Home Life, Work Life & Safety March 8, 2018

Healthy Living at Work: Staying Active from 9 to 5

Maggie K., Senior Editor

Healthy living at work seems like an impossible feat. For the majority of Americans, sitting at a desk, hovered over a keyboard for 8 hours a day is a reality. Long work hours, short lunch breaks and little “me time” in the evening doesn’t leave one with many opportunities to hit the gym or make other healthy living choices.

It’s common knowledge, however, that living a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous in the long run. For this reason, employers, supervisors and managers should help encourage their employees to get active while at work. This will not only impact employee well-being, but will also keep them happy, engaged and productive.

The first step is educating employees on the little things they can do during a workday that will get them moving – and keep them healthy at the office, at home and everywhere in between. The following tips for healthy living at work are a good start:

Tips for Healthy Living at Work

Here are some ideas of the types of activities you can do to add a little bit of fitness to your workday.

Cardiovascular activity

You might not be able to get the recommended 10-minute bout of cardiovascular activity in one shot, but moving frequently at the office does help you burn calories.

  • Deliver documents by hand rather than by email or telephone.
  • Get a headset for your phone so you can walk while you talk.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Use your lunch break for exercise. Walk up and down the stairs or put on your athletic shoes and go for a walk.
  • Make your commute to work active. Walk or ride your bike to work. Take the bus and get off several stops early so you can walk the rest of the way.
  • Perform stationary exercises in your office:
    • Marching in place
    • Jumping jacks
    • Jogging in place
    • Jumping rope
    • Leg kicks
    • Side stepping
    • Toe/heel taps

Take a break! Getting up and away from your desk revitalizes your mind and your eyes. Even a two-minute physical activity break can help you feel refreshed and more focused.

Healthy eating

Grabbing a fast-food meal on your short lunch break might be convenient, but it isn’t the healthiest choice. The following tips will help you maintain healthy eating habits at work:

  • Pack a healthy meal and snacks from home.
  • Keep healthy snack options at your desk (e.g., nuts, power bars, whole grain crackers).
  • Avoid vending machine snacks.
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of water or other caffeine-free beverages.

Healthy Living at Work Made Easy

Making healthy living choices throughout the day is not as difficult as it may seem. With a little bit of planning and some encouragement from management, employees can always find ways to get moving and be healthy while on the job.

For more information on our Health and Wellness products, browse the QuickSeries® library of guides, including Wellness and Fitness: A Pocket Guide for Success.

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