The National Association for Health and Fitness created Global Employee Health & Fitness Month (GEHFM) to promote wellness in the workplace. It’s a month-long observance of health and fitness for employees across the globe, with a goal to get more employers and employees active in their health at work. GEHFM is in full swing, but there’s still plenty of time to engage in healthy activities around your workplace—and that’s why ThinkHealth is here with a few ideas to help you work healthier.
Stand in the place where you were (sitting).
You’ve heard it for years—sedentary work habits are bad for your health. If you’re not already, make sure you stand up regularly whether it’s standing at a sit-to-stand work surface, turning a sitting meeting into a standing one (or even a walking one, for that matter) or just the occasional jaunt to the other side of the building and back.
Doing stretches in your workspace is a great way to reduce stress and promote flexibility. Every hour or so, stretch your arms and neck muscles by clenching your fists and stretching your hands straight out in front of you or rolling your neck gently from side to side. Get your legs in on the action by doing leg extensions. Extend both your legs in front of you so they are parallel to the floor. Do this for 15 seconds. For added stretching benefits: flex and point your toes a couple of times.
Take the stairs.
Here’s an easy one: take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can. Maybe you’re not climbing enough stairs for a serious calorie burn, but you are getting your heart pumping and the blood flowing through your body. Stair climbing also requires eight to nine times more energy and burns seven times more calories than taking the elevator—so yeah, every stair does count.
Cut the cake.
Many workplaces love to share treats. From morning donuts to birthday brownies to milestone career cakes, odds are you don’t have to look too far to find sugary confections at your company. While celebrating is a great thing—too many treats can take their toll on your health. If you’re looking to shed weight or watching your calories, you might want to cut back on the cake, cookies and candy. Instead, consider a colorful fresh fruit tray or a protein-packed hummus platter with veggies for dipping.
Frequent the watercooler.
The proverbial watercooler talk can be healthy—especially when you actually drink the water. Adults need plenty of water to stay hydrated. Two liters per day is generally an adequate amount. And work is a great place to up your water intake while you socialize and connect with coworkers. Getting up for water throughout your day also gets you moving—bonus!
So whether you work out or simply drink more water, you have plenty of options to ramp up health and wellness at work. Don’t forget to share your ambition to work healthier with your colleagues—and have a great Global Employee Health & Fitness Month.