How physical wellbeing improves mental wellbeing

Physical Health and Metal Health hand in hand

A 2018 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) study found employers lost over 30 million working days due to absences from work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2017/18.

With this in mind, more employers are recognising the effects of investing in the physical and mental wellbeing of their staff. As well as recognising the effects, they’re also investing in the wellbeing of their employees.

While a majority of the focus is on their staff’s mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing is just as important.

In this piece, we’ll explore the importance of investing in the physical wellbeing of your employees. We’ll also highlight its connection to mental wellbeing and how the two can work hand-in-hand.

The importance of physical wellbeing

Are your employees sick often? Are there a lot of unexplained absences? When they’re at work are their energy levels low or do they have a short attention span?

If your answer to one or more of these questions is “Yes!”, then you’ll need to promote physical health and wellbeing amongst your employees.

As well as improving productivity, other benefits of promoting physical wellbeing include:

· Reduction in absences due to sickness.

· Boosts in concentration and motivation.

· Increases in energy levels.

· Growth in engagement and overall morale.

The link between physical and mental wellbeing

Just like ill mental health can have adverse effects on the physical wellbeing of an individual, unhealthy physical health can also have detrimental effects on mental health.

Physical injuries can influence how we think, how we feel and what we do. Which means thoughts and feelings can also affect our bodies and how we feel physically. A study by found depression is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

In some cases, it can even increase the risk of developing a mental health problem.

Tips for promoting physical wellbeing in the workplace

The good thing about investing in the physical health of your staff is that it doesn’t have to break the bank.

There are many cost-effective methods for promoting physical wellbeing. From encouraging employees to step away from their desks regularly to offering fresh fruits—there are many possibilities.

Consider the following tips for encouraging positive changes:

Regular breaks: As well as it being a rest period for the brain, it can also serve as one for the body. Stepping away from the desk gives employees a chance to unwind and reset their bodies. In order to prevent musculoskeletal problems, encourage employees to go on short walks or to have their lunch outside or in other allocated areas.

Snacking: It’s not uncommon for employees to snack. A lot of the time, these are unhealthy and have high levels of sugar and salt. As an alternative, many businesses are investing in healthy snacks and fruit boxes for their workforce. As well as contributing to the overall wellbeing of your staff, it also contributes to an increase in productivity.

Travel to work: As with any business, no doubt your workforce is travelling from various destinations to get to the office. To alleviate the stress of commuting and to encourage physical wellbeing, consider a cycle to work scheme. Cycling is thought of as the least stressful way to commute to work. The government introduced this scheme to inspire environmental friendliness as well as to encourage people to make better health choices. As an added incentive, you can also look to installing bike racks and showers for their comfort.

Work/life balance: Finally, creating a company culture that encourages your workers to have a healthy balance between their work and personal lives goes a long way to improving both physical and mental health. You can ensure your organisation encourages this by educating staff on the importance of a healthy balance between their work and social lives. Employees that know their organisation cares about them are more likely to be loyal and to spend longer in the company.

To wrap up

In conclusion, the undeniable link between mental and physical health is one that requires stimulation on both ends.

While counselling and other stress management efforts are required for the mental wellbeing of your staff, you should also remember their physical health



This article was written on behalf of Snacks and Co by David Price CEO of Health Assured


David Price CEO Health Assured David Price is CEO of Health Assured: the UK’s leading health and wellbeing provider. He advises employers daily on how to encourage and develop a healthy workplace, whilst outlining best practice guidance on how to combat and control workplace stress. David also speaks regularly to the media on mental health issues with his commentary profiled in The Telegraph and The Guardian, he is also a regular contributor to Financial Adviser from the Financial Times.

Standing vs sitting at work

So you might have seen this topic floating around recently: is standing at a desk better for you than sitting?

I think the article linked from the bottom of this blog to covers most pros and cons of sitting versus standing. As we all know sitting for long periods of time can have a negative impact on our health, but so can standing for a long period of time. I think finding a balance of both like everything is the way forward:
• try building movement into your day so you’re not just standing or sitting in the same position all the time, or
• think about tasks that could be done standing rather then sitting, such as phone calls, and set aside a time to do a few in a row

Whether you’re standing or sitting the most important thing is your posture; try to focus on sitting and standing up straight, and make sure your workspace is set up correctly to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries, backache, and neck strain.

So exactly how does exercise help with depression, anxiety, and stress?

How exercise helps with depression, anxiety and stress

Did you know exercise can help with depression, anxiety and stress?

As we all know mental health is a big focal point in the news at the moment and encouraging exercise can be a big key player in helping many mental health issues.

New research from the Department of Health revealed that 12% of depression cases could be prevented by 1 hour of exercise a week and you could reduce the risk of depression by 30% if you exercised 3 times a week.

Research by neurologists at Stanford Medical School showed a link between exercise and grey matter within the brain which controls stress; those who exercised more had more grey matter, therefore were able to control stress easier.

Exercise allows you to focus and break the cycle of thoughts spinning around in your head, it allows you to clear your mind and focus on your body.

Even simple exercises such as walking and some simple stretches can help relieve tension in the body and start the release of endorphins (natural pain reliever/happy hormone).

So next time you are feeling stressed or anxious at work why not try taking a few minutes and going for a walk or doing a few stretches to relieve some tension? Sometimes just taking a few minutes to yourself can break the cycle and bring you back to being focused.
Give it a go and let us know how you get on!

To learn more follow the link below:

11 easy ways to get exercise during your working day

Get fit in your lunch break

Exercise is not just good for the body it’s good for the mind as well!

When you exercise the body releases chemicals called endorphins; endorphins trigger positive feelings within the body and leave us feeling more energised. Why not try adding one of these easy 11 ways to exercise into your working day and get those endorphins working for you.

1. Cycle or walk part – if not all – of your journey to work. Read more about cycling for beginners.
2. Get off a bus or tube stop before your destination.
3. If you need to drive, try to park further away from your office and walk the rest of the way.
4. Discuss project ideas with a colleague while taking a walk.
5. Stand while talking on the telephone.
6. Walk over to someone’s desk at work rather than calling them on the phone or sending an email.
7. Take the stairs instead of the lift, or get out of the lift a few floors early and use the stairs.
8. Walk up escalators or travelators rather than standing still.
9. Go for a walk during your lunch break – use a pedometer to keep track of how many steps you take.
10. Try to find different walks and alternate between them during the week. You could also try using the free Active 10 app to help you increase your walking activity.
11. Exercise before or after work, or during your lunch break. Your office may have a gym, or you may have access to a nearby swimming pool or squash courts.

For more information head over to NHS Live Well.