The Healthy Workplace

The Healthy Workplace with Leigh Stringer

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Leigh Stringer explains how to have a healthy workplace.

Leigh Stringer is a workplace strategy expert and researcher. She works for an architecture, engineering and building technology firm. She is the author of two bestselling books, “The Green Workplace: Sustainable Strategies that Benefit Employees, the Environment and the Bottom Line”, and “The Healthy Workplace: How to Improve the Well-Being of Your Employees—and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line”.

Leigh is currently collaborating with Harvard University’s School of Public Health to create new tools to connect like minds and to blur the boundaries across industries in order to advance and improve our well-being at work.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What are some of the problems in our workplace?
  • Let’s start with movement and how it helps.
  • Let’s talk about the food aspect.
  • What about stress reduction?
  • Let’s talk about sleep and it’s impact on productivity.
  • How do we avoid the mid afternoon energy crash?

Key Points Made by Leigh:

  • People spend a large amount of time in front of screens without moving very much – much more than the human body is built for.
  • A sedentary lifestyle and work habit leads to a variety of health problems, some of them similar to the side effects of smoking.
  • Movement has to happen every day – you can’t put it off to the weekend. Stand every 30 minutes and move around every hour or so.
  • Research is pointing towards the need for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. 10,000 steps a day is a good target for a healthy adult.
  • Set reminders and use different work areas if you can.
  • It’s important to pay attention to what you are eating. The way food is presented to us has a direct impact on how we eat. Hide the things that are not particularly healthy for you and keep the healthy foods within easy access.
  • Stress and anxiety are the most common causes of loss in productivity. Movement is the easiest way to reduce stress. Surrounding yourself with plants and trees restores us psychologically as well. Our workplaces should be restorative and filled with natural surfaces.
  • Being outside and exposed to natural light is beneficial for resetting your circadian rhythm and helping your sleep quality. Pick a time to begin your bedtime ritual.
  • Sleep is a key component to our overall health and productivity. There is a direct correlation to the number of hours worked and commute time and sleep duration.
  • You will be hungry – prepare yourself and bring reasonable snacks with you.
  • As a manager people are watching you, you should model the behaviour that allows your team to become more productive.

Resources Mentioned:

Book – The Green Workplace: Sustainable Strategies that Benefit Employees, the Environment, and the Bottom Line

Book – The Healthy Workplace: How to Improve the Well-Being of Your Employees—and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line

Leigh’s website

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

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