by Larry Alton
The office is a great place to collaborate, communicate, and work productively--most of the time. If given a bad environment or during a particularly stressful period, the workplace can quickly turn hostile, making employees stressed-out, unproductive, and even resentful of their employer. Bad moods and stress are contagious, so it's especially important to nip these feelings early.
While you can't do much about workloads and the demands of the job, you can make minor changes to your office that lead to significant boosts in mood and productivity for your employees. Try these seven simple changes and watch as your employees become happier and more productive:
1. Introduce plants.
Put some plants in the office. Some studies suggest that plants help people focus and concentrate on their work, leading to higher overall productivity. Even better, colorful plants help liven up your office's personality, leading to a calmer, more welcoming environment. They serve as a reminder of the natural world--what's outside the office's walls--and aren't hard to maintain. They're certainly easier on the eyes than a sterile white wall or boring office furniture.
2. Offer healthy snacks.
Many offices offer coffee to their employees, but why not offer some healthy snacks as well? Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are great examples--full of complex carbohydrates or protein, these snacks provide a great midday boost to the brain, improving both mood and productivity. If you make them easily available, your workers will be more likely to indulge--and they'll even appreciate them as an added benefit of the workplace.
3. Waft scents throughout the office.
While the science behind aromatherapy is questionable, there are certain scents that help people concentrate and relax, both of which are crucial elements of a healthy, thriving workplace. Use candles, incense, or other aroma dispersers to spread positive scents throughout the office. For example, lemon is supposed to have a calming effect, and lavender is supposed to ease emotional stress. Cinnamon and peppermint are other popular scents for focus and relaxation.
4. Let your employees listen to music.
Background music at a moderate volume is shown to improve concentration. There isn't a specific type of music that works better than others, but personal fondness for the music playing can positively influence this effect. Let your employees listen to music while they work, or use crowdsourced playlists or rotate who is in charge of the music selection each day to make sure everyone stays happy with it.
5. Emphasize the good.
Remind your employees of all the good things about the job by distributing reminders of them throughout the office. Have a spot for an "employee of the month" (or something similar) that recognizes individuals. Mark progress toward your goals. Hang pictures of past gatherings and employee events.
6. Encourage socialization.
The workplace is a lot friendlier and more welcoming when everyone knows each other, at least a little bit. Encourage open conversations between your employees however you can (and there are a ton of ways to do this). For example, you could buy lunch for the group once a month and stimulate discussion within the group. You could encourage taking water cooler or coffee breaks. You could tear down the walls to make the office more personable. You could even lead the charge yourself by opening friendly conversations with your employees or co-workers.
7. Make the office fun.
Allow your employees to have a little fun in the office. It can help break up the stress or monotony of bad days, and serves as a perfect decompression exercise when your employees feel like they're at their limit. You don't have to go as far as installing a pool table or a dartboard in the break room (though you certainly could), but do take some effort to make the office a livelier, more fun place.
No matter how much you change your office, your employees will always suffer from occasional bad moods and bouts of low productivity. Try not to sweat it. Make the office changes you can to make the environment a happier, healthier place to work, and your team will be grateful.
Intermittent fasting is a popular diet pattern that involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting.
Research suggests that intermittent fasting may promote weight loss and reduce risk factors for certain chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you’re new to intermittent fasting, you may wonder whether you’re allowed to drink coffee during a fast.
Drinking moderate amounts of very low- or zero-calorie beverages during a fasting window is unlikely to compromise your fast in any significant way.
This includes drinks like black coffee.
One cup (240 ml) of black coffee contains about 3 calories and very small amounts of protein, fat, and trace minerals.
For most people, the nutrients in 1–2 cups (240–470 ml) of black coffee aren’t enough to initiate a significant metabolic change that would break a fast.
Some people say that coffee suppresses your appetite, making it easier to stick with your fast in the long term. .
Overall, drinking coffee moderately won’t significantly disrupt your intermittent fast. Just be sure to keep it black, without any added ingredients.
