Supporting a Healthy Work Environment
Let’s face it — we spend a lot of time at work. Keeping up with our wellness goals during the workday is critical! Think of coworkers as your teammates. Ask yourself, “How can we accomplish our wellness goals together?”
Here are a few considerations for a Healthy Work Environment:
Food — Check out Healthy IU’s nutrition page for healthy and delicious recipes, tips for eating well, and even guidelines for food at meetings. Also, be aware of others’ nutrition goals. This doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate or say “thank you” with treats in the office. You can try to offer a few healthy options along with non-healthy ones. Maybe think outside the (donut) box and try bringing in fruits, having a lunch salad bar pitch-in (everyone brings one healthy ingredient for the salad), or even brightening the break room with a non-food item (such as flowers or an old-fashioned "Thank You" note/card) instead. Get creative!
Physical Activity — Be conscious of how often you are seated. When you can, get up and fill up your water bottle, take a stroll around the office, or climb some stairs. Experts recommend that every 30 minutes, you get up and move for 30 seconds. Try these Feel-Good Workstation Workouts, or check out the Healthy IU physical activity page.
Mental — Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? We’re at our best when we have a clear mind. Take a quick movement break to refresh. Or, when you can’t get away from your desk, take a few deep breaths. Slow, deep breathing relaxes the body, calms the mind, and helps minimize high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Check out Healthy IU's mental wellbeing page.
Social — Look for healthy things that you and your coworkers can do together. If you’re going on a quick walk, grab an office buddy to join you. (He or she probably needs a walk, too!) Or even suggest a walking meeting, which capitalizes on the fact that movement actually helps us think more creatively. If you pack a lunch to help you eat healthier, try to get away from your desk and eat with a coworker. Even just looking for reasons to thank your coworkers can boost your mood and theirs — definitely a "Feel Great!" move! Check out Healthy IU's culture of wellness page.
It starts with you — No matter your role, or how big or small your department is, it’s always possible to lead by example! Recognize that the people around you are working on their own personal goals, and are doing their best — including you! Real lasting change comes in incremental steps and healthy habits, and no gesture or effort to be supportive is too small!