live it active

Wednesday Workout Tip: Create a Healthier Workplace

We sure do spend a lot of time at work. On average, work accounts for 36% of our waking hours (I included weekends in that calculation). And by the time you get home you’re completely zonked with little interest in exercising.

How can you fit exercise and/or healthy living into your daily routine?

Help create a healthier workplace. This doesn’t require a lot of cash, but it does require willpower, energy, and commitment as you may experience some resistance from employers and potentially, other employees.

What can you do to create a healthier workplace?

Hire me (yes, apologies for the self-promotion). I would be more than happy to come and help make your office a healthier one. However, I appreciate that most employers may not have the funds to pay a health promotion consultant, so I have listed a few tips below!

1) Talk to your employer about your intentions. Ask them for support. And be sure to tell them that this will not require a large cash commitment and will not interfere with the productivity of the office. In fact, you could show them some stats on how physical activity improves productivity!

2) Ask your fellow employees what they are interested in. Perhaps they want to learn to run, need stretching help and/or healthy eating information, etc. Work hard to meet their requests.

3) Make a plan and schedule of when and where the health events will take place.

4) Post this schedule either online or in the company kitchen. Make sure people know when the events are. Communicate via email. Create a Facebook page – just make sure people know.

OK perhaps you need some ideas on how to make your workplace a healthier one? Here are a couple of ideas:

1) Start a stretching group. My best friend created one at her work and was given an employee award for her initiative. She runs it once a week at 3 PM to get her fellow employees out of their afternoon slump. She struggles to get people there, but she has been doing it for close to a year (talk about perseverance)!

2) Create a health food drawer in your company fridge. I was visiting a previous employer yesterday and my friend pointed out the health food drawer which contained hummus, bread (multigrain, of course), rice crackers and apples. Staff were encouraged to bring stuff in themselves or give my friend money for her to go grocery shopping. So instead of reaching for a salty or sweet treat mid-afternoon, employees had a healthy alternative.

3) Do a recipe exchange.

4) Set-up a lunch exchange. My previous employer (yes, the same as above) did the lunch exchange thing and I absolutely love it. How does it work? If there are 8 people participating, for example, each person is required to make 8 servings of their favourite (preferably healthy) lunch dish. So not only do you get a healthy lunch, but you get an unbelievable variety. Keep in mind that they should be freezable.

5) Instead of sitting during lunch, go walking. Eat your lunch after. You may groan and complain when you first get started, but eventually you’ll be addicted.

6) Start an office challenge of some sort.

OK so I think that should be enough to get you started. If your office is already doing all the above, you are working in amazing place and do NOT leave.

Happy Wednesday.



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