Keeping people healthy has always been PubSEG’s overriding mission. But it’s difficult to effectively do that job if we’re not healthy ourselves.
As PubSEG’s Kamilaha Hudson puts it, it’s a matter of “taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others.”
That was the premise for “Desk Health,” the most recent in PubSEG’s series of mini-sessions designed to help build camaraderie among employees, let them know they’re appreciated, and help improve their work-life balance.
Previous mini-sessions have focused on gender and pronoun inclusivity in the workplace, mistake recovery, and video conferencing etiquette.
“These sessions are a great way to break up the day-to-day routine, show people we’re thinking about them and that we want them to be taking part in fun things that can brighten their day,” says PubSEG Manager of Quality & Training Jordan Chester. “They don’t just make you a better employee, but a better, happier person.”
Each 15-minute session is delivered remotely to small groups of PubSEG employees at various times over the span of a few weeks, allowing everybody to attend. Different employees are tasked with preparing and presenting the sessions.
Kamilaha Hudson, better known by her PubSEG coworkers as “KK,” volunteered to present the “Desk Health” session.
“I meditated on some ideas that (PubSEG coworker) Caitlin Tucker and I shared, and then I thought about the things that help me de-stress,” Kamilaha says. “From there, I organized the session into four primary sections: breathing, stretching, dancing, and proper ergonomics. And there you had it, ‘Desk Health’ was born—a 15-minute escape from the work day.”
Here’s an abbreviated look at each of Kamilaha’s suggestions for better desk health:
Proper breathing techniques can have multiple health benefits, including sharper mental clarity, improved digestion, and a reduced stress level. Most of us never think about our breathing, but really focusing on it, and allowing ourselves long inhales and slow exhales, can go a long way toward helping us relax and feel less harried.
Being conscious of our breathing can even make us less forgetful. “Do you ever go into a room and forget what you were in there for?” Kamilaha says. “That’s not age. It happens to my 14- and 18-year-old all the time! A lot of it has to do with breathing—taking deep breaths in and deep breaths out to make sure you’re getting enough oxygen to your brain to remember what you’re doing.”
Sitting at a desk all day can take a definite toll on your physical well-being, especially in this age of remote workplaces, where some people might stay in the same place even after their workday is done. Making sure to keep your body parts moving is key.
Kamilaha recommends starting by stretching your fingers, and then moving to your arms, shoulders, neck, and head. If you’ve got time during lunch, head outside and take a walk. Anything to keep from sitting still too long. In the words of James Brown, it’s important to “Get Up Offa That Thing.” Which leads us to …
OK, so you’re probably not going to start dancing in the middle of a crowded office. But in the privacy of your remote workspace, there’s nothing wrong with standing up and shaking your body for a minute or two.
During this portion of the session, Kamilaha lets the music play while leading the group through various stretches and aerobic exercises (although some participants just want to dance!). For possible future Desk Health sessions, she plans on taking suggestions for other songs, although when it comes to moving and shaking, you can never go wrong with James Brown.
Creating the best possible work environment for yourself involves a lot more factors than you’ve probably considered. The height and distance of your monitor, the position of your shoulders, elbows, back, legs, and feet, the type of chair you use and the way you sit in it can all have a direct impact on your physical health.
Kamilaha ends every session by going over the proper way to sit at your desk and the benefits of correct posture.
“Educating everyone on how these things can help with better physical and mental health has been a lot of fun,” she says. “Everyone gave great feedback—a lot of people said they wished it was longer and I’ve had co-workers tell me they’re already implemented what they learned, especially the breathing exercise. I was honored to take on the project and happy to see everyone participating.”
At PubSEG, we care an awful lot about good health—for our clients, the communities they serve, and ourselves. By keeping ourselves healthy and focused, we’re able to provide our clients with the best possible service.
If you’d like to learn more about PubSEG and our pandemic management work with schools, colleges, universities, municipalities, and other organizations, give us a call at 856-240-8117 or email email@example.com. We’d love to see how we can help.