Updated: Aug 23
Having implemented Tip 1 from the last blog , you have begun developing your new wellbeing habit of stepping away from your desk or work space for 30 to 60 minutes for lunch or a break - everyday. Your #Wellbeinghour should now be firmly and immovably ring fenced in your diary too, to support your work life balance and wellbeing as we navigate the challenges of COVID. Well done.
For everyone else here's the next step towards re-establishing better health, wellbeing and resilience during COVID.
TIP 2: ADD AT LEAST ONE STRETCH, MOVE AND WATER BREAK EACH MORNING AND AFTERNOON OF YOUR WORKING DAY.
Sitting for long periods of time, at a desk or in front of a screen, is one of the biggest threats to our health and wellbeing. So much so, sitting has been called the “new smoking”, but much more harmful!
The restrictions to our movements and working from home have resulted in us becoming much more sedentary over the last 12 months. Prolonged sitting - which we are all doing - all day, every day - is linked to back, neck and sciatica pain, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer… far more serious than the few pounds you may have gained during lockdown!
And just in case you are thinking this does not apply to you because you work out for an hour every day.... sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Research shows that one hour of fitness does not offset the many hours of sitting. The health issues associated with prolonged sitting still apply.
When you add to this that over 89% of adults are dehydrated, it’s not surprising so many people are feeling tired, irritable, low, unable to concentrate, have poor digestion, stiff joints and are piling on the pounds… yes poor hydration is linked to weight gain too.
If you’re wondering why I’m talking about physical wellbeing when this blog is about work life balance – remember - work life balance and wellbeing feed each other.
Physical wellbeing is one aspect of wellbeing.
It is the easiest to grasp and make quick, simple, and easy improvements too, with the accompanying positive immediate effects on work life balance.
With the above in mind, the next 2 simple actions to add to your wellbeing action plan are:
Action#1. Take a 10 to 15 minute break to stretch and move - everyday - morning and the afternoon.
This is above and beyond any exercise you may do once a day and is just the start.
Eventually we should be aiming to move every hour on the hour for 5- 10 minutes.
Back, neck and joint pain, as well as stiff joints are becoming an increasing problem, so in your 10 to 15 minute break, take 250 steps around the house (even if this means walking round your desk 25 times, then stretch.
Not sure what stretches to do? You can find some great chair yoga stretches here.
Action #2. Drink 200 – 250 ml’s water.
Finish off your 250 steps and stretch with a glass of water.
Adults should be averaging 2 litres of water a day (non caffeinated tea, coffee and drinks can be included). By consciously having a drink in these breaks you will have already met 25% of your daily hydration goal without too much effort.
If this all sounds simple, easy and obvious, it is because it is simple, easy and obvious, so there is no excuse not to incorporate these wellbeing and self -care strategies into your day. As well as helping you feel better, increasing your overall health , wellbeing and resilience, these simple, easy and obvious strategies could literally save your life.
Let me know how you are getting on, or share your wellbeing tips or suggestions from your am and pm move breaks by leaving a comment below, or by posting to or messaging me on INSTAGRAM.
Continue to stay strong, safe and well and have a great week!
You can find additional resources to support you in your wellbeing and career during COVID lockdown here