We are now all very aware that there has been a massive impact on mental wellbeing in almost every population due to the Covid Pandemic and the social restrictions put on us all.
Research from many different sources have now confirmed the significance of this impact on lifestyle behaviours.
The changes have been recorded in all desk based employees, whether working from home or within the office environment. Work activity differed when remote working with more sitting, less standing and less physical activities. This was felt to be due to less light duties and less social interactions with colleagues and customers at work but also with family and friends when not working. The increased sedentary behaviour was increased on non- work days also and was more evident in the remote working group.
Everyone’s daily life during the pandemic has changed dramatically. This has had a negative impact on work performance with changes in mood can affecting the ability to concentrate, memory and confidence to manage normal tasks.
These effects may have been more noticeable for employees working at home and home schooling their children, and those providing more care and support for family and friends.
There is clear evidence that inactivity can have a negative impact on mental wellbeing and this can result in increased stress levels.
Employers will benefit if they can support their employees during these challenging times. Many companies offer employee access to Mental Health support programmes as the NHS waiting lists are currently extremely long.
There are some great resources available on the internet and signposting to these with some guidance and support can be very helpful in helping employees to engage with support available to them. Some good websites to start with are-
It is important to encourage routine as much as possible, eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise.
A referral to Occupational Health can also ensure the employee has been assessed correctly and any reasonable adjustments made to support their recovery. There is good evidence that continuing to work or returning to work as soon as possible is beneficial by providing routine, helping to rebuild self esteem and confidence.