Understandably, our health is typically our primary concern – even if we aren’t often the best at making health-positive decisions for ourselves. Just as our habits at home can have serious impacts on our wellbeing, so too can work, and in a variety of ways.
Workers might experience job-specific hazards or general mental strife, leading to potentially avoidable physical or mental harm. But what can we do to improve our health regarding our work?
Wear Appropriate Clothing
This suggestion does not necessarily apply to every worker in the UK but is no less essential to consider for those it does apply to. There is a wide range of vocational positions that fit the bill, and that see workers put in high-risk situations or hazardous environments – from electrical engineers to power plant technicians, construction workers and beyond.
If you are in a role where your physical health and safety could potentially be put at risk by your environment you will already be familiar with wearing PPE (personal protective equipment). But it is easy to forget that PPE is more than a legal requirement for employers to provide, and that it can have real impacts on safety not just in the short term, but in the long term.
Short-term protection might be the prevention of flying debris from injuring your eye, through the wearing of safety goggles. Long-term protection is more difficult to recognise, but still key to keeping healthy; long-term exposure to particulates like brick dust on construction sites can lead to severe respiratory conditions in the far future, where your respiratory health could be preserved through wearing an N95 mask on site.
Take Regular Breaks
Health is not necessarily something that can be tended to physically. Sometimes, changes in approach to our day can make a world of difference, not only to our physical wellbeing but also to our mental wellbeing. A key example of this in practice is taking breaks at work.
The law enshrines the worker’s right to a break – albeit, a 20 minute break within six or more hours’ consecutive work each day. But businesses are often much more flexible than this and enable workers to take small breaks whenever they need to. The act of making a cup of tea could be break enough for you, so long as it is time enough for you to leave your station, stretch your legs, and get a mental break from the task at hand.
When entering a busy period at work, it can be incredibly easy to fall into simple routines with regards to food. You might find yourself more reliant on fast food at lunchtimes or on your commute, as a result of having minimal time to prep for your day. If you’re not careful, continuing an unhealthy diet can in fact increase stress levels, as well as contribute to fatigue.
Ensuring you keep to a nutrient-rich diet can keep energised, engaged and healthy at work.