The workplace is a very effective setting for health promotion as we spend 60% of our waking lives at work. The workplace directly influences the physical, mental, economic and social well-being of workers and in turn the health of their families, communities and society.
- Work related ill health was responsible for an estimated 22.1 million working days lost in 2010/2011 (NICE 2012)
- Over 15m days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2014
- An unhealthy workforce effects the UK’s economy due to lost productivity and increases in long term sickness
The Stafford and Surrounds Health and Wellbeing Group recognised the workplace as a priority setting for health promotion.
As part of the Stafford and Surrounds Health and Wellbeing Strategy, a booklet was developed to assist organisations access a wide range of local services to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.
Topics included in the booklet are:-
- Physical activity
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Mental wellbeing
- Healthy eating
- Health fairs
- Adult training
- The workplace wellbeing charter
- Examples of best practice
- Stop smoking support
Please download the Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace Booklet (pdf 2mb) for free.
Moreover, the Five Ways to Wellbeing developed by the New Economics Foundation can help give you some ideas on how to improve your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Evidence suggests that making small improvements to wellbeing can decrease some mental health problems and help people to lead healthier and happier lives.
1. Connect - with people around you. Feeling valued and connected with others and having meaningful relationships have been linked to increased feelings of wellbeing. Here are some tips on how to connect at work:-
- when you ask how someone is, or how their weekend was, really listen to the answer
- if you find it difficult to connect with your co-workers, ask them about their interests outside of work
- call or talk to someone instead of emailing or sending a message
- Take breaks with a colleague or eat your lunch with others
2. Be active - go for a walk/run, step outside, play a game, discover an activity you enjoy. Physical activity has been shown to be linked to better health outcomes, longevity and increased wellbeing. But if you are sitting down all day, it can feel difficult to add some exercise into your working day.
Examples of how to be active at work:-
- go for a brisk walk around the block for ten minutes during lunch or break
- take the stairs instead of the lift where possible
- walking to someone’s desk to talk to them or suggesting a walking meeting
3. Take notice - When you are working in the same space all day, it can feel like nothing changes, but in fact things do change, you just have to notice them. Be curious, catch sight of the beautiful. Becoming aware of what is happening around you and appreciating the present moment can increase your wellbeing and help you enjoy your working day.
Try the following:-
- Buy a plant for your workspace and enjoy noticing it change and grow
- Notice how your colleagues are feeling or acting. Also notice your own moods and how they affect others
- Take a different route to or from work and go somewhere you’ve never been before on your break
4. Keep Learning - can help you feel motivated, engaged and boost your self-esteem, as well as add to your skillset.
There are also plenty of other ways to learn at work:-
- Ask those who do a different job role to you to tell you about their job, they may even be able to teach you some new skills
- Research something you’ve always wanted to learn about
- Read a book
- Learn a new word and try to use it at work
5. Give - Do something nice for a friend or stranger. People who help others report higher feelings of wellbeing than those who do not. Small acts of kindness can improve your wellbeing and will also likely improve the wellbeing of the person you help. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas:-
- do someone a favour: buy them a snack, make them a cup of tea or pick up something from the shops for them
- volunteer, and encourage your colleagues to do the same
- aim to do one kind thing a day
For further information on the five ways to wellbeing please visit the Five Ways to Wellbeing website
For further information about health and wellbeing in Stafford and Surrounds please visit our partnership page
In addition the Borough Council's Economic Development Team undertakes a broad range of activities to encourage local business growth and diversity, to maximise funding opportunities to assist infrastructure development and to regenerate our market towns, villages and rural communities.