Healthify Your Office

I spend the majority of my Monday-Fridays in the office sitting, typing, on the phone, etc.  That’s a lot of time out of an entire week or even a year.  After graduating from law school and starting my first “real” job, I realized pretty quickly that I could maintain healthy habits all I wanted to outside of the office, but if I didn’t figure out a way to carry them over to work, I was not going to succeed in the long-run.

{a typical day's eats to take to the office}

{a typical day’s eats to take to the office}

I have learned a few tricks along the way, and picked up a few from others who share my passion for wellness.  I’m hoping you are inspired to try 1 or 2 of them in your office, too!

Stand

If you have the resources or ability to request a stand-up desk, do it! I have an electric stand-up desk at work, which enables me to put the desk in a stand up position and easily transition it back down to a sitting position desk.  If you do get a stand up desk, here’s an article on proper posture techniques that you should check out: Perfect Posture at Standing Desk

MOVE!

Simply put, you have to find ways to move more at work, while maintaining your efficiency and work product.  For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible, walk to the furthest bathroom, take a walk with a co-worker at lunch for a few minutes instead of chatting in your office, etc.  I’ve also come up with a few strategies that ensure I move more.  For example, I keep a 22-oz glass water bottle (this one is the BEST! Life Factory) on my desk and fill it as soon as I get to work in the morning.  I have to get up and go to the bathroom so often that I’m moving without even thinking ; )

Snack Drawer

I know there are going to be moments when I’m hungry (aka. hangry) and need a snack, a meal, a drink, chocolate.. anything!  Instead of relying on the less-than-ideal option of a vending machine, be prepared.  Create your own vending machine in your desk!  I have a drawer in my desk dedicated to healthy tea bags, organic dark chocolate, raw nuts, rice cakes, air popped popcorn (this one is the best and healthy, too! BoomChickaPop), and cans of healthy soups or items I can heat up as a ‘meal’.

Talk to Your Employer:

Does your employer have a wellness program?  Are they interested in starting one? Corporate wellness programs are on the rise.  It may be that your employer is interested in starting one, but doesn’t know or think that the employees are interested.  You can make your interest known and offer to act as an employee leader.  If they are unwilling to commit  to a full-time wellness program, ask if your employer would mind if a group of health-conscious employees starting a Wellness Group.  I helped to organize one at my previous employer, and we met once a month or so to have lunch together and discuss ways we could improve health and wellness in the office.  All of our ideas and programs were voluntary, of course, but they actually were much better received and accepted then we anticipated at first.  So many people got involved! I’m planning a whole post dedicated to the types of employee initiatives and programs that employers can offer, but for now – gauge your company’s interest.

Make Friends:

It is easier to stick with your healthy goals when you have people around you holding you accountable and supporting you.  Are there others in your office trying to make a change?  Offer to start a lunch group that eats together and supports each other in your goal to become healthier.  Instead of taking a 1-hour lunch and sitting in the office kitchen, take a 30-minute walk with your co-workers and eat for 30 minutes.

BYO (Bring Your Own):

If I have a meeting at the office, and I know that the only meal available is going to be pizza, I quietly bring my own lunch. 

IMG_0023

You shouldn’t feel sorry for taking care of yourself and brining your healthy meal from home.   There’s nothing wrong with pizza now and then, but if you have a few lunch meetings per week/month, plus work happy hours, work birthday celebrations with cake — it really adds up!  So I don’t bring my own every time I go to a meeting, but now and again I plan ahead and do.

What do you do at work to stay healthy? Let me know!

2 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more with these tips! The water thing is huge for me- I’m up all the time and I also try to use the bathroom downstairs to get in extra movement. Anther tip I have is when we have an office pizza luncheon, I’ll take one whole plate of salad and then just 1 piece of pizza. If I’m still hungry, I’ll go for seconds on the salad. it helps make me feel part of the team, but also not totally derail my preferred lunches.

    Reply
    • Sam March 17, 2016

      That’s so funny about the pizza lunch! I do the same thing. Glad to know I’m not alone.

      Reply

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