Work is not an ideal environment for humans, even though many of us love our jobs and what we do. But even when you love something it can add stressors to your life. There have been great strides made through occupational health and safety programs to improve work conditions, but the fact is that the very nature of work for most is detrimental to well-being. Nobody is really meant to sit at a desk, stand at a cash register, or perform repetitive tasks for eight hours a day, not to mention the psychological stress that comes with having to meet profit margins, avoid making errors, deal with complicated customers, impress bosses, and work with sometimes challenging people.
Although they will not solve a problematic work situation, our Hippo Sit weighted lap pads and shoulder wraps can help make the days much more calming and comfortable. Harvard Health Publishing’s article “Understanding the stress response” helps describe why, exactly, weighted lap pads and shoulder wraps can be beneficial for getting through a work day in a more positive state of mind. Stress triggers the release of specific stress hormones, which cause heartbeats to rise, muscles to tense and breathing to get faster. Also known as the “fight or flight” response, these reactions are due to the sympathetic nervous system having been activated. Although the sympathetic nervous system can actually help save you in many situations, such as when faced with danger, it can also overreact to relatively normal situations, such as in traffic jams, line ups at the grocery store or when an email turns your day upside down.
Weighted blankets and lap pads activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which Harvard Health Publishing describes as the “brake” that lessens the stress response. The deep pressure touch stimulation provided by weighted shoulder wraps and lap pads causes the release of dopamine and serotonin, inducing a feeling of relaxation and assisting with calming. This can help improve your overall health dramatically, as stress, over time, takes a severe toll on the body. Chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and causes changes to the brain that may initiate mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and addiction. Stress has also been shown to be a factor in obesity, causing people to eat more (also known as stress eating), and sleep and exercise less.
Hippo Sit Weighted Lap Pads
We designed our Hippo Sit weighted lap pads specifically to be portable and to assist with stressful situations. Their comfortable weight directly on your lap provides a grounding affect and increases attention spans. We make our weighted lap pads with a moisture-resistant material and then cover them with a cuddly fabric. We can also make them with handy pockets to store objects or simply help keep your hands warm. They fit nicely on the lap in an office chair and are low profile, plus you can choose your favourite colours or something that won’t stand out at the office. Many people like the pocket to slip over the back of the chair at the end of the day for easy storage.
Our Hippo Sits are sized at about 16 x 24 inches, and come in weights of those are 11, 8 and 4 lbs.
We are also currently developing a cover for all sizes of our blankets so that they can be folded into a lap pad size for more versatility of use.
Hippo Hug Shoulder Wraps
Our Hippo hug weighted shoulder wraps are all handmade from scratch. They are sized at 20×50 inches, although just like our blankets we can make custom sizes (by request), too. Get in touch with one of our weighted blanket experts to talk about if you require a custom size and what weight is right for you. We love to help you find the right Hippo Hug to fit your needs. Typically, on the shelf at our shop and ready to go we have several options in weights of 4, 7 and 10 lbs.
And as we all know that offices and workplaces are never the right temperature, don’t forget that our shoulder wraps are also cozy blankets. In addition to helping calm you down, they will also warm you up so you can relax and concentrate on your work.
Other Ways to Alleviate Stress at Work
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) describes workplace stress as a reaction to a situation, not the actual situation. Generally, people become stressed at work when they feel as though the resources they have are not enough to deal with the requests being made of them. The CCOHS says, “Workplace stress … is the harmful physical and emotional responses that can happen when there is a conflict between job demands on the employee and the amount of control an employee has over meeting these demands.”
So, if you are finding stress to be overwhelming at work, the best thing to do is to talk about it with a manager or supervisor you can trust to help manage your workload, intervene and mitigate in unhealthy work relationships, and provide you with the support and resources you need to succeed. It may be helpful to keep track of your stressors so you can pinpoint exactly when problems arise and therefore address them more effectively.
Hippo Hug also does free presentations for local businesses about how our products can improve work environments for both staff and clients. Contact us if you are interested. We would love to bring samples and information to share and support mental health at work.
Other ways to help deal with stress at work include:
- Establishing work/life balance by “turning off” when home
- Making healthy choices such as eating good food and exercising
- Getting enough rest
- Practising meditation
- Talking to a stress management professional or counsellor
Businesses are also starting to encourage naps at work to encourage productivity. Hours spent at the workplace have been steadily increasing over the years, and as quick sleep of less than 90 minutes has been shown to drastically help improve attention as well as overall well-being.
Hippo Hug is Here for You
If you have any additional questions, visit our frequently asked questions page, or try our explainer video for information on how Hippo Hug products assist with reducing stress and getting the best night’s sleep possible so you can face the day at the top of your game.