Work smart and stay well

Why it’s important to look after your wellbeing at work.

According to the Vocational Rehabilitation Association, reporting on the 2018 Mental Health Foundation Survey:

  • more than 40% of employees are neglecting other aspects of their life because of work, which may increase their vulnerability to mental health problems
  • when working long hours more than a quarter of employees feel depressed (27%), one third feel anxious (34%), and more than half feel irritable (58%)
  • the more hours you spend at work, the more hours outside of work you are likely to spend thinking or worrying about it
  • as a person’s weekly hours increase, so do their feelings of unhappiness
  • many more women report unhappiness than men (42% of women compared with 29% of men), which is probably a consequence of competing life roles and more pressure to ‘juggle’.

South Coast Fatigue is excited and proud to be working with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists on a pilot scheme introducing Occupational Therapy Vocational Rehabilitation clinics into GP surgeries.

Each week in the clinic we see the results of work stress on our clients’ physical and mental health.

People are struggling to stay well at work, to keep up with the pressure and demands that are being placed upon them, often staying late or taking work home with them in order to keep up. Unrealistic targets, understaffing, the pressure to work through breaks, being available via email/smartphones all constitute to poor sleep, stress, fatigue and poor cognition.

Practically this may also mean that people are too tired to enjoy leisure activities, exercise or getting outside in nature, which are all things that support general wellbeing.

A few simple changes can help you ensure you stay well and optimise your performance at work:

3 tips to help support wellbeing in the workplace:

1. Take a lunch break away from your desk and eat.

2. Every hour or so, take a moment to check in with yourself and see where you are breathing from – your upper chest, shallow breathing or from your diaphragm.

3. Move!! Bodies are designed to move and not sit slumped at a desk.  Get up, stretch, get a glass of water and walk about for a few minutes.