How many hours do you spend at the office a week?
The average adult spends 60 hours a week at the workplace. It is an environment full of stress – deadlines, meetings, projects and printers running out of ink mid-print are just some of the things that we encounter every day. If you’ve been working long enough then you know that in most cases, the office also fosters the sedentary lifestyle. We all enjoy the air conditioning, sit in ergonomic chairs, stare at computer screens all day. The only time we sweat in the workplace is when we are nervous about a presentation!
The CDC says that 1 in 3 American adults are considered obese. This puts 1 in every 3 of your co-workers at high risk for developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer. We know what you’re thinking – you don’t even like most of these people why should you be instrumental in giving them healthier minds and bodies? Here’s the thing – exercise not only lessens the risk for disease, it also improves mood and energy levels with happy hormones called Endorphins. This gives you happier and more cooperative officemates. Who doesn’t want that?
So what can you do about it? Can you start a fitness revolution in your workplace?
The CDC’s National Healthy Worksite Program can help you with that. Their mission is to help companies across the US get their workforce to strive for healthier lives together. They offer both free and subsidized services such as:
- Assessment of employees’ body composition measurements (height for weight, Body Mass Index, etc.)
- Professional Nutritional and weight management advice/counseling. The CDC gives access to numerous resources and resource persons to hold lectures about weight loss, nutrition management and physical activity. They can also provide for or one on one counseling with employees considered as high risk (overweight, high blood sugar and cholesterol levels).
- They can also act as a liaison between the management and the employees. For example, they can arrange for exercise equipment or an area dedicated for physical activity at the workplace. This way, employees can squeeze in a yoga session or a 30 minute run during their breaks.
- Get access to healthier food choices at the cafeteria. The CDC suggests a new and improved cafeteria menu that is both appetizing as it is healthy. No more unlimited sodas or deep fried items!
The workplace is a good place to start fostering positive behaviors for the betterment of the team and the members’ personal lives as well. The fight for a healthier life is not easy, and a good support system will ensure that participants will remain compliant even after the contest. You can even have fitness items made especially for your group to foster teamwork and motivation!
A healthy lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle. It concerns every part of our lives and the workplace is a big part of that. Get you and your office mates moving now!
Image: PowerFM; BrighamYoungUniversity; GeorgiaFitnessAcademy
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