Workplace Wellbeing – 4 changes to instantly take control

When I was looking this morning at how to improve my wellbeing at work, almost everything I saw was aimed at employers. Nothing was for me, and how I can improve my life.

Every workplace is different, which is out of your control. You don’t have much of a say in how your workplace looks, or how it feels – these are in your employer’s control. What’s scary is that all of this affects your wellbeing within the workplace.

However, there are simple, instant changes that you can make, as an individual, to improve your own workplace wellbeing.

Well-being at its simplest level is perhaps ultimately about personal happiness - feeling good and living safely and healthily.
— New Economics Foundation

Healthy Eating

Here are 3 top eating tips to improve wellbeing that you can do today

There are so many simple health tips that can improve your wellbeing in, and out of work.

-       Don’t skip meals – Skipping meals immediately zaps your energy, making you tired and changing your mood.   

-       Eat fruit and vegetables – There has been research suggesting that those who ate more than 5 servings of fruit and vegetables at least four days per week were 20% more likely to be productive.

o   One way to get your serving of fruit without having to take 20 minutes out of your day to go to the shops is to organise a fruit box in your office.

fruit for the office

-       Eat less fatty foods during the day – Eating fatty foods has an immediate impact on brain function, with research suggesting significantly reduced cognitive abilities compared to those with a lower-fat diet.

Exercise - 150 minutes

It is well researched that you should do 150 minutes of exercise a week to stay healthy, which reduces the risk of many major illnesses.

But, did you know that exercising outside for as little as 5 minutes improves mental health? 

importance of work breaks

The University of Essex have studied the effects of ‘green exercise’, suggesting that many outdoor activities, like walking or cycling, in green locations like a park increased people’s mood and self-esteem in very short amounts of time. Therefore, taking a short walk outside during lunchtime at work is a very simple thing to do, yet will massively benefit your wellbeing.

As well as this, making sure you do exercise daily has an effect on your work.

University of Bristol studies have found that people felt they were 20% better at concentrating, dealing with stress and finishing work on time on days that they exercised, compared with days they didn’t. This shows the positive effect exercise has on the rest of your day at the office. 

Sitting at Work

We sit on average 9.3 hours every day: a massive amount which causes many long term negative health effects

For example, there has been research comparing those who sat down the most during the day against those who sat the least. They found those who sat the most more than doubled the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular events when compared to those who sat the least, and had a 49% increase in death by any cause. This shows the importance of making sure you are stood up as much as possible.

In fact, there has been research suggesting during a work day you should stand a minimum of 2 hours, with the ideal target being 4 hours. It may seem hard to find the time to achieve this to begin with, but here are some simple ways to increase standing time.

o   Set reminder to stand up/walk around every 30 minutes

o   Work at a standing desk

o   Whilst taking a phone call stand up/walk around

Declutter your workspace

tidy desk tidy mind

Whilst the general layout and design of your whole office cannot be controlled by you, you can control how your personal space looks and feels. Research says that having physical clutter in your workspace negatively impacts your abilities to focus.


So, now you can live longer with these easy steps to take control of your own wellbeing. I hope you’re reading this whilst standing, with some fruit in your hand and your mind fresh with a clutter-free workspace.

If not, today’s the day to start.

Question: What’s your favourite part of your office? - Leave your answer below!