5 tips for staying healthy at work

Almost half of employees feel their work is having a negative impact on their health, research has found. This costs employers £billions in loss of productivity every year. So how can employees stay healthy at work?

British Heart Foundation (BHF) research has found that 41% of employees feel that work-related stress is having a negative impact on their health. As many as 22% say it's causing them to drink more and 9% to smoke more.

The research, conducted as part of the charity's Heart Week, warns that combined with prolonged periods of inactivity whilst at work, this could have a disastrous effect on employees' health, and the company's bottom line.

Businesses lose £8bn annually to productivity reduction as a result of heart and circulatory conditions, but minimising this loss could be as simple as encouraging some occupational health techniques.

Nuffield Health Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, Simon Cabot, says: "Our bodies are designed to move and, as a result of our sedentary lifestyle, a lack of movement is often the common cause for a variety of health ailments.

"Minor changes to your day can help to protect against a variety of health issues."

The following top tips from Simon could help employees reduce stress, maintain a healthy posture and improve circulation:

  1. Try to follow the 55/5 rule - for every hour that you sit at your desk, spend five of those minutes moving around
  2. Offer to make the tea round or head out for a walk at lunchtime rather than sitting at your desk
  3. Take the stairs instead of the lift where possible
  4.  Stand up every time you take a phone call
  5.  Regularly stretch your arms overhead rotating your body and neck each direction.

 Just 20 minutes of exercise a day could dramatically improve your health.

Last updated Monday 23 September 2019

First published on Tuesday 12 May 2015