Is your job bad for your health? Take our quiz
Considering the average person spends one third of their life at work (excuse us while we scream into a nearby pillow after hearing that stat), it's time we started thinking of healthy jobs as a priority in life, not a bonus.
So step into our office, because it’s time for a little personal work assessment. Take our quiz to find out how healthy your job really is.
At the beginning of the work day, are you Dan or Luke?
1. How many hours do you spend working each week?
a) Up to 45
If you answered…
a) Having work not only helps to pay the bills, it can instill feelings of usefulness and belonging. That’s why researchers say working a little is better than not working at all. So as long as you're working for at least a few hours a week (and provided you're not overworked) the quality of your hours is more important than the quantity.
b) Your mental and physical health could be at risk. Studies show that people who work more than 45 hours each week are at greater risk of heart problems, diabetes, hypertension and depression. Plus, the more time you spend working, the less time you have for other important things in your life, like family, exercise, and laughing at Insta videos of Luke attempting to throw a banana into a blender.
Follow Dan’s lead and take a break before you burn out.
2. Do you take a lunch break?
If you answered…
a) Don’t be that loud eater who lunches at their desk. (There’s always one...) Un-hunch yourself by getting up to make (or unpack) a tasty and filling work lunch, then brag to Debbie in IT about the amazing Mediterranean Quinoa Salad you made all by yourself. Head outside for some fresh air, or do a quick workout or stretching session. You’ll not only feel better for it, you’ll be more productive when you head back to your desk.
b) Until we’re all replaced by AI or science develops biohacking sustenance pills, everybody needs a chance to recharge for the remainder of the work day. Heck, even Bobby takes a break from training occasionally! Without adequate break time productivity, mental well-being and overall work performance can suffer. In the long run, this can lead to chronic stress and burnout.
Juggling work and fitness can be a balancing act… just ask Luke and Bobby.
3. How would you describe your work?
a) Desk job – sitting for at least 70% of the day
b) On my feet – standing and/or walking for at least 70% of the day
c) Physically demanding – requires manual labor or defending the city from aliens
If you answered…
a) No matter how comfortable your office chair is, there’s no getting around the fact that our bodies aren’t built to sit all day. Split time between your chair and a standing desk if possible, and be sure to take breaks to walk around and stretch. (Tip: find an out-of-the-way corner before you launch into a full downward facing dog in front of your colleagues.) Long stretches of sitting can lead to weak glute, core and back muscles. Make Pilates sessions like this one part of your routine to get your glutes and core working, and use these strength-building moves to rescue your back.
b) Working on your feet all day can literally be a pain in the butt. Get your body job-fit by building your legs and posterior chain with lower-body strength workouts – Luke, Torre and Ashley have you sorted. At the end of a long shift, help your hard-working legs and glutes recover with Tahl’s Leg Liberation stretching session.
c) Prioritise functional and strength training that complements the movements you use in your job like bending, lifting, squatting, reaching. (Stay tuned for our superhero-landing-pose tutorial.) For example, check out how this landscaping Legend uses Da Rulk’s hostages to prepare for difficult jobs.
You should also consider yoga with Tahl to improve mobility, reduce muscle pain and learn a few breathing techniques for those moments the client has a change of heart halfway through a project…
Can’t get your coworkers off your back? Luke can relate…
4. Does work stress you out?
a) Rarely. Sometimes I have stressful days but I find it easy to shake them off when I clock out.
b) Sometimes. It’s not unusual for me to worry about work even when I’m not there.
c) Most of the time. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t frazzled and overwhelmed at work.
If you answered…
a) Woohoo! You appear to have hit the work-life balance jackpot. For those rare moments when stress does strike on the job, try this meditation.
b) You may think it “comes with the job” or that you can handle it. But stress has a habit of building up, and it can mess with your sleep, mind and even fitness. Before you accidentally hit “reply all” on an email rant, try our practical tips to manage stress before it knocks you out.
c) Stress on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time is bad news for your body and mind. If stress seems like an unavoidable part of your job due to things like impossible deadlines, aggressive customers or an unsupportive boss, it’s time to dust off that resume.
We all deserve time to relax and recharge.
