Life

Work Smarter

Research reveals how work is affecting our stress levels, weight, schedules, joints, mental health and home life. Our experts provide their top tips to help you take the reins when it comes to your health…

1. One in five-mask stress as a physical illness

Research on 1,001 UK employees, who are working full time, found that 56% of employees admitted to suffering from stress and 42% of employees call in sick claiming a physical illness, when in reality it’s a mental health issue.

Cassandra Barns, a nutritionist and fitness instructor, explains: “When we’re stressed or anxious, we’re in ‘fight or flight’ mode rather than in ‘rest and digest’ mode.” Hemp could help you deal with your daily stressors rather than running away from them. “Phytocannabinoids are natural substances found in the hemp plant and research has suggested that some phytocannabinoids can have anti-anxiety and calming effects. For this reason, a supplement containing natural phytocannabinoids such as HempCeutix Complete could have benefits for calming
our nervous system.”

2. White collar weight gain

A survey found that 28% of employees are offered gym passes, workout facilities or wellness benefits, however 63% of this group aren’t taking advantage of them. This suggests there needs to be a shift from after-hours exercises incentives to on-the-clock incentives to get everyone moving. “Exercising is an appetite suppressant. It stimulates the release of feel-good hormones – the same ones which are released by sweet or ‘junk’ foods, stopping the need for the food you are craving,” explains Burns. Not only can exercise release much-needed endorphins, but it will also speed up your metabolism so you can continue to burn calories at your desk – win, win! “This is because when you exercise your body continues to be metabolically active in order to build the muscles you have trained. This means it requires fuel in the form of calories just to maintain your muscles even when you are sitting doing nothing. So, the more muscle you have, the more calories you use up, and, the more fat you will burn,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist and author of Fat Around the Middle.

Grab your colleague and go to a fitness class on your lunch break. “Have a workout buddy or a fitness class that you love, so that exercising isn’t thought of as a chore. Exercising on your own, whether it’s working out in the gym or going for a run, can be a joyless experience. But exercising with others in a class can be motivating and much more fun, especially if there’s great music too,” recommends Burns.

3. Women are ‘too busy’ to take time off work for appointments

Shockingly, research by Bupa Health Clinics has found that millions of women are avoiding female health appointments because of a heavy workload. Finding that work-life balance is crucial not only for your wellbeing but also your health! If you find yourself struggling with that 3pm slump, which is resulting in you staying later as it simply takes you longer to complete your tasks, give your body the natural boost it may be yearning for! Find a product with essential vitamins such as, vitamin B12 and iron to provide a natural energy boost, helping you tackle your to-do list. Try products with iodine and zinc which can help support normal cognitive function, promoting a focused state of mind,” explains nutritionist Dimitra Sentelidou.

4. Back pain linked to mental health problems

Research reveals that back pain is linked to mental health problems including anxiety and depression. With many of us sitting hunched over at our desks on a daily basis this is extremely alarming. 

Jacqueline Harvery, a wellness expert, fitness trainer and author of Body Cycles, recommends getting out as much as possible, even if it is ten minutes here and there throughout your working day. “Get out into nature and natural daylight as much as possible. We can find ourselves going from office to the car or public transport to home, barely venturing outside. There is nothing like a brisk walk on a crisp winter’s day.”

5. Checking work emails harms yourself and your family

With many of us turning to freelancer roles, research has found that flexible work boundaries often turn into work without boundaries and this is affecting not only the employee’s health and wellbeing but also their family members. Remember that
your health is the most important thing in your life. “Being assertive
is invigorating and empowering.
It also helps to make lists of what is, or is not a priority, and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life,” explains Glenville.

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