Month: April 2021

What is social health?

What is social health?

What is social health? What is the difference between physical and mental health and why is it important? Pleaz is built on a desire to implement sustainable health. And while we love productive workdays, we know it has health consequences in terms of inactivity and stress. That’s why we think breaks are the best thing in the world – especially if you make them a social thing. The social also strengthens the well-being of a workplace. And well-being is both the social and the physical, which together constitutes health. Therefore: Strengthen social health also during breaks.

What is the difference between physical, mental and social health?

Health is a complete view of how one feels, and therefore physical, mental, and social health are also linked. It is the holistic concept of your well-being – so diet, sleep and exercise as well as the social aspect are important factors in your health. WHO defines health as follows:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO).

Why are health and social health important?

Being social and focusing on it as a business can lead to a sense of health. Because when we nurture relationships and the social, we often experience a difference in our well-being. Well-being and social health are linked.

And it is possible to increase social well-being – concepts such as team building, where you have to be grabbed by colleagues can create trust. But it can be made much simpler and more 2021-friendly. Because it does not have to be difficult or expensive to implement solutions that strengthen the well-being of a company.

Strengthen social health with breaks

The talk at the coffee machine does a lot for the unity of a department. It is both the pause and the talk that do it. Standing alone at the coffee machine is not the same thing. And here you can replace the coffee machine with anything else – the water mail, the fruit bowl, the queue for the canteen buffet or those few minutes before the department meeting starts.

But what do you do when not everyone is at work at the same time? Then you have to find alternatives. One must try to find one’s way into the community in a different way. Exercises that are purely social can feel a little forced for some in a department. But when you combine it with a physical exercise, everyone tends to jump with the cart.

Find out about the community in the team with social exercises. It is good for mental health and for performance. By making breaks a social thing, you hit two birds with one stone.

Make healthy breaks a social thing

Try a Social Break with colleagues – especially Fun Break is good. Have the video turned on so you can see each other. It puts an extra smile on your face when you are together separately. Our social exercises challenge coordination and bring energy to the team and your workday.

Find a Fun Break here

Social health and Pleaz

We have built Pleaz on the desire to implement sustainable health and provide renewed energy – for the body and brain. We know that we can shorten the social distance and increase well-being through our solutions.

It is the small breaks in the working day that we want to strike a blow for. And with our video-based research-based breaks, implementing a scientifically validated solution that enhances the well-being of people in your company has never been easier.

We call them Pleazers, and if you feel like trying one, you can create a profile today.

Social health in break form based on research

Our research team has, in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen, carried out a scientific research project. It aims to evaluate the physical, mental and social effects that our active breaks bring. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the research project is more important than ever before, as employees have to adapt to new conditions with homeworking.

Strengthen social well-being and health in your company

To strengthen social health, it is a good idea to take an extra look at social well-being in your business. Small steps over time create big changes, and international companies have already shown that thousands of healthy breaks make the difference. With our platform, we can shorten the social distance and increase well-being

With video instructions found with a few clicks, it has never been easier to implement a scientifically validated solution that strengthens the well-being of people in your company.

We also want to help your workplace promote well-being in an easy way.

See our solutions here.

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Free mindfulness exercises: Prevent stress with nature

Free mindfulness exercises: Prevent stress with nature

If you often have pressing worries – let go of the mind with mindfulness exercises.

Watch the video below, which with the use of nature, helps you get a handle on your breathing and your worries. The exercise lasts only 2 minutes and is free. Remember, it is easy to share with colleagues.

We also explain:

  • Why you should do mindfulness exercises
  • How nature can help with stress
  • Recommendations for using mindfulness

Mindfulness is about training one’s own consciousness because it is the brain that produces our worries – literally. Fortunately, you can train your control over the brain by becoming more conscious.

Try several mindfulness exercises with Pleaz

Want inspiration for more mindfulness exercises?

With Pleaz you get access to a large assortment of video exercises specifically designed for workplaces. They give you a short respite – and help keep you going. Most exercises can be done at your desk either standing or sitting. In addition, we recommend introducing mindfulness exercises for virtual meetings.

