May 15, 2024

How Workplace Movement Boosts Mental Health

This post was written by: Ilinca Mardarescu

Mental Health Awareness Week is here, and this year’s theme is moving more for our mental health. One of the most important things we can do for our mind is move. Our bodies and mind are intertwined, so regular physical activity would not only improve your mental wellbeing but also help prevent issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and so much more. Regular exercise can offer an outlet for all your frustrations and stress, improving your sense of control and elevating your energy levels. Keeping active doesn’t always have to be intensive exercise and playing sports, putting on your favourite music and dancing could go a long way in making a difference in terms of improving your mood and thinking patterns.

Maintaining your mental health is especially important in the workplace. According to BMC Public Health, office workers spend up to 80% of their time sitting down, leading to poor physical health, and undermining mental well-being.  Luckily, there are several approaches companies can take to promote movement and mental well-being.

For instance, employers could educate employees on the importance of physical activity. This could include implementing workshops to enhance morale and team building or providing staff with educational resources to improve employee health awareness. Employees appreciate employers who invest in their health and well-being, so this would be exceptionally beneficial as it would lead to increased mental well-being and, therefore, happier staff and productivity in the workplace.  

Organising regular group activities has multiple benefits too.  Small activity-challenges can be incorporated into a competition which helps team building as well as befits health.  Another option could be organising a lunchtime walk for staff members or encouraging “walking meetings” which can improve innovation and open communication, especially for managers who spend a lot of time in meetings.  Regular group activities at work can offer an opportunity to socialise, creating a sense of community within the workplace, and, in time, reduce stress and lead to a healthy mind.  Standing desks, cycle to work schemes or and even posters reminding staff to move can all help as well.

As Mental Health Awareness Week emphasises the importance of movement for our well-being, it’s evident that staying active has it’s benefits for both our bodies and our minds.