Try our novel way of incorporating wellbeing at work

We all know those super-fit people who fit in a jog at lunch, eat super-healthily, do a spin class after work and practise meditation at their desks. Great for them, but in reality, most of us find that our busy lives lead to us cutting exercise or calm me-time in favour of getting jobs done.

However, we also all know we should be looking after our physical and mental wellbeing better, and not doing it leads to feeling worse (and guilty – which is terrible for our mental health). So, how do you motivate yourself? At a recent Progressive Travel Recruitment team chat, we decided to employ some help to get us into better habits.

Our solution was to download a couple of team fitness Apps to try and improve our wellbeing at work. I wanted to look at options for both physical activity and mindfulness, as I know that everyone’s needs are different. After some research, I found two user-friendly Apps which offer a range of activities, as well as the option to connect with friends. The chosen two are MapMyFitness for active fitness and Headspace which leads you through 10 minutes of calm ‘headspace’ a day.

Exercise together – even if your team is spread around the world

MapMyFitness allows you to log your activity either while you’re doing it or after the event. By being connected to your friends, you can share what you’ve been doing. This is great for encouraging each another and also throws in a bit of healthy competition!

Anyone who’s been a recruitment consultant will know what an engrossing job it is. It’s easy to get glued to your chair all day, barely stopping for lunch. And, as most of us work remotely in opposite corners of the country – and the world, we can’t just suggest a group walk. So, this App is a great way to encourage active breaks, but also bring the team together and share non-work-related successes. The beneficial side-effect is improved wellbeing at work.

Progressive Travel Recruitment director, James Roberts, has made adding breaks to our day one of our team objectives. He’s joining in too, taking his dog for more walks. He said, ‘It’s really made me get out with the dogs at lunchtime and after work. I would anyway but this is a motivation to go that bit further. I also love the collaboration – MapMyFitness shows my colleagues where I have been. If it is a particularly great day and I see something of interest then I will attach a picture to the ‘mapped walk’.  It’s a good way to share lighter things that we love and appreciate when we are out and about.’

Mental wellbeing needs attention, too

As for the Headspace App, that simply requires you to follow the programme which asks you to commit to a short period of ‘headspace’ – or simple meditation – a day. It’s a great way to take 10 minutes to yourself, slow down and recharge. Wellbeing at work can be most improved with a combination of physical activity and time spend on calming your mind, too.

Our colleague Rosie, is a fan. She says, ‘I like the Headspace App, and have also used Calm, which is similar. I use the mindfulness principles on a day-to-day basis. They are great tools to help quieten a busy mind and also manage any stress.’

For those, like me, who love team activities, these Apps are a motivator and make exercise more fun. I like having the chance to enjoy these daily activities with my colleagues, despite them being all over the world.

Burn calories – soak up vitamin D, all while improving wellbeing at work

Our director Tony Macdonald has always walked his dogs before and after work. But he now uses the fitness App while he’s walking. He says, ‘It makes me competitive against myself, so I try to complete the same dog walk faster in the evening than I did so in the morning, so even that helps me burn more calories.’ Of course, calorie-burning isn’t the only motivation – but fitness, vitamin D intake, and general wellbeing are all improved.

We identified that as a team, more emphasis on taking a break was needed. Of course, the Apps aren’t compulsory and taking part is completely optional. A few of the team already have established fitness routines. My colleague Lucy is a long-distance runner, and says, ‘I love using Strava (another fitness app); it’s great because it gives me a breakdown of pace and distance which motivates me to go further and quicker. After sitting at a desk all day, going out for a run in the evening allows me to clear my head and relaxes me for the evening ahead.’

And my colleague Lee says, ‘I like the work fitness App because it creates a little healthy competition, but I still love my Fitbit, which buzzes when you have been sitting too long to remind you to walk around – which is great.’

Overall, the Apps have been a great addition to our team. They’re useful new tools to encourage a healthier working day. It’s also good to have company directors who fully recognise that wellness should be a priority in the workplace.

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Sound like a place you would thrive?  Join our team by emailing James Roberts (james@progressivetravelrecruitment.com)