De-stress or Distress?

An article in the Daily Mail reported that the British are the hardest working nation in Europe compared to its neighbours but the biggest question is why? Is this hard work giving rise to exceptional performance or burn-out? What is needed to shift a mentality and culture of presenteeism and long hours? I want to get your input on what executives of organisations are doing globally to affect change and how City work/life could be better for you.

If we as business leaders want better value from our people then we have to understand and recognise that investment is needed into our most prized assets - our people.

From my perspective a revolution needs to take place to focus on work/life issues - there has to be both individual and organisational responsibility. Eventually, a shift will take place that will slowly wake everyone up, well eventually. It is a fact that the way we work is simply not sustainable as the City heads towards burn-out.

I'm going to give you some simple solutions that you could incorporate into your daily working lives and that employers can readily support:

1. Get up and move around every 90 minutes - as we have moved from the industrial revolution to the information age, workers have become more sedentary as they now operate machines compared to the manual labour we used to do. Your body becomes inflexible, stiff and rigid leading to lower back pain and a lack of energy. Walking around for just 5 minutes can increase the release of endorphins and lubricate your joints. A simple cost effective way is provide everyone with a pedometer and complete 10,000 steps daily.

2. Time out - at lunchtime offer 30-40 minute exercise classes from yoga/pilates to a high intensity fitness-based class in the office. These are effective ways to improve energy levels and stress management.

3. Get some fresh air -  some companies have incorporated intervals throughout the day where workers have to leave the office for 10-15 minutes as a group and perform deep breathing outdoors. Benefits include improvements to cognitive and brain function, an opportunity to switch off from the outside (and inside) world and a way to feel refreshed. There is science behind this – I promise.

4. Take the stairs not the elevator - depending on what floor you work on taking the stairs is a great opportunity to burn some excess calories throughout the day and increase your metabolism. Even if it’s the first floor, a rapid ascent could make all the difference.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this  blog. I look forward to hearing your comments.

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Adam Strong is a Personal Trainer, Athlete, Author and Transformation Coach. He specialises in unlocking the potential in senior business executives by helping them to achieve peak performance through his revolutionary 12-step programme.

Adam Strong +44 (0) 7738-276169