Taking a proactive attitude at work

First Posted: 4/4/2014

Most of us spend close to one-third of our life at work. That might be great for the bank account, but it can be a serious hurdle for someone trying to get and stay healthy.

People who work physical jobs that require a lot of sweat and movement have their own set of challenges. But for the rest of us who spend hours sitting or standing in one spot, work can be the enemy of fitness.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Increasingly, business owners are figuring out that initiating simple programs to help keep their employees healthy and happy can save them serious money. If you work for one of those companies, congratulations. If you don’t, do not let that stop you from making your workplace healthier.

A few easy steps – literally – can make a big difference in workplace wellness.

• Take the lead. Talk with your HR director or manager about forming a wellness committee within the organization. Engage other employees who may be interested in health and wellness and work together

• Check out the snack options. If the vending machine is full of Twinkies, ask the boss to speak to the vending company about healthier options. The same goes for the food brought to meetings. You don’t have to get rid of the doughnuts, just make sure something healthier if available too.

• Have a meeting scheduled? Make it a walking meeting! Walking Meetings can boost creativity, energy and participation.

• Take on the stairs! For some quick cardio, skip the elevator and walk the stairs whenever you can at work. No stairs? Take a few extra laps through the hallways on errands or walk to office’s exterior after lunch.

• Why wait? While waiting in line for the restroom, water cooler, or copy machine, get some toning in with calf raises where you stand. For arms, do a few sets of light lift-and-holds with office supplies.

• If you have new mothers in your office, make sure there is an area set aside to pump or breastfeed during breaks and lunch- Have a conversation with HR about the support of breastfeeding in the workplace.

Taking the lead on office health doesn’t mean nagging, but it does mean challenging those around you. Find out what barriers are keeping them from a moving or eating right. Measure out walking areas in or near the office and post a map of safe, convenient routes. Challenge coworkers to eat, pack or choose healthier lunch and snack options and hold each other accountable. When eating out for lunch, take advantage of Activate Approved restaurants and menu items, which you can find on our website, www.activateallencounty.com

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