive outlook is contagious. Offer genuine compliments. Smile frequently — it’ll boost your mood and encourage those around you to lighten up.

Communicate Well

Miscommunication is the root of many workplace conflicts. Clarify details and expectations for every job task. Check for understanding if you’re the one dishing out assignments.

Annoying co-workers are best dealt with immediately and directly — or the behavior may get worse. If your co-worker distracts you with loud, lengthy personal calls, talk with her privately instead of just getting frustrated. If it continues, speak with your manager.

Shake It Off

You can let yourself get wound up and upset about things that happen at work — or you can respond differently. Instead of stewing about a project that was dumped on you, could you view it as an opportunity to showcase your skills, talent, and teamwork — or speak with your supervisor? Instead of letting one grumpy customer get you down, can you focus on the 50 grateful customers you helped today? Take a few full, deep breaths to clear your mind and proceed down a more positive path.

Practice Smart Self-Care

Regular exercise and good nutrition — along with time for fun and relaxation —boosts your ability to cope with stress. And when you’re well-rested, stressors are more manageable. Consider taking a walk at break time, or meeting a friend for lunch. Learn relaxation breathing and stretching exercises to do at your desk. Choose high-energy, nutritious foods for meals and snacks. Cultivate a healthy sense of humor; look for the laughable moments in everyday life at work.

Get Help

If your best efforts don’t reduce your stress and talking with your manager doesn’t help, seek advice from your human resources department or employee relations representative. Some employers offer employee assistance programs (EAP) that provide confidential, 24/7 phone consultation with professional counselors for personal matters and workplace issues. If your employer offers this benefit, don’t hesitate to use it.

Make a Change

Life is too short to spend it in a toxic workplace — and living with chronic stress isn’t a long-term solution. No job is stress-free, but if your current job isn’t a good match for your interests, talents, and goals, create a plan to move on. Paint a realistic picture of your dream job by talking with others in your desired line of work before you make the leap.

Additional Resources
The American Institute of Stress

UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

References:

Clays, Els Leynen, Francoise De Bacquer, Dirk Kornitzer, Marcel Kittel, France Karasek, Robert PhD; De Backer, Guy, High job strain and ambulatory blood pressure in middle-aged men and women from the Belgian job stress study, JOEM April 2007, Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp.360-367. Abstract.http://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2007/04000/High_Job_Strain_and_Ambulatory_Blood_Pressure_in.5.aspx

Fowler J, Christaki, J, Dynamic spread of happiness in al arge social network, BMJ 2008; 337(2338), posted 12/16/2008, retrieved May 18, 2008 from: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/584834

Maglione-Garves, C, Kravitz, L, Schneider, S, Cortisol connection: tips on managing stress and weight, retrieved May 18, 2010 from: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/stresscortisol.html

Nauert, R, Workplace stress linked to obesity, retrieved on May 18, 2010 from: http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/03/25/workplace-stress-linked-to-obesity/12382.html

Fernandez, I, Su, H, Winter, P, Liang, H, Association of workplace chronic and acute stressors with employee weight status: data from worksites in turmoil, JOEM, Jan 2010, v.52, Issue 1S, pp. S34-S41.Abstract. http://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2010/01001/Association_of_Workplace_Chronic_and_Acute.7.aspx

Article: https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy_living_fit_facts_content.aspx?itemid=3053

Copyright© 2015 The American Council on Exercise.

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EIM Yoga ClassWe all know how illness and injury costs your company time, energy, and a lot of money. So naturally business owners and managers want to incorporate healthy living and activities to ensure employee health and happiness, which brings about subsequent increased productivity. There are several steps towards promoting well-being and healthy lifestyles that you can take to move your company and employees forward:

  • Offer on-site physical fitness or exercise facilities and/or activities. Having a gym or providing fitness classes gets your employees taking better care of themselves right away. Exercising on-site is convenient and eliminates excuses for people not to be physically fit. They also associate exercise with fun, friendship and camaraderie which not only improves their health, but also reflects stronger relationships during the work day.
  • Provide courses and seminars that are educational in nature. From healthy cooking and portion sizes to types of exercise and goal setting, seminars can help boost employee knowledge. Increased motivation and starting a healthy lifestyle discussions are other natural consequences which can prove tremendously important in developing a community of support.
  • Provide stretch breaks for employees. Stretch breaks are important and contribute to mental health and stability which have a direct impact on physical health and immune support. When employees have to work too long without a break, the mental toll it can take may result in burnout, turnover, unhappiness, and job dissatisfaction.
  • Allow for sick days and then permit your employees to use theirs without any guilt! When an employee comes to work sick, every other employee is at risk of developing the illness and most will get sick at about the same time, putting you as the employer in quite a bind. Some people are blessed with strong immune systems and will use few if any days. Others may be more likely to fall ill frequently and will feel even more obligated to force themselves into work; this not only puts others at risk but also lessens the employee’s capacity to recover and get back to work full-time.
  • Limit stress in the workplace…as much as possible. Obviously, most work days and places are stressful. From an ER nurse to the social worker to the sales clerk dealing with ill-tempered customers all day, the work day takes its toll. Increased blood pressure, sleeplessness, obesity, poor immune function, etc all result from too much stress and too little stress relief. Try to incorporate some team-building activities, potluck lunches, the occasional random afternoon off, and you’ll see results.

Work is hard enough – people need employers that are there for them as well as the customers or clients. Even the smallest companies can incorporate some of these changes and begin the process. Promoting a healthy lifestyle at work, where people spend the vast majority of their waking hours, is an absolute must.

Contact Energy in Motion to find out how you can improve the health and well-being at you company.

Tiffiny Marinelli, MS, CWPC

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At its very core, yoga is about connecting the mind and body. You can “do” yoga without any equipment at all. Even sitting and breathing mindfully as you quiet the mind is a form of yoga. If you are new to yoga here is a great place to start! Try these basic yoga poses to get stronger and more flexible.

Yoga infographic

Yoga infographic

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