How to be healthy at work? That's a question that is on a lot of people's minds...and something that I have actual, real world experience in :) As part of my recent work history, I helped build my management consulting company's health and well-being program - we called it "Health and Care" As part of this initiative my goal was to help make being healthy easy, to a ~100 person workforce of consultants, who don't regularly work from our home office. Normal corporate wellness stuff didn't really fit our culture or the way we work, so I had to think outside of the box. I often would brainstorm with coworkers to help them figure out ways to be healthier, where ever they were working. Read more about what my management consulting company does to encourage health and well-being in the Sept 2018 article featured in Fast Company.
Want a few tried and true tips that you can put into place, quickly, keep reading below.
1. Block your calendar - for workouts, for meditation breaks, for walks....you'll be amazed with a little time to think how much more productive (and creative) you can actually be. Blocking time to be healthy will help you feel like you need to do it - treat it like any other meeting or committment on your calendar. And be creative - you can add a reminder to do a 20 breath meditation exercise, 10 air squats, or walk around your house twice. Anything you can do to move and meditate will help contribute towards your overall health.
2. Drink more water - OK for the 1% of you already drinking 80+oz a day, this one isn't for you, but pretty much everyone else can benefit from drinking more water. Get a bottle, that you like, and aim to refill it once or twice a day based on size. Aim for one water bottle before lunch and one after. Just get a safe one, need ideas more ideas on how to drink more...here's 4 tips to help you.
Here are a few of my favorite bottles:
Life Factory with silicone sleeve - regular top
Stainless Steel Bottles:
3. Mix in standing - standing all the time isn't good, neither is sitting all the time. So grab a portable standing desk. My favorite is this one by Uncaged Ergonomics - it's big enough for your laptop and an external mouse and is the one that I have at my client desk. It's technically small enough to git in a large backpack or bag, so you could take it back and forth on the daily if you wanted - but I usually leave it.
4. Pack your lunch & snacks - I know that this isn't something that everyone will be thrilled with, but you spend a lot of $$$ and eat way more than you should (and often things that you might not normally eat) when you go out to lunch everyday - especially in a restaurant setting. Even if you don't do this everyday you'll save money and get a health improvement. Get some healthy snacks too - fresh fruit at your desk may help you steer clear of the vending machine for that afternoon energy slump so many people experience - or help you to take the edge off of being STARVING before you head home and either skip your planned workout or make an unhealthy dinner/happy hour choice since you can't think straight.
5. Rethink your commute - this one is a little more extreme, but could you ride your bike to work? Maybe not everyday, but once in awhile. Do you take the train? Can you get off one stop early in the city (when you're not running late for a meeting...) This might not be for everyone, but it's something that I've started doing and it's been great. It wraps commuting time with a workout, saves gas money, and really makes you feel accomplished. Check out potential routes, driving halfway and then biking halfway, bike into work and take the train home...get creative.
What is your biggest challenge or hang up that challenges you to be healthy at work? I'd love to help brainstorm ideas on how to turn that around.