If you’re suffering from back pain or any other form of chronic pain you may have considered going to see a chiropractor.
Chiropractic care is a popular treatment in the US with Doctors of Chiropractic treating over 27 million Americans annually. But seeing a chiropractor isn’t just for back pain, there are many other ways it can help.
Here we’ve compiled the 9 reasons you should consider seeing a chiropractor, but there are certainly many more!
1) Treating the Cause
The essence of chiropractic care is that treatment focusses on the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.
Compared to prescribed medications in a recent study, it was in fact found that 56% of patients who saw a doctor, saw a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks. But 94% of patients who underwent Chiropractic treatment saw a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks.
2) Improve Sleep
A National Sleep Foundation poll found that 60% of American adults experience sleep problems at some time. In fact, according to the APTA Move Forward survey, 37% of adults said that LBP affects their sleep, with over half stating that they suffer from poor sleep quality.
Chiropractic treatment and the manipulation therapies used are believed to help to improve blood flow in patients, which is essential for great sleep.
Chiropractors also focus on correcting misalignments or subluxations in the spine. These subluxations lead to a process called stress response which puts the body out of balance and does not let the body rest.
A well trained chiropractor will adjust these subluxations with safe and careful techniques to get your body to function normally.
3) Assists with Chronic Pain
In a first session with a patient with chronic pain, a chiropractor will aim to get to the root of the problem, working out where inflammation and muscle tension may be occurring and building an effective treatment plan.
It is this approach that causes so many to turn to a chiropractor for help with chronic pain. For those with long term conditions, a study has shown that chiropractic care is more effective in treating pain intensity than pain clinics, which only focus on the symptoms of the pain.
A chiropractor may also employ other complimentary procedures such as ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), TENS therapy and other techniques to complement their spinal adjustment treatment.
4) Boost Your Immune System
There is evidence to support the theory that chiropractic treatment can boost the immune system, as the nervous system and immune system are so interlinked, it’s believed if you tweak one then you tweak the other!
It’s not a new concept either, as it’s believed that chiropractic treatment was used during the Influenza Epidemic in 1912.
In fact, a series of studies published by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed that several types of immune system cells, showed increased biological activity after chiropractic adjustment.
5) Avoid Medication
Many people choose to see a chiropractor as an alternative to taking pain relief medication, and the inevitable side effects than can occur.
Instead of treating the symptoms like pain relief medication does, a chiropractor aims to get to the root of the problem, to help you better manage your condition, putting together a treatment plan to help you get back on track.
A study by Annals of Internal Medicine in to the best option for treating neck pain, found that after following 272 neck pain patients for 12 weeks, those who used a chiropractor or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free compared to those who took medication.
6) Help with Migraines / Headaches
It is reported that 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches, though varying in intensity, headaches and migraines can really affect your quality of life.
Both in the treatment of headaches and in the treatment of migraines, chiropractic care has proven to be an effective treatment, with spinal manipulation being the technique which is most commonly used.
In fact, a study by JMPT in 2011, found that chiropractic care improves both migraines and headaches, when treated with spinal manipulation techniques.
7) Pregnancy and Fertility
Throughout pregnancy a woman’s body goes through many changes, which can led to LBP and pain in the pelvis.
At a time when pain medication options are limited, chiropractic care has been proven to not only provide care for lower back pain, but also in a 2002 study an 82% success rate was reported when chiropractic treatment was used to turn breech babies.
There are also links with improvements in fertility with those struggling to conceive opting for chiropractic care as an alternative to other treatments.
8) Improves Sports Performance
Chiropractors are widely used within professional sport – before, during and after a sports performance.
In fact, Doctors of Chiropractic are used by all 32 National Football League teams to deal with ongoing back and neck problems, as well as overall conditioning of the players.
They focus on all aspects of the body and are used across all sports within the US Olympic and Paralympic teams, to improve performance. Within baseball, studies have shown that chiropractic care helps prevent hamstring and other lower limb injuries.
