Turn Teamwork into Wellness That Gives

maxresdefault

How can you combine team outings, healthy activities and charity? Organize your department for a charity walk. The opportunity is a great way to engage everyone at work in a healthy, low-impact exercise that raises money for meaningful causes. The opportunity can be company-sponsored or can be jump-started by a wellness-minded department manager.

Organizing Your Team Walk

Find a charity walk that works for everyone. See what walkathon events will be occurring in your area. Take a poll so that everyone is on board with the charity you wish to help. By using your team outing to participant in the event, everyone not only gets the opportunity to offer their personal contribution to charity, but also gets a chance to engage in a activity that’s good for them. Walking could be become a healthy habit across the company.

Here are some of the major walkathons in the nation.

Find Sponsors to Raise More Money

Instead of a walkathon team outing, the event can be a company-wide event as well. To add to the charity-building effort, participants can collect money to sponsor them individually in the event. That means more money for charity while taking a good, long walk.  A company sponsored prize for most money raised is another way to add to the excitement. A home office sit-stand workstation is an attractive prize that promotes wellness, while helping a great cause.

Get Competitive with Other Departments

Turning the event into a challenge puts better health at the center of teamwork. It’s also an opportunity to gain more participants in the program.

Make Tee-Shirts

Set your department apart from all the other volunteers with distinctive tee shirt designs, a cool keepsake for all who participated. This also makes for great pics on the company Facebook page.

Make the Announcement Company-Wide

Use the company newsletter, break room flyers and word-of mouth to get the new out about the walkathon. Be ready with sign-up sheets. Wellness doesn’t have to be a policy from HR. It can be a spontaneous and healthy initiative from any one at the company who is ready to lead others to healthy living.

Five Ways to Get Moving at Work

It’s all about micro-movements.

standing desk wellness

Micro-movements are incremental movements you can make throughout the day that can benefit your overall health. Think of how many times you could add to your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking a little farther from the office. These simple micro-movements contribute to everyday activity, combating the sedentary lifestyle that comes with office work.

The Science of Micro-movements

NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, suggests that it takes energy to move even the smallest muscle. Polly de Mille, RN, an exercise physiologist with the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City gives an example: “you burn about 1.5 calories per minute just lying still while your body performs its most basic functions.” Go from lying down to sitting in a chair and answering email, and you’ll burn 25 percent more calories.” 1 Adding micro-movements to your nine-to-five routine makes the calorie-burning process a day-long event.

Micro-Movement Activities You Can Perform at Work

  1. Stand More While You Work

Regular transitions from sitting to standing and back again maintains flexibility and improves circulation. On average standing can increase your heart rate by about 10 beats per minute higher than sitting and that makes a difference of about 0.7 of a calorie per minute. That burns up to about 50 calories an hour. If you stand for three hours a day for five days that’s around 750 calories! Sit-stand workstations help make standing a part of your daily routine. Find a sit-stand solution that fits your work space.

  1. Workout at Your Desk

Simple exercises you perform at your desk can burn calories, increase flexibility and improve well-being. Turning your workstation into a workout is an easy, no-sweat approach to exercise.

  • Lean back and lift your feet with legs straight, then bend your knees toward your chest, then straighten again. Do three sets of 20 reps and burn up to 75 calories.
  • Working your stomach muscles at your desk. Simply clench your stomach muscles for about 8 seconds Two sets of this activity for 8 reps will burn 100 calories.
  • See the top five deskercising activities.
  1. Take Walk Breaks

A study by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition found that frequent, brief walking breaks were more effective at improving well-being than a single, longer walk before work. Just five-minute walks throughout the workday can lift your mood, reduce lethargy and improve overall health.

  1. It’s Okay to Fidget

Fidgeting was once frowned upon, but no more. Tapping a foot, wiggling in your office chair may seem odd, but Iowa State University researchers found that those who frequently fidgeted, were burning an additional 300 calories per day compared to those who remained seated and still.

  1. Take Time to Stretch

Frequent stretching keeps a proper blood and nutrient supply to the working muscles and tissues. Taking a stretch breaks prevents fatigue and discomfort and reduces stress.

Put Your Activity on Schedule

If you need reminders to move, set an alarm on your phone or on your computer. Five minutes every 30 minutes using any of the activities mentioned is an easy way to get moving this spring.

 

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/neat-exercises-for-couch-potatoes.aspx

Are You Less Active Than Your Grandpa? You might be if you work in an office.

standing desks keep you young

We think of our grandparents to be at a stage of life where a sedentary afternoon spent sitting down is understandable and acceptable. Yet with the growth of digital technology at the workplace, sitting still for long hours is no longer reserved for the elderly.

Recent research from Edinburgh shows that many desk jobs lead office workers to spend up to thirty minutes more sitting down each day than members of our  retired population. That means most of us with desk-bound careers are more sedentary than those over 75.

The study revealed that middle-age men especially vulnerable to senior-level immobility, spending close to half an hour longer in their desk chairs every day of the work week. Working women under 45 are not far behind their male cohorts, spending only six minutes less than seniors sitting away the work day.

Don’t Let Your Body Take an Early Retirement

Take short, active breaks. Go for a walk. That pedometer app on your smartphone comes in handy for helping you realize how little you move. Use it to motivate extra steps throughout the day.

Engage with a standing desk workstation all day long. Standing up gets the blood flowing and keeps the body stimulated. When you feel that two PM slump coming on after lunch, stand up and work. The body intuitively associates stillness with sleep. Standing up with a sit-stand desk prevents you from nodding off like grandpa.

