Up Front 02/12

I know that the first month of the year tends to attract a lot of press comment on health and fitness but there seems to be a lot this month about both the physical and mental health of bosses and their employees. According to a recent French study, if you are unhappy at work, it could be partly due to your boss’ management style. Over-controlling managers who use threats as a way to motivate employees, and organizations that do not appear to value individuals’ contributions, frustrate our basic need for autonomy and competence, and this, in turn, is likely to have a negative impact on our well-being at work. Another piece of research from the Northern Illinois University in the US, suggested that moderate exercise minimizes supervisors’ abusive behaviour towards their subordinates. The research showed that stressed supervisors vent their frustrations on their employees less when they get regular, moderate exercise. Yet another report coming out of Loughborough University in the UK, pointed out that in a typical working week, people spend on average 5 hours and 41 minutes per day sitting at their desk and 7 hours sleeping at night. The report said that prolonged sitting at your desk is not only bad for your physical health, but potentially your mental well-being also. The researchers found that nearly 70% of employees surveyed did not meet recommended guidelines for physical activity. One of the report’s authors suggested workers should go and talk to their colleagues face to face, pointing out that it’s a lot more sociable and better for us than emailing them. No doubt all this research will open doors for more ‘well-being in the workplace’ consultants. If I thought it would help I might have strong words with my boss about long hours, low pay and stressful deadlines, but then I’d probably be fired for talking to a mirror.   FB