Another study revealed that muscle strength and long jump distances were greatly improved in baseball players who received regularly chiropractic adjustments.
9) Reduce Doctor and Hospital Visits
When you see the impact on the different conditions above, it makes sense that chiropractic care can help you reduce your number of doctor and hospital visits, as well as reduce pharmaceutical costs in the long run.
In the US, two to five percent of all doctor visits are for pain in the back, although this is a small percentage, it equals to around $84 billion in healthcare costs.
Using a Doctor of Chiropractic as your primary care provider was found to, in a study published by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, result in a 43% decrease in hospital admission, 52% reduction in pharmaceutical costs and 43% fewer outpatient surgeries and procedures.
1. Travel exposes you to different environments, which create stronger antibodies and boost your immune system significantly.
Antibodies are the little proteins that protect your immune system from harmful pathogens. In fact, research shows exposure to some dirt and minor illnesses actually keeps your body and gut stronger. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t practice basic hygiene on the road — you should still wash your hands or use a little hand sanitizer here and there — but having some new bacteria in your life isn’t a bad thing. One blogger even suggests that after 17 years on the road, travel has been his best probiotic. When you travel from place to place, your body adapts to thousands of new bacteria, which it turn makes it much stronger.
2. Travel lowers stress levels.
Like a lot, a lot. This one might not come as a big surprise to you, but it’s been scientifically proven that travel will increase your happiness, decrease your depression, and chill you the F out. A study found that three days after vacation, travelers felt well-rested, less anxious, and in a better mood. And these improvements didn’t disappear when they returned home, they lasted for weeks afterward.
3. Travel improves your brain health.
Travel expands your mind. You meet new people. You adapt to new situations. You become more globally and culturally aware. This is all good for your health because new experiences increase cognitive flexibility, keeping your mind sharp. Studies have shown a connection between travel and an increase in creativity, a deeper sense of cultural awareness and personal growth. And according to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, those who travel and study abroad tend to be more open and emotionally stable.
4. Travel will decrease your risk of heart disease.
That’s because people who wander away from their homes for a little vacation are generally less stressed and anxious — or at least they’re willing to take a break from their stressors. Because of this, the long-running Framingham Heart Study found that men and women who traveled annually were less likely to suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease.
5. Travel keeps you fit.
Okay so travel often means sitting for hours on end in a series of moving vehicles, but it also means lots of opportunities to force yourself to be active. When we travel, we want to try new things and see all there is to see — we spent money to get there, after all — so we’re more likely to attempt an extreme sport, walk the city streets much more than we would back home, or hike to get the best views of our surroundings. Even if you plan to stay all day at the beach, walking on sand will force your muscles to work twice as hard.
6. There are a lot of places on Earth that have healing properties.
And they may not be in your own backyard. When you travel, you get to visit healing sites that others don’t — like the natural hot springs of Turkey, Iceland or Costa Rica that draw on the earth’s healing properties. Soaking in these mineral-rich waters can improve your skin, relieve pain and stress, and increase longevity. Energy vortexes — do exist, first of all — and are also sacred places made up of ‘anything that flows,’ whether it be wind, water or electricity. They are the places where the earth’s powers converge to heal, uplift, and rejuvenate. Some famous energy points include Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt, but there also vortexes in the United Stares in places like Sedona, AZ and Mount Desert Island, Maine.
7. Travel will let you live longer.
It’s true; those who travel tend to have a longer life expectancy. Whether local or global, all forms of travel enhance our lives and can actually increase our life expectancy. Research shows that travel reduces stress, keeps your body healthy inside and out, and boosts brain health. This adds up to an increased chance of living longer and to having more fun doing it.