In addition to mindfulness exercises, you can also find stretching and strength exercises, office yoga, and social exercises.

Mindfulness exercises can help against stress

On a busy day, your feelings and thoughts are often ignored or underestimated, and this puts extra pressure on your mental health and capacity. To alleviate the stress it can lead to, you can therefore make use of mindfulness exercises.

When you practice mindfulness, you learn to observe your mindset, which makes it easier to work with, for example, worries. Because by observing your thoughts, you objectify what you are experiencing and it can relieve stress.

During your working day, you can train the following through our platform:

  • Your ability to calm down and recharge
  • Your attention and ability to concentrate
  • Your openness and your ability to listen
  • Your ability to regulate your thoughts, feelings, actions, and habits.

To experience long-lasting results, it is important that mindfulness is a recurring thing that you train. Therefore, you can advantageously select some favorite exercises that you repeat over time.

Use nature as a tool

At a time when stress and busyness are taking up more and more space, recent research studies are trying to cover the healing power of nature for mental health.

A study shows that staying in nature or even just visualizing nature causes something to happen to us both physically and mentally.

We may experience health and mental benefits, such as lower levels of stress and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is also largely due to the physical changes we may experience such as a changed and healthier heart rate, lower blood pressure, and higher levels of pleasure hormones.

Want to try a mindfulness exercise where you visualize nature? So read on below.

Short visualization exercise

  1. Breathe well into the lungs for approx. 3 seconds
  2. Hold your breath for a moment
  3. Exhale calmly again for approx. 3 seconds Repeat this 3 times.
  4. Imagine you are standing at the start of a forest
  5. Now imagine walking through the woods
  6. Feel your senses on this mental walk

What are you experiencing? A cold autumn breeze, broken from a branch under your feet or the glow of the sun through the trees?

Inspiration for mindfulness in everyday life

There may also be other beneficial options during your everyday life where it makes sense:

If you have transport time back and forth from work, you can, for example, focus on your breathing here

You can also start by listening to your body’s signals. If you feel the urge for an extra cup of coffee, to check your phone, or open the empty mailbox again, be aware of your need for a break. Use that pause wisely when the opportunity arises.

As you gain more experience with mindfulness, you will find that these small spaces in your everyday life, where the body helps and signals its needs, can be of great benefit to your well-being at work and at home.

So spend those moments accepting that not everything can be controlled and that the situation you are in right now is okay as it is. We do not always have to move forward and achieve a lot.

If you have more questions or want to start with some selected mindfulness exercises, then you can try a pleazer for free here.

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Homeworking: How to create better routines as an employee and as an employer

Homeworking: How to create better routines as an employee and as an employer

Homeworking has become the norm for many during this time. But when the workplace is replaced with the home office, it may require new habits. We give good advice to you as an employee and as an employer, so you can create better routines from home.

Among other things, you can afford how active breaks can be made a routine in your homework to achieve more well-being. We also explain some of the aspects of homework that you can focus on as a workplace and employee:

  • Physical well-being
  • Social well-being
  • Mental well-being
  • Rules for the home workplace
  • The interior design of the home office

Achieve physical well-being when working from home

Pain or tension in the neck and back, mouse arm, and tension headaches are typical symptoms caused by the home workplace. Exercise and breaks during the day are the best relief for these symptoms.

Below you will find our three tips on how to create a daily routine with breaks and movement so that you achieve more physical well-being at your home workplace:

 

1. The best position is always the next position!

It is important to change position often – A good rule of thumb is: Change position every 30 minutes to loosen up and prevent tension and pain from poor working postures over a long period of time.

2. “You have to use energy to get energy”

It is not only the body that benefits from movement. When we get the blood circulation going, it brings more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Active breaks can thus help us maintain a good energy level throughout the day.

Research has shown that two minutes of bodyweight exercises are an effective way to quickly increase your heart rate and to reduce persistent pain.

