5 ways to up your work (and mental health) game

June 20, 2022

UNIVERSITY NEWS

Andrew Duffy, a 2007 grad, has made it his goal to keep other Spiders healthy in the workplace.

A health and fitness coach, Duffy saw his clients suffering the diminishing effects of sitting in front of a screen for hours on end, including pain, stress, and anxiety. He founded Kue, a company that uses online reminders and short videos to encourage regular breaks during the workday.

He’s been leading virtual workshops to help Spider alumni maintain a positive work environment while staying physically fit. “We explore how to reframe and create new opportunities for having a vibrant workday,” Duffy said in his most recent online workshop.

Here are some of his recommendations.

Put your device in a position where you can stand.

Standing or moving around boosts energy, Duffy explained, which he says can be crucial to a positive work environment. “If I show up with more energy and engagement, it improves the workplace experience for everyone,” he said.

Hold a walking meeting.

Walking after a meal can improve digestion and boost energy, Duffy said. Walking meetings can help prevent an afternoon slump. “Evaluate what opportunities you have to switch the way that you do things,” Duffy said. “Ask yourself, ‘Do I need to be on a screen for this?’ If not, change it up.”

Find ways to play.

Putting a puzzle or a deck of cards in the workplace can help make breaks a little more fun, and engaging, Duffy said. “Finding opportunities for play can improve moods and can improve productivity, and raise our emotional levels in a positive way,” Duffy said.

Involve others.

“Doing these things with other people creates accountability, and we can discover new ways to change behaviors,” Duffy said. “Seek out someone else that you have a relationship with, and then these goals can become about both of you.”

Be flexible.

Most importantly, providing space for mistakes is crucial for long-term growth, Duffy said.

“If you develop a habit of doing something 80% of the time, that’s better than doing nothing. It leaves room for flexibility in your routine.”