About 55 million essential workers are employed in the United States. Since COVID-19 surfaced in 2020, society has taken a hard look at what it really means to be an essential worker.
For society to function well and efficiently, essential worker health needs to be taken seriously, especially during a pandemic. When an essential worker's health is a priority, the worker feels valued and the company benefits from their hard work during hard times.
So what are some ways for essential workers to stay in great health? Here are nine health tips you can start practicing today, whether at home or work.
The majority of places in the United States have a mask mandate in place for public establishments. And if you're an essential worker, chances are you are required to wear a mask. Masks are a great way to help limit the transmission and spread of diseases.
Don't forget to wear a mask in public or when you're around other people or gatherings to maintain extra protection.
Washing your hands is one of the best ways to stop disease and bacteria transmission. Many people actually don't wash their hands correctly or well and this increases the chances of spreading germs.
Make sure to wash vigorously for at least 20 seconds, in between fingers and fingernails, and focusing on the bottoms of the hands and lightly on the top. Also avoid touching your face, especially nose, mouth, and eyes because germs will easily transmit internally, and always wash your hands before you eat to avoid contamination.
When you can't wash your hands, use a sanitizer.
Our mental health is tied to our physical health. When we are mentally prepared and focused, our bodies benefit as well.
For example, constant anxiety is harmful to the body. Excess chemicals produced by your brain may cause frequent headaches and your heart rate may increase.
One way to care for your mental health is to take a day off from work to focus on something you love to do and turn off your devices or email. Take a walk to get some fresh air, meditate, and confront any stresses in your life or feelings of negativity. For some people, it helps to talk to a counselor or therapist if your job is overly stressful.
4. Eat Well
Eating well is a bedrock of staying healthy. The food that we consume directly impacts our health, for better or worse!
Start having meals that consist of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains. If you're a meat-eater, consider eating lean meats like turkey or lean beef.
While eating healthy isn't always possible, health supplements are a great option to fill in the missing pieces of nutrition.
Next to eating well, exercise is another foundation of good health. Exercise can boost your immune system, provide mental clarity, and keep your body fit and strong.
With a busy schedule as an essential worker, it's hard to squeeze exercise into your routine. If you're new to exercise, start small with an outdoor walk or run, or try a lower-impact activity like yoga. The best way to stick with an exercise is to find something that you love doing, and don't forget to stay hydrated during and after exercise!
COVID makes going to the doctor challenging, but it's a necessary step to keep you healthy. Yet many Americans are not seeing a primary care physician or PCP.
Visiting your PCP is important because they can help you address health issues before they become bigger problems. Your PCP also knows your health history and will make recommendations based on that should you need to see a specialist or need any medication.
7. Call in Sick if You Need
When co-workers come into work sick, there's a greater chance of spreading that sickness to other employees, and thus begins the snowball effect of sickness in the workplace. An abundance of sick co-workers means that it's challenging to keep pace and work and the load falls on everyone else.
Because of COVID, your workplace likely has a sick policy in place should anyone fall ill. Always call into work if you're running a fever or if you feel sick, and follow the sick policy your employer provides.
When you come home from work, resting sounds like a great idea. But not so fast. Did you consider that your shoes and clothing might be covered in harmful bacteria?
Your shoes carry an impressive amount of bacteria - over 400,000 types. When you walk into a home you track that bacteria all over the floors. Removing your shoes and keeping them in one place limits the number of bacteria you bring into your home.
While your clothes don't harbor as much bacteria, they're likely covered with some bacteria or other particles like splashed water or food. Removing and washing them after work is sufficient to keep them in good shape and reduce transmission.
Once you arrive home or before you leave work, consider disinfecting personal items you've touched at work. This may include keys, phones, glasses, or other items you've come in contact with.
While it's always a good idea to wash your hands when you arrive home, sometimes it's hard to remember. If you forget, wipe down doorknobs, counters, and anything else you might have touched. This is not just to keep you safe, but anyone else you live with.
Essential Worker Health: Important for All
When it comes to essential worker health, it's key to keeping the workplace running smoothly. By taking a few extra steps to ensure safety and health, you're maintaining not just your health, but your co-workers as well!
Are you looking for ways to boost your health easily? Visit our website today to learn about the products we offer and why we're so passionate about health!