Saturday, November 17, 2012

4 Ways to Keep it Healthy at Work

It’s 8am and I’m sitting at my desk sipping on my coffee and checking my voicemail when an email pops up, “doughnuts in the staff lounge!” My first thought, “Man, a doughnut would go pretty good with this cup of coffee right about now.” At 11am another email pops up, “want to grab lunch today? I was thinking something fast and cheap, maybe a slice of pizza.”  My next thought, “That sounds so much better than spinach salad I brought.  I also wouldn't mind getting out of the office for while.” Once again at 3pm an email pops up “birthday cake and ice cream on the third floor, help yourself.” Does this all sound a little too familiar? If it does, your office might be sabotaging your health. The good news, it doesn't have to be this way. So grab your coworkers, enjoy the tips below, and before you know it you’ll be on your way to making your workplace a healthy place!

Start a lunch club: Starting a lunch club in your office is a great way to enjoy a quick and healthy meal, save a little dough, and catch up with coworkers. What is a lunch club you ask let me fill you in. A lunch club is basically a group of folks who take turns bringing in enough lunch fair to feed all club members. How amazing would be to have chili for lunch Monday, a giant quinoa salad for lunch Tuesday, whole grain spaghetti with veggies for lunch Wednesday, etc…and you only have to spend one evening a week cooking? Before starting, make sure everyone is on the same page regarding dietary guidelines.

Keep fresh produce on hand: Every Monday a giant box of fresh, organic, locally grown produce is delivered to our office. Having fresh produce on hand ensures that there is always something healthy within reach. When someone brings in a box of doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies, or birthday cake and it sounds pretty tasty, an apple is available as a healthy and sweet alternative. Or when breakfast was hours ago and it’s not quite lunch time a handful of grapes is only a few steps away. With a quick internet search you can find out if a similar delivery service exists in your area. If no such service exists, take turns with your coworkers bringing in fresh, healthy, snacks. 

Get out of the office: Many days just wanting to get out of the office is a good enough reason to trade in your packed lunch for a restaurant or fast food lunch. This can be avoided by identifying a few places outside of the office where a brownbag lunch can be enjoyed. Is there a park close by with picnic tables or benches? An employee lounge with tables, chairs, and microwaves close by? Maybe you’re crunched for time, take a five or ten minute walk then enjoy your packed lunch at your desk after you've had some fresh air and a chance to stretch your legs. 

Keep water close by: Are you someone who doesn't drink enough water? Keeping a reusable water bottle close by can help change that.  Find a fun reusable water bottle to keep at your desk. Set a goal, for example one bottle before lunch, one bottle during lunch, and one bottle after lunch, and do your best to stick to it. Does filling your water bottle up in the bathroom or at the drinking fountain freak you out?  Grab a few coworkers and pitch for a water cooler. If you’re paying for it, you’re more likely to use it.

There is no reason why your workplace has to sabotage your good health. By collaborating with your coworkers and incorporating the tips above you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier workplace in no time!

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