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21 ways to boost physical health in 2021

Diet and exercise are important to physical health, along with good habits that include ergonomic workstations, relaxation, stretching, and routine building.

Taking care of our physical health can be a challenge during the pandemic. Employees may experience changes in eating and exercise habits, have limited alone time (or too much alone time), and be multitasking work and family needs. This can all take its toll physically.

Here are 21 simple ways to help employees focus on health:

Man running on a treadmillGet moving/exercise

All it takes is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. A brisk walk, a run, weight training, yoga. Not only will regular exercise improve physical health, but it also relieves stress and anxiety.

1. Exercise time adds up. If you can't fit it in all at once, consider breaking it up into manageable chunks throughout the day. And remember, vigorous chores that get your heart rate up count as cardio.

2. If you'd rather avoid the gym, there are many tutorials on YouTube that are free and tailored to skill level. A lot of these examples from Scripps.org don't require any equipment.

3. Include your entire household. Exercise will benefit everyone and can be a fun group activity.

4. Map out favorite walking or running routes around your neighborhood.

5. Tracking your exercise can be helpful and fun. Consider a device to count your steps or simply mark your calendar on the days you work out.

A woman meditatingStretches/relaxation

Working in isolation can make it easier to forget about essential rest periods.

6. Take frequent breaks throughout the day, especially when sitting at a computer.

7. Stretching can prevent fatigue and discomfort. Keep aches away by regularly doing these stretches: https://bit.ly/2RIS5J6.

8. From keeping a journal to connecting with a co-worker, any one these quick, or not so quick stress busters can help relieve some pressure.

9. Take a virtual float on the river, a walk through the deep, or a hike in Silver Falls State Park. Watch SAIF's entire series of relaxation videos to give you the serenity you need, one minute at a time.

A family eating


Healthy eating lowers the risk of chronic health conditions including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and some types of cancers.

10. Build healthy habits with the MyPlate app from the USDA.

11. Learn what good nutrition does for your body, from head to toe.

12. Ditch the junk food and download nutrient-rich recipes from the American Heart Association.

13. Eating in the office? Promote healthy choices in meetings and throughout the day with this tipsheet.

Man lying on a couch.

Office ergonomics

Introducing proper ergonomics may seem like a daunting task. But simple changes to workstations and daily habits can make a big difference for comfort and productivity.

14. Surfing the couch with your laptop or sitting at the kitchen table can put stress on our backs, necks, arms, and hands that lead to discomfort, fatigue, or soreness. Set up your home office with these quick tips.

15. Learn more about home office safety including tips on cost-saving measures at saif.com/homeoffice.

16. SAIF policyholders can use Ergopoint to evaluate their office workstations to ensure neutral postures.

17. Lifting a lot? Learn the six steps for safely lifting a load, plus tips for designing lifting tasks with ergonomics in mind.

18. Watch our video series on office ergonomics at saif.com/ergo.

Woman in a wheelchair

Motivation/routine building

The daily grind can be made easier with a little planning and some positive rewards.

19. Start your day with purpose: Set an alarm and create a morning routine. Maybe that includes a workout, shower, getting dressed, making your bed, or a quiet cup of coffee.

20. Build your schedule: When will you exercise, work, help the kids with schoolwork, do household chores? Write it all down in your calendar system or stick it to your refrigerator.

21. Take time each day for self-care. That could be a five-minute mindfulness exercise, listening to your favorite podcast, or taking a relaxing bath. Whatever you choose, it should be something you can look forward to.

Learn more about promoting Total Worker Health at saif.com/twh.