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Affinity Health, the leading provider of high-quality healthcare, says implementing healthy behaviours in the workplace goes a long way to increasing productivity while improving your quality of life outside work.


Change can be scary and stressful, mainly when changes occur in the workplace. There’s no denying that COVID-19 has transformed the workplace as we know it. Many companies have adopted a hybrid work model in which a portion of the workforce works from home on specific days and in the office on other days.


“According to recent research, in addition to the anxiety created by health fears, hybrid workplaces may raise the risk of mental health problems due to their complexity and disruption of the new normal,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Since the start of the national lockdown, nearly two and a half years later, employees are being called back to the workplace. Many employees are putting a lot of thought into what they truly want from work and life. They are reevaluating and, in some cases, reversing assumptions about their worth, job security, how much the employer appreciates their health and well-being.”

Why Is Workplace Health So Important?

Some people regard health as exclusively significant to their personal lives and relegate healthy behaviours to their lives outside work. However, most of us spend the majority of our time at work. 


Making a few healthy adjustments in the workplace can help you be more productive, creative, involved, and positive. It can also improve your morale and reduce your stress levels. You might even persuade your coworkers to make similar positive adjustments.


“Even modest modifications to your work environment can significantly influence your health,” says Hewlett.


Hewlett, who is currently a Doctoral candidate at the University of Liverpool and earned a B.Sc. degree from Wits University in 1996, offers these 10 tips to help you enhance your workplace health:

1. Limit Your Caffeine Consumption

It’s no secret. Coffee can give you a great kick when feeling unproductive at work. However, if you’re drinking several cups daily, you may be harming your health.


Excess amounts of caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, and even fatigue once the effects of the caffeine wear off, which usually happens in the late afternoon. Try to limit yourself to no more than 4 cups of coffee daily.

2. Keep Correct Posture

Take note of how you sit during the day, primarily if you work in front of a computer. It’s critical to keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. If your posture varies during the day, try some core exercises to strengthen the muscles that help you maintain your posture.


Do exercises at your desk while you work. You should also check your workstation setting to ensure that your computer is at the correct height for your frame.

3. Take Frequent Breaks

Take short breaks away from your desk during the workday if possible. Consider walking around your building or going for a walk during your lunch break. Standing and walking about might offer you a surge of energy and keep you active.

4. Maintain A Tidy Workspace

When your desk is neat and organised, it is easier to find what you need, which reduces stress. A clean workstation is good for your mental health and helps you stay focused at work.


5. Ditch The Office Canteen

Instead of snacking on unhealthy foods during your work day, you can ensure that you get a well-balanced supper with the nutrients you need to stay energised throughout the day if you bring food from home. You can not only save more money, but you can also consume more fruits and vegetables, which will improve your health and focus. 

6. Give Your Eyes A Break

If you spend most of your day in front of a computer, try adhering to the 20/20/20 vision rule to keep your eyes healthy. For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, look at something at least further away for 20 seconds. You are allowing your eyes to refocus and relax by doing so.


7. Include Some Greenery

Make your office a green space. Many plants are low-maintenance and help to keep the air in your office clean. Simply being in the presence of greenery can help your mental health. Even if you don’t have a window near your desk, certain plants thrive in low-light conditions, so do some research to locate the perfect plant for your office. 

8. Make Positive Connections

Consider developing positive relationships with your coworkers if you spend a lot of time at work. Building and keeping genuine connections with the individuals you work with may help you enjoy your job more, and you look forward to going to work every day.


9. Spend Time Outside In The Sun

Sunshine lifts your spirits and is a natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps strengthen muscles and bones, boosts the immune system, decreases blood pressure, and lowers cancer risk. A short walk outside during your lunch break is enough to provide your body with its daily amount of vitamin D, allowing you to complete your workday feeling alert and energised.

10. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water (eight to ten glasses per day) can help you stay hydrated. Many foods include water; fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, grapes, melons, and apples can help keep you healthy and hydrated.


“The workplace afternoon lag can be linked to dehydration,” says Hewlett. “Bring a flask of water to work and aim to refill it regularly during the day.”


About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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