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Well-being and productivity - is there an issue for women in business

12 February 2015

Woman outdoors orienteering

Many women in business report they work seven days a week. We’re only guessing: but might that be due to the fact women handle the bulk of the home and caring duties on top of their business commitments.

The Australian Psychological Society’s Stress and Wellbeing Survey, released late in 2014, reports that women have significantly lower levels of wellbeing than men.

Financial issues were the top source of stress for women (53%) and  they were significantly more likely than men to be concerned about most sources of stress including, financial issues, family and relational issues, health issues – self or close ones, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Overall Australians reported significantly lower levels of work-life balance satisfaction than in 2011. They also reported significantly lower levels of interest in their job than those reported in 2012. Work was also implicated in health outcomes, with nearly half Australians (48%) citing ‘work demands’ as a barrier to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you’re not happy at work and your well-being levels are down, and your work life balance is out then the red flag on productivity must have just shot up as an employer, employee, or both. Recalibrating and ensuring the demands of work don’t get in the way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle has to be a priority.

According to the APS report’s special focus on well-being and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, “a number of strategies and activities helped people achieve their healthy lifestyle goals. Australians reported believing in their own ability to take action (85%) and having the desire to change (83%) supported their lifestyle goals. Identifying and managing triggers (71%) and changing one’s mindset about healthy and unhealthy behaviours (75%) also emerged as key psychological factors cited as helpful in supporting lifestyle change.”

So on a day to day level what activities could you incorporate in your day to support a healthy lifestyle?

What about these?

The Japanese concept (shinrinyoku) recognises the invaluable health (physical, mental and emotional) benefits that come from being in nature. Relaxation and stress relief are two benefits that jump to mind. Head to a nearby park for a gentle stroll; get away from it all and listen to more tranquil surrounds. Three 10 minute strolls a day will help relax and may even help people with high blood pressure manage the condition.

Why not go on a treasure hunt, and put that GPS facility on your mobile device to some use. Geocaching (the introductory app is free) uses a GPS or mobile device to uncover hidden geocache treasures. Geocaching takes you outdoors with a purpose. You’re actively solving problems and navigating in the outdoors.

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