Let’s face it, the donut and bon-bon epidemic in the workplace can be incredibly difficult to avoid. It is probably one of the reasons for the sudden appearance of that donut around your middle, but it isn’t as simple as that. Obesity is a serious and looming issue and is largely caused by our sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, high stress, and work/reward mentality. The important point here is that when you and your employees are healthy, they are more stable, productive, and happier. Here are some simple ways achieve just that.
“Sitting is the new smoking”
It is becoming more and more apparent that the sedentary lifestyles that we lead are adversely affecting our health. If you drive to work, have an office job, and enjoy video games or television at night you are more than likely spending most of your waking life on your rear. Sitting decreases blood flow and lymphatic circulation; this can cause peripheral neuropathy and increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. So, sitting is bad…what do I do about it?
~ Get a standing (or treadmill) desk at home or at work - this increases blood flow and circulation.
~ Stand up or walk around every 30 minutes.
~ When you are on the phone, pace.
~ Walk or bike to work.
~ Use a Yoga Ball as a chair.
~Work out at lunch and encourage your employees to do so.
~ Use a Fit Bit or other reward system to help with keeping up with your health goals.
Increases in stress can increase fat storage (especially around the midriff), inhibit proper digestion of food, cause sleep disturbances, deregulate blood sugar, decrease immunity, and increase inflammation. Here are some tips for decreasing stress in the work place:
~No Coffee or caffeine drinks – These increase stress hormones in the body and can cause sleep disturbances; even when only ingested in the morning. Change the office coffee pot to a tea pot instead. No more coffee breath!
~ Deep Breathing – When you realize you are stressed out about a deadline or the office drama take 8 long slow deep breaths from your belly and say to yourself, "I am relaxed." The mind follows the body; so, slowing and regulating your breathing relaxes your mind very quickly and can keep the cascade of stress hormones from bombarding you.
~ Watch out for deadlines - Manage time well and work ahead. Working efficiently can really help to keep these from creeping up on you.
~Try a general adaptogenic herbal formula– Herbal adaptogens (Ashwaganda, Ginseng, Rhodiola) decrease your bodies response to stress. They allow you to handle more stress with less of an adverse reaction on your sleep or weight, etc.
We can’t deny the importance of diet in obesity and health so I will just get down to it.
~Make a pact with other employees to not bring sweet treats to work - Just because you have been working hard doesn't mean that you deserve a reward costing 200 calories. How about some sunshine instead?
~ Put the sandwich down- It isn’t just that donut you should be worried about-it is carbohydrates that are from a non-vegetable source.
~Follow Michael Pollon’s rules about food:
Eat food. (meaning no overly processed things that come from a box. )
Not too much.
How do you stay fit in a sedentary world? We would love to know!