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Health: The Hidden Key to Productivity

Low productivity can be a problem for employees whether they are working from the office or from home, even before the pandemic. There have always been a multitude of reasons that might lead to poor employee productivity (PEP), such as not fully understanding their role or the expectations of their position, distractions from other employees or family members while working from home, or they may be addicted to the distractions of email and social media. With the impact of the global pandemic, it’s even more important for employers to realize that one of the biggest causes of PEP is poor health. 


Employees who have habits and behaviors linked to poor health outcomes, such as smoking, eating an unhealthy diet of fast foods, exercising infrequently or never, or who have chronic pain issues are more likely to exhibit PEP than those who have healthier lifestyles that include regular exercise, a diet based on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, avoiding smoking, and managing pain and mental health. 


In short, individual unhealthy lifestyle choices may result in substantially higher levels of lost productivity at work. Wellness programs that focus on helping employees have good mental and physical habits will eventually have a positive impact on productivity.

Because the strongest force in human nature is to stay consistent with the identity you hold of yourself, being healthy starts with your identity. Your identity is your unconscious understanding of yourself, composed of self-assessments, personality attributes, knowledge of your skills and abilities, your body type, and your physical attributes. Identity is at the foundation of everything.


You have an identity in every area of your life, whether you or not you are consciously aware of it. When you recognize how you want to see yourself physically, believing in your body’s abilities and consistency in your health allows you to recognize the difference between your current health identity and your ideal health identity. 


Your health identity is the combination of your mental attitude, beliefs, values, and behaviors that determine how you respond to and interpret every situation and the decisions you make about your health. 


Your emotional health supports you in creating consistent habits in regard to your physical and nutritional health. Your emotions provide you with the leverage to create meaningful results in your life. Your body is an absolute mirror of your mind. As you worry, your body shows it. As you love, your body shows it. As you are overwhelmed, your body shows it. As you are angry, your body shows it. Every cell of your body is impacted by the way you feel. Rather than how you feel being a direct reflection of your physical state, the opposite is true: your physical state is a direct reflection of how you feel. 

To perform at your highest level, you need to focus on putting yourself in a positive, empowering state before taking action or responding to anything or anyone. Deciding to consistently support your health and energy allows you to use everything that comes your way as a catalyst for success. By responding positively to any resistance or challenge you face, you accelerate your personal growth and the growth of your career. 

The first step is realizing that, as a company, the health of your employees must be a top priority for the long term health and success of your organization. As an individual, you must realize that your health and energy are directly correlated to your level of success. 


There are five pillars of health to focus on to impact your wellbeing and success: 


  1. Strength
  • Being strong is not just about physical strength, in fact that is the least important aspect of strength. You must be mentally and emotionally strong if you want to be a top performer.  
  • Mental strength is the ability to show gratitude in the good times, maintain that gratitude in the challenging times, and continue to move towards your desired results in times of great force or pressure. 
  • Emotional strength is the ability to choose how you will feel in any given moment. It starts with a non-judgmental awareness of what you are feeling, and, if necessary, is followed by a deliberate decision to shift to a meaning that will serve your highest interests. It involves your ability to deal with challenges in a way that keeps you positive and moving forward. 
  • Physical strength is the body’s ability to respond as needed to the physical demands of your day. 


  1. Balance 
  • Life is about balance. You may be able to put all of your focus on your career and neglect your health for the short term but it will catch up to you. Eventually, your health will start to fail and you won’t be able to perform at your highest level, if at all. The happiest, most successful people in the world know how to balance their emotions, their mental state, and their physical abilities. 
  • Mental balance is the ability to sort and prioritize the demands, tasks, and events of  your life, while maintaining a positive attitude.
  • Emotional balance is the ability to maintain a level of stability in your emotions, and to appropriately match your emotions to your situation.
  • Physical balance is the ability to remain solid and steady as you navigate through the world.


  1. Flexibility
  • Now more than ever, it is essential that companies and individuals flex and change with the times to become or remain successful. 
  • Mental flexibility is the ability to be adaptable and open to new ideas and different ways of thinking. 
  • Emotional flexibility is the ability to assess a situation and use appropriate strategies to manage and direct your emotions as needed. For example, if a three year old child tells you that you’re stupid, would you take it personally and refuse to have anything to do with that child again? Hopefully not! In that situation, you may choose the strategy of being amused. However, if your boss continually puts you down or insults you, you may choose the strategy of ending the relationship and choosing a new company. It’s the same general situation, but you choose a different strategy for dealing with it emotionally.   
  • Physical flexibility is the quality of having full range of motion in your physical body with ease and without straining.


  1. Posture 
  • Your mental posture is how you position yourself when communicating with others or with yourself. There are three postures you can embody at any time when communicating and influencing others: inferior, equal, or superior.
    • Inferior Posture – Taking an inferior posture helps the other person feel more significant or superior by comparison. This posture allows you to communicate from a place of humility and respect for another, allowing the other person to feel “superior.” When using the inferior posture, you are showing the other person that you look to them for guidance, knowledge, or support. Influencers may use the inferior posture strategically, but they rarely stay there. 
    • Equal Posture – When someone communicates from an equal posture, they speak in neutral, even tones, and their physiology and choice of words convey a sense of equality within the interaction. Their energy creates a space where everyone can learn from one another’s knowledge and experiences. There is a mutual feeling of respect for each individual included in the interaction. Everyone is on the same level and is equal. There is an emotional accountability to holding someone in an equal posture that implies each person is viewed as smart, capable, important, and valuable. Equal posture is the most powerful posture; you want to live in this space as an influencer. 
    • Superior Posture – When someone takes a higher position than the people they are communicating with, they are in superior posture. They are acting as the alpha or influencer of the interaction. There is a tendency to take a more dominant tone and physiology and communication is more directive. Superior posture is a strong presence with the intention of guiding every moment of an interaction, demanding the attention and respect of the individuals they are communicating with. Some influencers use superior posture because they feel they have the right to be this way.
  • Emotional posture is how you feel about yourself in relation to other people. A strong emotional posture gives you the ability to influence yourself first and tends to help people feel comfortable in your presence. A person with a strong emotional posture understands that we are all inferior to and superior to others depending on the context, which ultimately makes us all equal.
  • Physical posture refers to the structural positioning of your body: head, shoulders, hips, and ankles in proper position and alignment. 


  1. Endurance
  • Mental endurance is the ability to deal effectively with challenges. This requires a certain degree of willpower, self-discipline, and perseverance.
  • Emotional endurance allows you to keep going with a grateful and positive mindset, despite any challenges along the way. 
  • Physical endurance involves training your body to exert itself and remain active for long periods of time. It is also your ability to resist, withstand, and quickly recover from trauma, wounds, or fatigue.


If you are not experiencing the productivity and success you want in your career or in life, take a look at how you prioritize your health. Consider these five pillars and whether your current habits support your strength, balance, flexibility, posture and endurance. You are the one who has the responsibility to take charge of your health and energy. Knowing the impact it can have on your career can be a game changer for you both personal and professionally!


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About the author

Brooke Dukes is currently supporting NASP as Chief Sales Officer leading strategy and business development. Prior to NASP, Brooke was a multi-million dollar producer and excelled at various executive-level positions in sales and business development, including two Fortune100 companies. She has worked with some of the largest and most successful companies including Lear, General Motors, and United Airlines, and across multiple industries, such as insurance, skincare and cosmetics, technology, and banking.

Brooke has her BS from Michigan State University. She is a mother of two successful children and an avid traveler. Exploring the world and helping people achieve their dreams is her passion. Brooke resides in Austin Tx.