 

3. Take a walk in nature

Get out and get some fresh air for your head – especially if there is a blue sky or a little green to look at. Nature’s own blue and green colors stimulate the center of the brain, which makes us more creative and may be able to help us further with a work task. All great thinkers (e.g. Einstein and H.C. Ørsted) went on long walks to think great thoughts.

Did you know that an active break of just 4 minutes improves our ability to focus and concentrate for up to an hour afterward?

Nurture your social relationships from your home workplace

We, humans, are herd animals, and therefore it can feel lonely to sit alone in the home workplace rather than being surrounded by our colleagues, as we are used to. According to the research project Mental Health and Work Communities during the Corona Crisis (MESA), the physical distance from our colleagues can cause us to lose motivation for our work.

Good advice for nurturing social relationships as an employee

As an employee, you can focus on these routines:

  • Try a digital coffee meeting and have a chat about loose and firm – just like at the coffee machine in the office.
  • Hold a short video meeting with your colleague instead of only chatting when you need sparring or feedback.
  • Take virtual breaks with your colleagues. Pleazers are more than just a fun break. Did you know, for example, that laughter releases endorphin, which reduces stress hormones and enhances our immune system?

A good, solid laugh reduces stress and loosens muscle tension, allowing our muscles to relax for up to 45 minutes afterward. With Pleaz you can, for example, make one of our Fun Break Pleazer with your colleagues and have a good laugh together.

Good advice for nurturing social relationships in the workplace

As an employer, you can also help strengthen the unity of the team and contribute to social well-being, even if the team is not physically together. Our suggestions for you as an employer are:

  • Share and celebrate your victories so you can keep your motivation up. Although many of us work together, individually, there are still many things that succeed. And it’s worth celebrating!
  • Take the initiative for joint breaks and focus on the fact that breaks are extra important in the home workplace. Then you as an employer can create a positive culture around breaks. Make a Pleazer with your team at a set time.

Hold social events, but virtually. For example, try a quiz with Kahoot!, which can easily be done with screen sharing.

Homeworking can affect mental well-being

When we go from working at the office to homeworking, it can be associated with insecurity and stress because we suddenly have to change our habits and routines. Therefore, it is important that we also remember to focus on our mental well-being and actively prevent stress. You can do this by using our mindfulness exercises.

We also recommend that you:

  • To prevent stress, it is crucial that you create a routine for the mindfulness exercises so that you learn to focus on the body’s signals. Set aside a fixed time each day where you focus on your mental well-being.

 

  • You can also try walking or cycling for a walk before and after your workday, so you can mentally adjust to alternating between being at home and being at home.

Our research team has seen indications that subjects who have used Pleaz over a long period of time – also in the home workplace – have experienced a reduction in their stress level, while subjects who have not used Pleaz have experienced an increase in their stress level during the same period. We look forward to sharing the final research results on the use of Pleaz with you.

What rules apply in the home workplace?

When we work at home, it’s not just about finding some new good routines. There are also some rules that one should be aware of. A home-based workplace is in principle covered by the same rules on the working environment like the workplace in the company. This means that you as an employer must take care of, and the employee must help to ensure that the working conditions in the home are fully safe in terms of safety and health. For example, the Danish Working Environment Authority has listed some rules for screen work, which you should focus on:

  • Make sure you have enough space for appropriate working postures and movements
  • As an employer, you should also make sure to organize the work at the screen so that it is regularly interrupted. You can, among other things. do by encouraging your employees to take active breaks during the workday.

In addition, we also recommend that the employee and the workplace have a dialogue on how to best ensure that the home office is set up correctly so that you do not get injuries or nuisances in the body. You can read more about this below.

What is the best home office decor?

Decorating an office in the home can be a challenge for many, few of us have furniture that can be adjusted to our individual needs. That is why we often end up sitting at the dining table or on the couch when we have to do our homework. It is not optimal for our working position.

