Happiness In the Workplace: Part 1
Being happy improves every aspect of life. Relationships – with yourself and others – your health and your career are all improved when you’re happy. It’s especially important in the workplace. In fact, economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness leads to a 12% spike in productivity at work. So when Lisa DiMonte, CEO of Planet Depos, sent me the Huffington Post article 10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science, it inspired me to put a twist on the Huffington Post article. Here is Part 1 of Happiness in the Workplace. For some of us, this may not be a simple task, but it’s imperative in our quest for happiness. Exercise more!
The average office worker sits for about 10 hours a day. Between sitting at work answering emails and phone calls, to watching TV and surfing the web after work, it’s easy to see how quickly this 10-hour mark sneaks up on you. If you add in your commute time, it’s even more time sitting! With so much inactivity, even a 30 to 60 minute workout can’t offset the consequences. Prolonged sitting can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, muscle and joint issues, and depression. According to one study, office workers should stand and move around for at least two hours for every eight hours at work. This may seem difficult, but every movement counts!
- Walk over to a coworker instead of sending an email
- Park your car farther away from the building
- Stand at your desk for a few minutes at a time
- Take a longer route around the office
- Walk on your lunch break
If you can, fit in some exercise before or after work. Exercising releases proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier. It also helps eliminate stress by subjecting you to low levels of stress, which in turn helps your body handle difficult situations. As a general goal, aim for 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This doesn’t mean you have to pay a monthly gym fee to run on a treadmill. Take a long walk. Play a round of tennis. Try a yoga class. I recommend downloading the free app Sworkit. With or without a gym, this app gets you moving through strength, cardio, yoga and stretching. One study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that even without any visible improvements in their figure, people felt better about their bodies after just a few workouts. This means more happiness!
With busy schedules and long hours at the office, it can be difficult to keep up with a healthy exercise routine. However you can, make time to exercise! Here at Planet Depos, we get active through some friendly competition. Each employee tracks their steps through a fitness tracker and whoever logs the most steps wins a prize! It’s a fun and exciting way to get employees moving.
Be on the lookout for my next blog, Happiness In the Workplace: Part 2. My favorite activity… Sleeping!