Habits are interesting things. We all have them, good and bad. Some are consciously formed, others develop underneath the surface without our awareness. Either way, in any shape or form, habits guide much of who we are, what we do and the experiences we have in life.
Many would argue that habits take effort. Some habits undoubtedly do take effort. On the other hand, other habits that you don’t even know you have can operate effortlessly throughout your day. And therein lies the beauty of habits! If it takes effort, it’s not a habit yet. But, once that behaviour becomes a habit, it’s very easy to maintain…good and bad!
Is there a way to switch unhealthy habits from work to healthy habits?
Unhealthy habits from work can have a negative impact on our health and our life. Of course, no one would consciously choose to have an unhealthy habit, unless that habit is created to support some other positive outcome. This decision is the crux of how our life moves forward, either supporting us or slowly leading to our physical, chemical and emotional deterioration.
Unhealthy habits and their effects
An example of a not-so-healthy habit from work would include eating lunch at your desk.
Sometimes, due to deadlines, workload, social nature and other factors, many people will not take time away from their work to refuel and recharge in the middle of the day. This often leads to a rushed meal that is not enjoyed while emails, letters and other tasks are being done at the same time. This can effect digestion, sitting syndrome and mental health among other things including a factor for gaining weight.
Now, as this meal becomes one of many during the day, the habit becomes one of eating in a rush to get to other activities sooner and never really establishing a good routine around nutrition. Out the door in hurry at breakfast, rushing through supper to “rest” (aka watch television) and/or bring the children to their various activities and grabbing a bite here or there while finishing our To-Do lists on weekends becomes our normal routine.
Another routine established in our workplace lifestyle is one of sitting too long or repeatedly carrying out the same task without taking a break. With computer work becoming a large part of what many of us do every day, the way in which we engage in that work can determine whether or not it becomes a useful tool or a contributor to health problems.
Machine handling, tool operation, physical labour and manual material use require us to adapt our bodies to the task. Normally, especially with machines, the tool should make the work easier and in most cases it does. Unfortunately, the weakest link in that operation will most often be the human component. We can train our bodies into being able to do certain tasks, however this may narrow the parameters by which our Healthy Body knows how to do things if we don’t remind it that it can do more than just what we use it for every day.
These are all important examples of how unhealthy habits from many different work environments can affect our health.
So what do we do to fix it?
Once we can determine there are aspects of the work we engage in every day that can potentially limit us instead of support us, we can start to formulate ideas and actions to circumvent the side effects. In fact, the goal would be to create such a supportive work environment that people can actually go to work and get healthier for it rather than the current pattern of workplace related illness, disease and disability.
Information and education
Understanding the need to properly engage in a healthy lunch routinewould seem unimportant until the facts are revealed. The quality and quantity of someone’s work is directly attached to his or her nutritional and mental status. Knowing how to properly sit at a computer without causing undue strain on the Healthy Body helps efficiency and comfort levels making for a happier employee. However, how does one know the correct position or movements unless so instructed?
Empowerment and action
People can feel that their awareness can support their efforts in their career and can be fueled by what they learn regarding opportunities in their work day to improve their health rather than slowly destroy it. Having a corporate or business environment that encourages and fosters this valuable attitude and understanding in its employees nurtures these positive choices and propels the organization forward with a leading edge in wellness philosophy and procedures.
You can do it!
There is much an individual can do to tak care of themselves with respect to unhealthy habits from work. The same can be said for companies and businesses, large and small. When both come together with a similar mindset and goal, the results can be truly astounding. Creating a workplace where someone can go to get healthy while earning a Healthy Living and building a career is a much better scenario than many environments that currently exist trading health for wealth over the years.
Start small but win big
Make a list today of what changes you can make in your daily routine to support your work efforts in a positive fashion. Start with your eating routines, sitting habits, break opportunities and ability to constructively share concepts and ideas with your colleagues and superiors through effective and meaningful communication. Together, everyone can certainly achieve more!