You can do it yourself:

  • Find out if you can borrow home office equipment that can make your home workplace a better setting for your home working.
  • If not, you can be creative. For example, try standing at an ironing board or putting a stool on the dining table – then you have a homemade raising-lowering table.
  • Remember that the most important thing is to vary your ergonomic position with different working positions during your working day.

Sedentary work can cause discomfort, but breaks and movement are the best relief. With our video-guided exercises, you can easily take short, active breaks during your workday.

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Exercise in the workplace: Getting started [exercises on video]

Exercise in the workplace: Getting started [exercises on video]

Exercise in the workplace is healthy. Especially if your work is very sedentary.

Sitting in front of the screen or at the desk for extended periods of time can be very exhausting – even if you do not necessarily notice it in the same way as if you have a more physically demanding job.

By exercising during working hours, you can:

  • Lower the risk of “office injuries” – such as pain in the neck, lower back, and back
  • Get more oxygen to the brain – so you are more efficient and have fewer headaches
  • Reduce symptoms of stress
  • More job satisfaction

In short, there are many benefits to taking just five minutes out of working hours to exercise. Despite this, many workplaces have a hard time finding the time – and the right exercises.

Are you looking for a specific exercise that you can perform in the office or at the desk?

Then start the video below – and watch a small selection of our best breaks for exercising in the workplace.

Exercises in the workplace

With Pleaz you get access to a large range of exercises on video that are specifically designed for workplaces. They give you a short respite – and help keep you going. We have over 60 videos with different exercises to help you get more exercise in the workplace.

Each exercise can be performed in minutes and requires no additional equipment or preparation.

In addition to the physical exercises, you will also find guided exercises in mindfulness, yoga, and team building.

Why is exercise important during working hours?

Sedentary work is often detrimental to one’s health.

By introducing a fixed format of physical activity, you as a workplace can prevent the lifestyle diseases and injuries that often occur when employees sit a lot in front of a computer or at a desk.

According to a study from the University of Southern Denmark from 2015, a weekly hour of physical activity and training had a measurable great effect on employees – and the workplace as a whole.

Physical activity minimizes sick leave and injuries

The healthier the employees, the lower sickness absence.

According to the study, short-term sickness absence fell by 56% after just one year. This is because the health of the employees, including their condition and blood pressure, improved significantly.

Fewer sick days are not only for the benefit of management. It also leads to less hustle and bustle as one does not have to catch up on the lost time later.

Less physical exercises during the break help to give employees a chance to stretch – and become more aware of their own body and posture. We tend to collapse a little if we sit for extended periods of time. If we do not vary our posture or take breaks at regular intervals, it can over time lead to low back pain or neck pain.

Active breaks can therefore have a lasting positive effect on employees’ health.

2. Exercise and well-being are linked

Exercise also creates well-being.

Job satisfaction and general well-being can also be increased by exercise during working hours. Your physical well-being also contributes to your mental health, as movement and exercise can counteract symptoms of stress.

In addition to the actual effects of physical activity, an in-house exercise break also helps to show that the workplace is genuinely interested in the well-being of its employees. Over time, it can provide happier and more loyal employees.

3. Exercise contributes to socializing

Exercise can also be made into a social activity.

Even if all or more employees work from home, joint exercise can create a space for coziness, community, and socialization. New employees get to know everyone faster. A single team becomes more cohesive. Different departments get to know each other better.

By combining social activities and exercise, you get both the health benefits – and the opportunity to talk together in a way that your busy everyday life may not allow.

4. Exercise in the workplace is good for your productivity

The study from SDU also showed a measurable improvement in employee productivity.

Over a year, productivity increased 10% – compared to the control group who did not exercise during working hours.

That productivity is partly due to the lower sickness absence. But healthier employees also become more productive because they get renewed energy, more oxygen to the brain, and better focus on the task ahead of them.

5. Inlaid breaks for exercise give more time for work

It can be difficult to find the time to move or exercise.

The general explanation for why many workplaces – and people – do not exercise enough is because they have difficulty finding the time.

But if you sit very still in your work, it can make you more tired, less productive, more ill – and therefore actually cost you time.

