HealthScaping NorthWest

Creating healthy, vibrant communities

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Live to Work, or Work to Live?

Make Life Work

I was delighted to learn earlier today that The Huffington Post, BlogHer, and the Center for American Progress have launched the Make Life Work campaign!

Make Life Work

Exciting News!

This could be the turning point for our nation, and a boost for all of us trying to heed our forefathers’ call to pursue that inalienable right: happiness. With an emphasis on flexible workplaces and leave policies that reflect the realities of modern families, these three powerhouses are well-equipped to lead us to a better way to work. Check out the campaign and how you can get news, become an advocate, and share your story on BlogHer.

Just this weekend, I had the good fortune to witness Guy Kawasaki interview Arianna Huffington at the BlogHer14 Conference in San Jose.

She spoke with heart and humor about her vision for a healthier, happier American workforce. Her tips formed the nuts and bolts of any good chronic disease prevention or workplace wellness program: get enough sleep, meditate, eat healthy, and be active. She spoke with wisdom and humor about these human needs, which are so basic and yet so difficult to accommodate in the modern economy.

High-powered leaders and barely-making-it employees alike are increasingly burning out from always being “on.” So many suffer chronic stress from unpredictable shift work schedules, sleep deprivation, lack of sick leave, and less-than-living wages. These conditions can have devastating effects on performance; Arianna Huffington herself collapsed due to sleep deprivation two years into the making of the Huffington Post, injuring her cheek and requiring stitches. That would certainly be a wake-up call for anybody. She shared how she has changed her habits, and detailed her vision for a workplace culture that supports employee wellbeing. And, hey, if she can now get 8 hours sleep a night 90% of the time, so can the rest of us!

It may take a little help from the top, however.

Fortunately, employers have begun to realize that healthy workplace policies are good for the bottom line. Huffington writes about this in her book, Thrive. Though slanted toward the debilitating stress experienced by even high-powered employees, she asks us all to take a good look at our definition of success and suggests we add a “third metric” alongside wealth and power: wellness. Her book lauds several top-employers that have decided to prioritize employees’ health: doing the right thing for employees is also the right thing for business. Happier, healthier employees are more loyal and more productive… and accrue less expensive health care needs. And that’s a winning situation.

What are your thoughts on work-life balance? How do you manage stress at work?