In recent years, due to world events such as the pandemic, there has been an advancement in the prioritisation of both physical and mental health in the workplace. With over half (53%) of organisations now having a stand-alone wellbeing strategy[1], employers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance and benefits happy and healthy employees bring to the workplace, however, more still needs to be done.

As a result, the implementation of wellness programmes has been crucial in further promoting productivity and overall job satisfaction within organisations. One key element of physical wellbeing is the advancement of ergonomic adjustments, which plays a pivotal role in preventing workplace injuries, reducing discomfort, and enhancing overall wellbeing.

Benefits of Ergonomic intervention in the workplace

Ergonomic adjustments in the workplace have been proven to prevent injuries and ailments associated with prolonged sitting or repetitive tasks, which is especially effective in desk orientated jobs. Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, and neck strain are common among employees who spend extended periods at their desks [2]. However, simple changes such as adjusting chair height, positioning monitors at eye level, and providing ergonomic technology such as keyboards and mice, can significantly alleviate strain and reduce the likelihood of such injuries.

In addition to their physical benefits, ergonomic adjustments can also improve mental wellbeing by reducing employees’ stress and discomfort. Employees that experience physical discomfort on a daily basis, due to poorly set up workstations are more likely to report higher levels of stress, leading to decreased job satisfaction [3].

The benefits of additional wellness programmes

Healthy workplaces that prioritise mental and physical wellbeing help employees to flourish and reach their potential. This means creating an environment that actively promotes a state of contentment, benefiting both employees and the organisation.

By proactively investing in your employees’ wellbeing, through wellness programmes, can lead to improved resilience, employee engagement, performance, productivity and a reduction in sickness and absenteeism. To reap the full benefits, the prioritisation of employee wellbeing must be embedded in an organisation’s culture, leadership and people management if it is to thrive.

So, what are some additional examples of wellness programmes organisations can implement?

When it comes to wellness programmes for any organisation, there is no size fits all, and often a variety of different components will be needed to enhance overall wellbeing in the workplace.

Below are some examples of wellness programmes organisations can look to implement that focus on both physical and mental health.

  1. Fitness Initiatives

With most office jobs falling into desk or sedentary roles, fitness initiatives have never been more important. One way this could be achieved is through a workplace gym. Not only does this encourage the foundation of healthy habits but eliminates employees’ time and effort and cost by removing the commute and an additional journey to the gym. Exercise also releases endorphins, which reduce stress and anxiety, contributing to improved mental well-being. By offering a space for your team to exercise, employers contribute to a positive work environment and happier, more resilient employees.

Alternatively, workplace sports teams such as tennis, football, and running could be set up where employees can take part together during their lunch hour or post work. This not only encourages social interaction between colleagues away from the desk, but regular exercise has been proven to enhance cognitive function, memory, and concentration, ultimately boosting productivity by helping employees return to work with renewed focus and energy.

  1. Nutritional education

According to the American Heart Association, workplace nutrition intervention has the highest positive effect on health behaviours[4] including stress and productivity. By educating employees on nutrition and providing access to healthy snack options in the workplace, organisations can support employees’ physical wellbeing and help them better manage stress. Nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote overall mood stability.

  1. Stress management techniques

While it’s normal to experience workplace stress from time to time, prolonged stress can put employees under strain which can not only result in mental symptoms such as burnout and overwhelm, but physical symptoms as well. Examples of this may include recurring colds, headaches or aches and pains. It can also present with anxiety, stress and nervousness, making it difficult to concentrate, and leading to a disruption in learning and working practices.

To prevent this, consider providing employees with access to workshops or seminars focused on stress reduction techniques that can empower them to better manage their stress levels. Topics such as time management, effective communication, and relaxation techniques can equip employees with the tools they need to navigate challenging situations with ease.

  1. Ergonomic adjustments

As discussed above, by optimising the workspace to support employees’ physical health through ergonomic adjustments, employers can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders, improve comfort, and boost the productivity levels of both their employees and employers. By investing in ergonomic solutions, employers are also demonstrating a commitment to their employees’ health, resulting in a more supportive and conducive work environment.

  1. Workspace layout

In addition to ergonomic changes, consider your overall workplace layout. If possible, consider creating open and flexible layouts that facilitate movement and collaboration between employers. This can help to enhance employee engagement and satisfaction. Additionally, look at adding other elements to the workspace (if not added already) such as natural lighting and greenery. This can further contribute to a positive work environment and promote wellbeing. A 2017 study published by the National Sleep Foundation found that workers who are exposed to high levels of natural light in offices reported better quality sleep compared to workers who weren’t exposed to any natural light [5].


In conclusion, prioritising physical and mental health in the workplace through wellness programmes, including ergonomic adjustments is not only beneficial for employees’ wellbeing but also contributes to organisational success. By investing in and implementing the above programmes, employers can create a workspace that supports optimal health and performance.







Salman Haq
Salman Haq
Head of Operations at Oxford Business School | + posts

Committed to helping people shape their futures, Oxford Business College has become the fastest-growing Private Higher Education College in the UK. Known for high academic standards and highly qualified staff, the College has 8000+ students from diverse backgrounds, orientations, and cultures. The college has expanded from one campus in Oxford to four cities, numerous campuses and partnerships with multiple UK universities including the University of West London, Ravensbourne University London and Buckinghamshire New University.