Two out of five representatives of the Generation Y and Z are stressed all the time, one in three admits taking time off from work for this reason, and four out of ten declare turning up at work despite permanent stress. According to research, one of the factors that strain the mental condition of employees is sedentary lifestyle. Changes caused by the pandemic and alarming data on the condition of employees and enterprises make employers implement solutions ensuring access to benefits in the mind wellness area which support mental condition and improve commitment and efficiency at work.
While you are sitting, your psyche is suffering
– In a situation in which an employee is under the influence of chronic stress, his or her brain is being dominated by cortisol which has a direct or indirect impact both on physiological reactions, such as increased heart rate, and the entire emotional, behavioural, and cognitive reactions “package” – says Mateusz Banaszkiewicz, health psychologist. – A negatively stressed person may therefore react with greater irritability and anxiety in various business situations, even becoming more impulsive and impetuous with time. Concentration problems arise, the employee begins to forget about the details of the tasks to be performed, has problems with rational thinking, loses commitment and experiences difficulties in making decisions. Especially the latter, in relation to the management staff in companies, may disrupt the work of entire teams and consequently cause organisational chaos. The chronically and negatively “stressed brain” does not have time to solve creative tasks and meet higher-order needs because the motivation related to survival and ensuring safety may be dominant.
Replace coffee with exercise
– It should be emphasised that breaks during work are essential, no matter what form they take. Our brain is not capable to focus all the time. It needs a break and additional stimuli. That is why it is worth looking for reasons to move, thus trying to overcome the decline in concentration, also at work. Therefore, it is good to see that employers are becoming open to the so-called active breaks during which employees perform a set of stretching or relaxation exercises. There are many benefits that come with such a change in the eight-hour sedentary work pattern. They include, among others, an increase in the concentration of serotonin and dopamine – neurotransmitters responsible for improving wellbeing and concentration as well as reducing pain in the locomotor system, which results from the activation of dormant muscle groups that usually do not work while sitting. A more physically active day at work means that employees become more active after work. It is also a good support in conscious stress management – notes Piotr Czyżewski.
– During the pandemic, employees not only get more stressed but also experience a decrease in efficiency. Many of them struggle with sleep problems while for others remote work is still a big challenge that generates additional stress. Analyses of the negative effects of the pandemic experienced by employees and employers helped us understand what a great challenge we are facing and how comprehensive solutions we need in the field of psychophysical condition. This is how the idea of MultiLife was born. Currently, the programme features 12 different types of solutions that support mental balance and wellbeing of employees. As part of the programme, employers provide their employees with support in the form of consultations with a psychologist, personal trainer, or dietitian, etc. Employees can also use such solutions as yoga and meditation courses or constant access to a training platform offering popular relaxation exercises, for example body & mind, healthy spine or pilates. These are the most popular during the pandemic – says Emilia Rogalewicz, Management Board Member at Benefit Systems.
Ipsos, Impact Of The Covid 19 Pandemic On Health, march 2021
Cross-sectional associations between sitting at work and psychological distress: Reducing sitting time may benefit mental health https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S175529661300025
Raport "Zdrowie psychiczne w środowisku pracy". Badanie wśród Pracodawców i Pracowników w ramach kampanii "Zrozum. Poczuj. Działaj!"
Badanie Great Place to Work (Stress and Wellbeing at Work: A European Outlook)