5 QWL topics to address in your company

Health Prevention QWL Sedentarity
3 minutes
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Sleep, diet, physical activity... In terms of QWL, what are the key topics to address to raise employee awareness?
Sleep, diet, physical activity... In terms of QWL, what are the key topics to address to raise employee awareness?

Raising awareness of the benefits of sleeping

Its benefits are essential to our functioning and yet, sleep disorders are constantly increasing.

According to the barometer of Santé Publique France, an adult sleeps on average 6h45 per night. As a result, 80% of French people say they are tired during the day. At the same time, a study published by the Fabrique Spinoza reminds us that lack of sleep causes a drop in productivity: 8% of absences are linked to insomnia problems. Sleep quality, a new QWL issue?

Faced with this fact, companies are multiplying initiatives to help employees get a good night’s sleep. Renault, for example, has used studies showing the beneficial effects of the “power nap” on concentration and memory to install small nap rooms in its premises.

Other companies are calling on the Morphée Network, an association that works in the workplace to raise awareness of sleep disorders, or recommending applications such as iSommeil to help employees learn to control their sleep cycle.

Fight against physical inactivity

Too many screens, too much sitting, not enough walking. The observation is simple and without appeal: 95% of French people are not physically active enough.

In its study published in February 20222, the French National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Anses) raises the alarm:

70% of women and 42% of men fall below all of the activity levels identified for good health.

In addition to this physical inactivity (less than 30 minutes per day), there is also a sedentary lifestyle (excessive time spent sitting per day). To counter this plague, physical activity becomes crucial for the health of employees and the company.

In addition to its benefits for physical and mental health, it is a great tool for cohesion, reduces absenteeism and promotes productivity.

In companies, several operations can be implemented to ensure that each employee reaches the 30 minutes of activity recommended by the WHO: webinars, face-to-face or videoconference physical activity sessions, connected challenges, solidarity walks…

At the same time, other preventive measures can be implemented, such as regular reminders of good sitting postures or invitations to “co-walking”, those famous meetings in motion.

Restore the taste for "eating well"

Like sleep, diet is an often neglected pillar of health. The data published by the National League against Obesity are alarming: in 2020, one out of two French people was overweight (17% of whom were obese), a number that has doubled in 20 years.

How can we change employees’ behavior and give them back a taste for “eating well”Some companies are tackling the problem head on by organizing dietary workshops to teach good habits or by equipping themselves, for example, with connected fridges containing small, well-balanced meals.

Les Ateliers Durables, a group of experts in health and well-being in the workplace, has compiled some 15 ideas for changing employees’ relationship with food, such as the design of catering areas or the organization of lunchbox-making workshops.

Learn to manage stress

Breathing, the best weapon to fight stress in the workplace? Several specialists, based on studies proving that slow, deep breathing helps regulate emotions, recommend the daily practice of cardiac coherence. The idea is to do three sessions a day of 6 breaths per minute for 5 minutes, the famous “3.6.5” exercise.

In the long term, cardiac coherence has a positive effect on concentration, memorization and attention disorders. Another effective, soothing method that can be used at any time of the day is mindfulness meditation, which consists of focusing on the present moment, without judgment or reaction.

According to the Positive Health study by the Spinoza Factory, mindfulness significantly improves the quality of life (effects on anxiety, sleep, concentration) and could be particularly useful in stress management. “Mindfulness appears to be a formidable prevention tool: the subject is able to spot the signals of stress, learns strategies to step back and get out of his or her automatisms,” the study states.

Value positive emotions

When it comes to mental health at work, the influence of positive emotions should not be underestimated. For example, laughter, through the secretion of endorphins, dopamine or serotonin, can relieve pain or fight depression.

People who feel gratitude feel happier and exercise more than those who focus on the negative, according to a study conducted by Dr. Robert A. Emmons.

Optimism, when kept moderate and realistic, promotes stress resistance, resilience and perseverance. In short, all of these emotions can have a positive and lasting influence on health in addition to other resolutions.

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