Work-life balance is a big topic but so important. We hear more people talk about it. I talk about it with my private clients. But It also feels like it’s still superficial. We know it’s important, we want to improve on it but how? And who’s in charge of making the big changes that are needed to really allow a necessary work life balance? Well it has to come from the top since there is more required than a discounted gym membership or even flexible working hours.
According to a study from WHO about long work hours 8.9 % of the global population were exposed to long working hours. They defined long working hours more than the standard 35-40 hour week. 55 hour or more really increased the risk of heart disease and stroke.
With the increase in sedentary work nature and longer working life we are also more exposed to prolonged sitting. According to the European Agency for Safety and Health at work defines prolonged sitting 2 hour at a time. Data from 2013 showed that 18% of adults sitt for 7.5 hours or longer per day.
With this information it’s clear that with many working longer hours than the standard 35-40h/week we are also more exposed to prolonged sitting. As many know this is not great for our mental health nor for our physical health. These two go very much hand in hand. We might find it nearly impossible to find time to be physically active, meditate/journal, nurture our social life and spend time on hobbies. However we are told these are things to do in order to take care of ourselves and boost performance. Where to pull the time from? If work hours don’t change the only way is from hour sleep and that is a NO go.
Well we will have time to take care of our physical and mental health which as I said above is very much linked. With a lowered stress level and increased physical activity we are more likely to be more creative which has a big impact on our productivity and quality at work amongst other things. We will be less injured. Eg lower back pain, knee pain, shoulder and neck pain. We are less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.
I’ve listed a number of suggestions but perhaps the most important is that we will have more time to enjoy the things we like doing. Having said that, hopefully most people choose their job because they like what they do but without work-life balance it is easy to become unmotivated, burned out and end up resenting our work.
There are many ways to improve work-life balance. Leaders have a big responsibility but we as individuals have to do our part as well.
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Online-based female personal trainer for individuals who are committed to improving their health through movement.