How To Promote Physical Wellbeing?

A survey completed in 2021 found that 441,000 tradespeople sustained an injury at work that affected their physical wellbeing. Poor physical wellbeing is a significant issue and can impact day-to-day life. As the issue affects so many, we should understand what good physical wellbeing is, why it is important and what we can do to promote it.

This article will explore some measures individuals can take to improve their physical wellbeing. We will also examine the role employers have towards the health and wellbeing of their staff.

What is physical wellbeing?

Physical wellbeing concerns how fit and active you are and how susceptible you are to illness and injury. Check out our FAQ article for more information on physical wellbeing and common physical health issues. 

How can I promote physical wellbeing?

There are a range of measures to promote physical wellbeing and adopt a healthy lifestyle, including:

  • Eating a healthy diet.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Avoiding inactivity.
  • Stopping smoking.
  • Sleeping well.

Let's look at each of these in more detail.

Diet for physical wellbeing

Eating the correct number of calories is the focus of a healthy diet. The amount you need will vary depending on how active you are. The NHS recommends that, on average, men consume around 2,500 calories a day and women around 2,000.

You should also make sure that:

  • Your meals include starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta.
  • You eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day.
  • You minimise the saturated fat, sugar, and salt you consume.
  • You drink water regularly. The NHS recommends between 6 and 8 glasses every day.

More information on eating well is available in the NHS's Eatwell Guide.

Exercise for physical wellbeing

Exercising is essential for developing physical fitness. It also causes the body to release hormones that make you feel happier.

Adults should spend at least 150 minutes a week doing moderate aerobic activity and carry out strength training on two or more days. The NHS provides more guidance about the type of exercise and its benefits.

Avoid inactivity for physical wellbeing

Inactivity includes spending prolonged periods sitting in a vehicle, at a desk or workstation. In the short term, it can cause lethargy, tiredness and anxiety. In the long term, it increases the risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure.

Some examples of how you can reduce inactivity include:

  • Taking breaks from your workstation to move around and stretch.
  • Using the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Cycling or walking to work.
  • Using a standing desk.

Stop smoking for physical wellbeing

It is well-documented that smoking is bad for your health. It damages the heart and lungs and is the root cause of around 70% of lung cancer cases.

Stopping smoking is difficult, but it is also one of the best things you can do for your health. For more information and support to help you do so, visit Smokefree.

Sleep for physical wellbeing

Sleeping well is essential because it can help us to feel more rested, energetic, and productive.

A good routine is one of the most effective ways to improve sleep. Going to sleep at a similar time each night can help make falling asleep easier, as can taking some time to relax before bed.

Also, consuming caffeine, sugar, or alcohol can disrupt your sleep, as can sleeping in a room that is not dark or quiet enough. 

How can employers support physical wellbeing at work?

There are several measures that employers can take to support the physical wellbeing of their staff. These measures include:

  • Completing risk assessments.
  • Managing workspace ergonomics.
  • Making reasonable adjustments.
  • Promoting personal hygiene.

Conduct risk assessments for physical wellbeing at work

All employers need to complete risk assessments that identify the hazards present in a workplace. It should then take suitable measures to minimise the risk these hazards pose. While risk assessments consider all forms of wellbeing, they usually focus on hazards that could cause physical harm.

Employees must work with their employer to protect their health and wellbeing. They can do this in several ways. They should follow safety measures, attend training, and use any work equipment correctly.

Employees must also report any concerns they have about health and wellbeing. Doing so will allow their employer to make the necessary changes.

Ergonomics for physical wellbeing at work

Many workers spend most of their time at a desk or other workstation. Injuries can occur if these environments do not suit the user's needs.

Employers must ensure that workstations are comfortable and do not cause aches or pains for everyone working there. Components should be adjustable or replaceable to accommodate different people.

For example, taller workers may need a lower chair to avoid slouching or straining to see a screen. Wheelchair users may require a desk that is adjustable to suit the height of their wheelchair.

Reasonable adjustments for physical wellbeing at work

Employers are legally required to make reasonable adjustments for those with health conditions. Adjustments should ensure that everyone with health issues is protected at work. These may include:

  • Changing working practices, such as allowing someone with hearing issues to work in a quieter room.
  • Making physical changes, like installing a ramp for a wheelchair user.
  • Supplying different equipment, such as a special keyboard for people with arthritis.
  • Allowing employees who have developed a new condition to work flexibly or have a phased return to work.

Workers need to tell employers about relevant conditions to allow them the opportunity to make reasonable adjustments. Equality and Human Rights Commission provides further information about workplace adjustments. 

Personal hygiene for physical wellbeing at work

Everyone should take care of their hygiene to stop the spread of germs and contamination with dangerous materials. 

Employers must encourage good personal hygiene. They can do this by giving their workers clean places to wash and the proper safety equipment.

Employees have a responsibility to:

  • Regularly wash their hands and face with soap and water.
  • Wash their hands after handling hazardous materials and before/after eating, drinking, and smoking.
  • Avoid touching their face with contaminated hands.
  • Avoid eating and drinking in work areas.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) and clean or dispose of it after use by the manufacturer's instructions.


Making physical wellbeing a priority can take effort and require significant changes in how we live and work. We can all adopt good eating and exercise habits, and improve sleep routines to promote physical wellbeing. Employers can support and care for their workers with risk assessments, ergonomic workspaces and promoting hygiene.

Take one of the following courses to learn more about health and wellbeing and how to promote positive wellbeing at home and work: 




Further Reading

Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace: Understanding the ISO 45003 Guidance

Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace: Understanding the ISO 45003 Guidance

Health and Wellbeing

Learn about the ISO 45003 guidelines and how it is helping organisations to improve psychological health and safety in the workplace.

Techniques for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing

Techniques for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing

Discover effective techniques to improve your mental health and wellbeing. From cognitive reframing to mindfulness and sleep routines, prioritise your mental wellbeing and promote positive emotions.

A Guide to Health and Wellbeing: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

A Guide to Health and Wellbeing: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Health and Wellbeing

Explore the physical, mental, and social aspects of health and wellbeing as we provide some answers to commonly asked questions.

Bethany Wesson

Bethany Wesson

Bethany is a freelance content writer and has produced articles for the Commodious Knowledge Bank since 2023. She has written about various health and safety topics, from asbestos to mindful business practices.

  • Heath and Safety
  • Wellbeing
  • Physical Wellbeing