5. Do you get time off when you need it?
a) My workplace is flexible and allows time off for vacations, illness and personal reasons.
b) I’m too busy / too proud / too intimidated by my boss to take time off, even when I’m sick.
If you answered…
a) We have a tropical smoothie you can enjoy while relaxing by the pool…
b) Can’t take time off due to your workload? Head straight to your manager’s office to communicate this. If your workplace or manager makes getting time off difficult or impossible, looking for a new role should be your top priority.
Even if you once preferred to stifle a cough than use a sick day, we trust the pandemic changed your tune. If not, maybe telling you that working while sick makes it more likely you’ll be sick in the future, and can poorly impact your mental state will convince you to stay home.
Oh dear, did we just sum up your entire attitude towards work in a single photo?
6. When it comes to work, you…
a) Don’t love it, but it’s OK. Certain parts of my job are satisfying, but it’s not exactly inspiring.
b) Hate it. It poisons my thoughts even when I’m not there. Is Luke looking for someone to polish his dumbbells?
c) Have it pretty good. There are a few things I’d tweak but overall I’m happy with my job.
d) Can’t get enough of it. Work is everything.
If you answered…
a) Not every job involves saving kittens and changing the world, but research shows that people who find meaning or purpose in their work enjoy greater well-being overall. If you want to get more out of your daily grind, look for opportunities to upskill or talk to your manager about different areas of the business that interest you. Feel like there’s nothing left to learn? Use your experience to mentor a younger colleague or help out a confused new starter. Our brains are wired to reward us when we help others, which means you can create a more meaningful work life by looking around you. (Bonus: deeper social connections at work can make you more productive.)
b) Let us be blunt: feeling constantly negative about work is bad for your physical health, mental health and relationships. Rather than pouring your energy into hating your place of employment even harder, finding a healthier workplace environment should be your priority. If quitting isn’t an option right now (and before you start making voodoo dolls of all your colleagues), we’ve got advice on how to cope below.
c) You’re like the cat that got the cream, or the Da Rulk that got the donuts. Just like your workouts, keep making it count.
d) Enjoying your job is fantastic, but has it become your only identity? Don’t forget to log off, clock out, unwind, and make time for the other things in life that bring you meaning. Researchers argue that your ability to switch off and recharge outside of work is key to avoiding burnout, especially when you work long or intense hours. Don’t worry, the work will be just as fulfilling when you come back to it.
OK, quiz complete! Did your answers indicate that it’s time for a change?
If your job is dragging you down, we hope this quiz has shown you that it’s worth the time and effort it takes to find something healthier – before your mind and body start paying the price.
We also know that ‘something better’ isn’t always available (and dream jobs don’t grow on trees). In an ideal world, you could simply up and leave a stressful or unhealthy work environment. But unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. Here’s how to survive until something else comes along.
4 ways to reduce work stress (when you can’t just quit)
Sometimes, screaming it out just won’t cut it.
1. Don’t take it home
The occasional vent can be good for you, but constant complaining is bad for your brain and your life in general. It also sucks for everyone around you. Let your time away from work be as regenerative as possible. Switch off and spend your precious time off doing things you actually enjoy, like schooling your kids in Monopoly on family game night.
2. Get out on your lunch break
Your work should have dedicated break time, so use it. Change your surroundings by getting out to take a walk around the block, or squeeze in a quick workout for an endorphin boost. There, you’ve already achieved one positive thing in your workday!
3. Find meaning outside of work
If your job isn’t giving it to you, make your downtime mean something. Take on a fitness challenge (hello, Centr Unlimited!), share your favorite hobby with a like-minded friend (Zocchi and Chris enjoy chopping wood, for example), volunteer at a worthy local organization, start growing your own vegetables… If it gives you a positive purpose, it’s worth your time.
4. Get your mind right
Meditation is an incredible tool for building mental resilience, and to quiet your mind when it’s stuck on work this or work that. If you’re still not sold on the benefits, learn how to reduce stress and anxiety by meditating with Chris Hemsworth.
Could your team benefit from having Centr at work? Ask your boss or HR manager to look into the Centr workplace wellness program and how it can help build a happier and healthier team.
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