Unprocessed foods include edible parts of plants (fruits, vegetables, seeds, roots, etc.) or animals, as well as fungi and algae. These can be fresh, frozen, or even fermented — the important distinction is that they have not been treated with additives, injected with salt, or rubbed with oil until they're about to be eaten. Examples include dry beans; grains like rice; fresh or dried mushrooms; meat and dairy products; seafood; plain yogurt; nuts; and spices.
Processed culinary ingredients involve a step up in production. These are ingredients made from unprocessed foods, like vegetable oils, butter, and lard. This category also includes extracted food, like honey from combs, sugar from cane, and syrup from maple trees.
Processed foods are items that get infused with ingredients like sugar, salt, and fat to help keep them edible longer. Canned fruits, fermented breads (which most breads are, as they're made with yeast), alcohol, cheese, pickles, and salted nuts all make this list.
Finally, there are ultra-processed foods. These items are designed to be ready to eat and ready to heat at a moment's notice. To make that possible, these foods are often made in a factory, broken down from their whole or fresh form and treated with thickeners, colors, glazes, and additives. They may be fried before they're packed in cans or wrappers. They might contain high-fructose corn syrup, protein isolates, or interesterified oils (replacements for trans fats, which are now widely banned). Examples of ultra-processed foods include packaged granola bars, carbonated soft drinks, candy, mass-produced breads, margarine, energy drinks, flavored yogurt, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs.
Researchers are exploring both the effectiveness of essential oils for flu treatment and the best ways to apply these oils.
Research has found that the following essential oils have significant anti-influenza virus properties:
Bergamot oil is effective against flu viruses as a vapor after just 10 minutes of exposure.
Eucalyptus oil shows anti-viral activity as a vapor.
Red thyme oil is effective against flu viruses as a liquid phase.
Cinnamon leaf oil also shows antiviral activity as a liquid.
Tea tree oil is effective against the flu virus within 5 to 10 minutes of exposure, as found in another study.
Lemon balm is also shown to prevent the avian influenza (bird flu) virus from reproducing.
There are two basic methods for using essential oils:
Application to the skin: Topical application of essential oils should always be done by mixing them with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, olive oil, or nut oil. They can be massaged in or put into lotions and bath products.
Inhalation: This is done by floating the oils in hot water and inhaling the vapors or using a room diffuser.
Fitness bands are the newest trend in the world of fitness. They track your steps, calories, sleep duration, etc., and can be really useful for people who lead extremely busy and stressful work lives as it can bring them to the realisation that they need to pay attention to their bodies and health. Their range varies from company to company, and you can choose one according to your pocket.
An air purifier
Considering the pollution levels in all metropolitan cities of the country, there can't be a better and a healthier gift than an air purifier. Available in different sizes and offered by a variety of brands, air purifiers ensure that you breathe in clean air and keep your body away from all the toxins present in the air these days.
If buying an electric/battery operated air purifier is too expensive for you, opt for natural ones like Aloe vera plants, money plants, etc., to ensure that your loved ones stay safe and healthy.
If you have a friend or a family member who is really fond of cooking and loves experimenting with food, you can gift them a recipe book that has recipes that are healthy – if they are diabetic, or for whatever specific health problem that they have. The health recipe book is not just a gift to them, but also to the rest of the family as they can also indulge in good, delicious, and healthy food that they make. Also read How to avoid holiday weight gain: 5 healthy Christmas cookie recipes you must try this winter season
A Yoga mat
For the friend or family member who is more into Yoga, than the gym, you can gift them a really cool and good quality Yoga mat to inspire and motivate them to practice Yoga and keep away from all diseases and illnesses. You can also get a Yoga mat customized for them – like get their initials on it, or get a really cool print of a movie/song/band they like!
A Gift Card
Giving a gift card with a wellness theme is another great idea. Local chiropractic or wellness offices, massage therapists, yoga studios, or gyms are all great options. These are thoughtful gifts that may reap long term benefits. They also may help jump start New Year resolutions. Word of advice, if choosing a gift card for a spouse you may want to lean towards chiropractic or massage over a gym membership. Just a thought. ;)
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