When the body does not move, the flow of blood to muscles and organs decreases. The ability of muscles to absorb and metabolize sugar or fat also decreases. Fat and sugar need to be stored somewhere – and it often stays in the belly fat stores or over the years.

In addition to the fact that lack of exercise increases the risk of a number of diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it can also make you lethargic.

Taking five to ten minutes out of everyday life for a short physical exercise is, therefore, an investment. You get more time to do the actual work by exercising.

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What is mental health?

What is mental health?

Mental health is a state of well-being where you are free to:

  • Unfold your abilities
  • Dealing with problems or stress in everyday life
  • Engage with other people

Your mental health is therefore an important part of your well-being. Both privately and at your workplace.

Crises, major challenges, or persistent dissatisfaction can drain or wear on your mental health. If the problems are not solved or treated properly, it can, over time, lead to depression, stress, and other mental illnesses.

In this article we explain:

  • What is mental health?
  • What can you do to promote your mental health?
  • How can your workplace safeguard your mental health and well-being?

With Pleaz, you – or your company’s employees – get a series of short videos that provide a relaxing break during the working day. We offer both mindfulness and yoga exercises that help reduce symptoms of stress.

As an extra tip: also try a few of our workouts. Your physical and mental health are closely related.

What is mental health? (According to the National Board of Health and WHO)

The National Board of Health and the WHO defines mental health as:

A state of well-being where the individual can unfold his abilities, deal with everyday challenges and stress as well as enter into communities with other people. (National Board of Health) 

It can thus be broken down into four parts, which together characterize healthy mental health: 

1. A state of well-being

First of all, mental health is an emotional or psychological state.  

When you feel happy and at ease, you typically are too. This does not mean that you cannot be busy at the same time, be dissatisfied with minor things in your life, or perform duties that do not contribute to your overall joy of life. But if most of the time you feel effortless and satisfied, it is a clear sign of mental health.

It is also important to point out that you do not have full control over this. You may not want yourself to have a certain feeling or be in a certain state.

However, you can cultivate, and perhaps evoke, this feeling by:

  • Do things that make you happy
  • Take one or more minor breaks
  • Think about what gives you that feeling
  • Get a handle on tasks that otherwise stand in the way of your well-being
  • Ask for help – if something seems unmanageable

2. To unfold your abilities

Mental health is also about doing things. 

You can prove to yourself – and others – that you are good at something; you can take control of your own situation or cultivate something that you find satisfying. In other words, so you do not feel limited or locked.

In the workplace, this is reflected in the fact that you are happy with most of your work tasks. It may be because you are doing the work that you think is right; may cultivate your interest at work, or may take time to become even better in your role.

When you develop your abilities with a certain autonomy, you also thrive better. This means that the resources you possess correspond to the requirements of the task. In such situations, you may experience a positive feeling of losing the sense of time and place.

3. Dealing with problems or stress

Mental capacity is also a part of your mental health.

This allows you to accommodate when something goes wrong or if for a shorter period of time you have to work faster than usual.

Challenges and problems wear on our profits and capacity. But they can also give you greater joy if you find new and better ways to solve them. If the problems persist or you constantly encounter new ones, over time it will use up your resources.

4. To enter into communities with other people

Being social is also part of healthy mental health.

You can both experience using or gaining energy from being with others. But whether you are more introverted or extroverted, it is important that you can interact with other people.

When it comes to working, this ability also helps to create better collaboration on projects or assignments; a stronger sense of camaraderie and loyalty as well as increasing the social health and well-being of the individual employee.

A good working environment creates well-being - and better mental health for employees

A good working environment contributes significantly to your and your employees’ mental health.

As an employer, you are responsible for the physical and mental work environment. In addition to the individual legal requirements, a healthy working environment also has a number of secondary effects, such as lower sickness absence, higher productivity, and better working conditions for all.

It is therefore important for the workplace that consideration is given to whether individual employees are having a hard time or bad at times – and that you strive to create the best possible framework for cultivating a culture that protects the mental health of all employees.

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