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5 evidence-based wellness tips for men in the workplace

This Men’s Health Week, we’re examining the evidence to find the top five ways for men to stay well at work. Men face unique challenges when it comes to staying healthy at work. Traditional ideas of ‘manliness’ mean some men don’t seek help for health issues, or avoid taking action to protect their health in the first place. Men are also more likely to work in high-risk roles, exposing them to safety hazards.  



Embrace Help and Challenge Traditional Masculinity 

Studies indicate that many men avoid seeking medical advice or engaging in health-promoting activities, possibly due to the fear of appearing weak or dependent. But it takes guts to face a problem head-on and to ask for help, so these old-fashioned ideas simply aren’t true. One of the best things you can do for your health is to overcome these barriers – it won’t only help you, but it will set an example for other men in your workplace to take control of their own health too.  


Actions:  

  • Ask for help when you need it. 

  • Make healthy choices and own them. 

  • Protect your health at work by wearing PPE when its needed. 



Make Physical Activity Part of Your Routine 

Including moderate to vigorous physical activity into your workday has been shown to lead to significant health improvements. Improving your aerobic fitness can reduce your risk of heart disease, improve your mental health, and even help you live longer. If you have a sedentary job role, simple changes like walking meetings, standing desks, or fitness sessions at lunch time or just before or after work can help you keep active. Even if you do move around at work, think about whether this counts as moderate or vigorous intensity activity – if not, then you might also need to think about ways to fit this in. 


Actions: 

  • Assess your current physical activity levels. 

  • Plan achievable ways to move more if necessary. 

  • Make it happen – set alarms, get colleagues involved – whatever it takes.


Men face unique challenges when it comes to staying healthy at work. 


Put The Right Fuel In Your Body

Just like machines, people need the right fuel to function properly. Your body needs the right vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre, and even a limited amount of healthy fats to perform at its best. 


Many people rely on convenience foods at work. A meal deal or fast food might fill you up but unless you’re smart about your choices, can leave you missing essential nutrients. This can make you feel tired for the rest of the afternoon and, long term, cause all sorts of health problems. Try some easy food swaps such as swapping white bread for wholemeal, a packet of crisps for fruit, and adding more vegetables to each meal. Learn about what a balanced diet looks like and commit to some manageable, healthy changes. 


Actions: 

  • Educate yourself about healthy eating. 

  • Assess your current food habits at work. 

  • Choose at least 1 healthy change to start to improve your nutrition. 



Manage Stress Effectively

Stress can be a powerful motivator in the right situations but becomes a health problem when it gets out of control. This can affect your mental state and physical health, often impacting sleep. 


Evidence shows that there are things you can do to manage stress at work. We’ve talked about eating well and exercise which are key for stress management. Other strategies include taking regular breaks, setting boundaries, talking about your problems, shifting your mindset, improving your sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques


For more systemic challenges, having a constructive conversation with your employer may be the best course of action. 


Actions: 

  • Check in with yourself and notice how you feel. 

  • Research stress management techniques to find what resonates with you. 

  • Talk about problems to get them off your chest. 



Foster Social Connections 

Even if you don’t consider yourself a social person, all humans need some sort of healthy social interaction and support to thrive. Being part of a community or team can enhance your mental wellbeing and provide a sense of belonging and support. At work, having a trusted colleague to turn to when things are tough can help with stress management. A good relationship with your manager can help you feel supported, and the camaraderie that comes from feeling a part of something is likely to give you a boost.  


Actions: 

  • Make time to get to know people at work. 

  • Give as much as you receive – offer support to others too. 

  • Get involved – team get-togethers or events at work help you feel part of a team. 



For more information about men's health: Men's Health Forum - Male Health





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Disclaimer:

Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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