Stretch, bend, and move in place. You don’t have to run a marathon around the office to stay active. Use micro-movements like stretching exercises to stay flexible and keep feeling productive.

 

Light Exercise at the Office: Organizing for Workplace Health

standing desk for office health

Organizing the office for better health only requires some initiative and open communication with your fellow office associates. May is Global and Health and Fitness Month­­—the perfect excuse to get everyone at work standing and walking for better health. It all starts with education.

Spreading the News about Sitting Too Much

Informing your colleagues about the many ways a sedentary office day can impact health is the first step toward motivating them to wellness actions.  Send out emails to colleagues letting them know about the detriment of sitting all day  at your desk including how prolonged sitting is associated with a significantly higher risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Muscle and joint problems

Some have gone on to say that the office chair is worse for your health than smoking!

Informing the Office About the Benefits of Walking

Now that you have educated them on the bad stuff, let them know about the good stuff.

Walking for about 20 minutes a day can cut your risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent.

Get Everyone Involved in an Office Walking Group

  1. Send out office email notifications regarding time and day so everyone can get involved easily walking together outside on nice days
  2. Have a set schedule with a destination in mind. Plan a walk at a local forest preserve during lunch hour or a walk around the office park before work starts in the morning
  3. Suggest walking apps. App pedometers ( many are free to download) have been found to encourage physical activity by offering real-time information on calories burned and walking distances achieved. You can also get competitive and make it fun. See who burns the most calories in half an hour!

Give Insight on the Benefits of Standing at Your Desk

Standing is another low impact approach for improving health at the office.  Along with informing the office staff about standing desks, also inform HR on the health benefits that sit-stand workstations can bring to the workplace.

Share the research: Employees who have used standing desks regularly report an 88% increase in productivity and a 69% reduction in discomfort at their workstation.

Learn more about the 7 health benefits of a Standing Desk 

The Best Lunchtime Workouts for the Business Professional

tehrene-firman

Guest Post by Tehrene Firman. A health & fitness freelance writer, formerly of Dr. Oz

Making sit stand workstations part of your workout

Making time to work out sounds easy enough, but sometimes it can feel like another job — aka something no one wants on top of their typical 9 to 5 workday. You’ve tried morning workouts to no avail, and exercising after a long day makes you laugh just thinking about it. So what’s a business professional to do when they want to squeeze in some gym time?

 

It’s easy to forget about the actual “break” part of a lunch break, but it’s time to take advantage of that unused time. Instead of spending your golden hour chowing down some food while typing away at the computer, lace up your sneakers: Early afternoons are primetime for workouts. Your energy levels are at a high, and you’re probably getting a little antsy in your seat anyway. Wave goodbye to your desk and take up one of these lunchtime workouts that will have you feeling like a million bucks the rest of your day.

 

  1. Hop on a Treadmill or Elliptical

If you have a gym nearby, head over for a quick session on the treadmill or elliptical. As long as there’s no wait time for a machine, you can be in and out as fast as you need to be. Perfect for those days you only have 30 minutes, you’ll still feel the burn and reap the cardio benefits in a short amount of time.

 

  1. Sign Up for an Express Class

Many fitness studios have jumped on the lunchtime workout bandwagon, putting classes on the schedule that are 45 minutes or less. Depending on your area, it’s easy to find something worthy of your break — from a high-intensity boot camp class to some relaxing yoga on particularly stressful workdays.

 

  1. Hit Up a Rowing Machine

The treadmill and elliptical are great and all, but the rowing machine is often overlooked at the gym. Not only does rowing burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, but it also gives you a 2-in-1 cardio and muscle-building workout. Plus, unlike running, it’s low-impact and won’t put any unnecessary pressure on your knees.

 

  1. Give the Stair Climber a Shot

Yeah, yeah, we know. But hear us out: Climbing a set of revolving stationary stairs isn’t as awful as it sounds. Anytime you step foot on a stair climber, you’ll get your bang for your buck: It’s almost impossible to be lazy on this machine, and you can burn hundreds of calories in just 30 minutes.

 

  1. Challenge Yourself to Some Real Stairs

If you don’t have a gym nearby, turn your office into your playground. Whether it’s stairs inside your building or outdoor stairs nearby, you’ll definitely work up a sweat in no time if you decide to lace up your sneakers and give this idea a shot. Want to really take things up a notch? Do some jumping jacks every time you get to the top.

 

  1. Go for an Outdoor Run

If you love running, you’re in luck: Hitting the pavement is probably the easiest way to squeeze in a workout over your lunch break. It’s quick, you have total control over how long you go and the intensity level, and you get to breathe in some fresh air. Not a runner? Go for a walk instead.

 

  1. Sign Up for a Cycling Class

If you’re the type who wants to avoid getting sweaty during lunchtime workouts, you might as well skip ahead now. Cycling classes are a great way to get your heart rate up midday, but you’ll definitely need to take some time to shower afterward. Luckily, getting that natural high from spinning to some of the best pump-up jams makes it all worth it.

  1. Try a Standing Desk

On those days it’s nearly impossible to take a break, there’s a solution that will help you move around without all the fuss: a standing desk. (And no, not the kind you have to tear your entire office area apart for.) You can upgrade your set-up in seconds by topping your current desk with Fellowes’ new Lotus™ Sit-Stand Workstation, which easily rises and lowers depending on your needs. Alternating between sitting and standing positions throughout the day is the perfect way to stay active, and having a healthy workspace that moves with you is the best way to do it.