Archives for posts with tag: exercise

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Being healthy in the workplace can be challenging, especially when you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s easy to take small steps to becoming more active in the office and motivate not only yourself, but your coworkers as well – creating a more positive work environment.

Do it Together

Teaming up with the people around you can be a great way to stay motivated. Schedule a walking meeting and chat with a team member while you take a lap around the building. Request that healthy substitutes be added to your vending machines. Join a fitness class with your coworkers or inquire about any gym membership perks or fitness classes offered through your company. For example, The HON Company is now offering a free Dance Fitness class for members in the evening and uses space in one of the manufacturing facilities to host the class.

Skip the Snacks

Pink sprinkles, smooth frosting, fluffy filling, sugary dough. The aroma of a freshly baked donut seems to have drifted past your desk. It’s not unusual for HON members to celebrate a birthday or a team success with yummy treats around the office.  It is okay to give in once in a while, but in moderation. It’s always a good idea to keep healthy snacks, such as granola bars, fruit or nuts, close at hand in your overhead storage or HON pedestal for when you’re feeling tempted. When you eat these nutrient-packed foods instead, you’ll stay full longer and find it easier to turn down the sweets.

Come Prepared

We are all allowed to treat ourselves to the occasional lunch out with coworkers, but waking up 10 minutes early to put together a healthy lunch and/or eat a healthy breakfast in the morning is another great way to help you avoid snacking throughout the day. To keep yourself healthy and focused during work hours, it’s also important to stay hydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended amount of water intake is about 3 liters (13 cups) for men and 2.2 liters (9 cups) for women per day. Bring your favorite water bottle or mug and keep it at your workstation to remind you to keep drinking throughout the day. Before you know it, you won’t even realize you’re grabbing for it!

Mix Up Your Office Furniture

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The right office furniture can also create a healthier work environment. From a variety of seating solutions and standing-height desks to collaborative lounge furniture, HON has products that encourage workers to get up and move around the office as they transition between different work spaces. The way your space is designed matters, too. The right layout can motivate us to be more active, even if we just make the conscious choice to walk over and talk to someone instead of sending an email.

What are your tips and tricks for a healthier workplace?

Today’s workers are more mobile than ever before, and it’s easy to get distracted from your workplace wellness priorities when you’re constantly moving between different work environments. From investing in ergonomic furniture to choosing healthier food options, here are some great ways to keep on top of your health in the busy office!

Staying Active

You might really love Cross-Fit, while I’m a huge yoga fan. As long as you’re getting in at least 3 decent workouts a week, you’ll be doing your body some good and ensuring you have the energy needed to be productive in the office. Here’s what the American Heart Association recommends:

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 times per week for a total of 150

OR

  • At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

AND

  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits
  • For lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week

That’s all well and good, but what about when you’re not exercising or sleeping—the other 15.5 hours of your day? Don’t forget about proper posture and ergonomics, because those are just as important for keeping your body in tune (and pain-free) while you work as working out regularly can be.

  • When seated, ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy posture: Keep your feet on the ground, your back supported with back of your chair, and make sure your feet, legs and arms are well supported. Also make sure that your neck and shoulders remain relaxed and supported.  Posture is important for blood flow and overall comfort throughout the day.
HON's ergonomics tips

Slide designed for HON Training2Go

“Remember to change your postures frequently and avoid sedentary behaviors by adjusting positions, standing and walking periodically throughout the day, recommends HNI’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Manager, Lauren Gant, PhD, CPE.

Drink like a fish.

Are you drinking enough water? Want an easy way to make sure you are? Give Plant Nanny a try.

Use the Plant Nanny App to stay hydrated

Plant Nanny may sound (and look) like something that is meant for your 10 year old niece, but it’s a fun way to keep you adequately hydrated. You can personalize your account to determine how much water per day you truly need, and then the app sends you reminders throughout the day if you haven’t logged your intake. It’s incredibly helpful, especially when you’re busy.

Some other tips to help you get enough water throughout the day:

  • Start your day with some herbal tea or warm water with lemon to fire up your digestive system.
  • Throw a few spare water bottles in the car for when you’re stuck in traffic or just forget your regular bottle.
  • Keep a HON mug or water bottle visible at your desk so you remember to sip throughout the day.

Eating Right

Lacking your nutrition? There’s an app for that. My go-to is MyFitnessPal, because it’s great regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain, or just make sure you’re getting the right nutrients.

Use MyFitnessPal to stay healthy in the office

If you don’t have time to track every single thing you’re eating, that’s okay, too.

  • Bring healthy snacks with you every day so that you aren’t tempted by the candy bar you’ve been hiding in the back of your desk drawer when mid-day hunger strikes.
  • Eat the cake that was ordered in for Mary Sue’s birthday (in moderation). Forbidding yourself from having any treats can lead to binges or overall poor eating habits. So have a slice of birthday cake (just ask for a smaller piece) and have some extra vegetables with dinner instead of that baked potato to balance it out.
  • Start with salad (or carrots, or spinach, or celery). Not only does this help make you feel fuller faster, but the fiber in veggies like these help coat your stomach to optimize your digestive enzymes and make it easier for your body to process your dinner.

You may have heard these recommendations before, or you may not have. Either way, I hope that they help you stay on track with your own health and wellness goals, whatever they may be.

What else do you do to stay healthy in your office?

The aroma of cookies, cakes, and dips tend to fill the office air this time of year. It seems as though almost every day there’s a different appetizing tray of food sitting out. But as you reach for that festive treat, you start having second thoughts about the calories you’re going to consume. Well, you’re in luck! You can have your cookie without feeling like you need to go to food prison.

Holiday Treats

This time of year, delicious food is everywhere you go. It’s hard to control your cravings when a vanilla frosted Frosty the Snowman is plastered on a giant sugar cookie with chocolate chips for buttons. Eat that cookie and take a lap around your floor! If you think you’ll feel guilty, only take half.

While you’re standing in line to go through the appetizer buffet that’s lined along the file cabinets or on the break room counter, grab the smaller plate or napkin so that you do not fill a normal sized plate with snacks. If you have a regular sized plate, you’ll pile on the food, but you can still get your fill if you cut that in half with a smaller plate. Also, hold on to that plate! This will remind you of how much you have already eaten and will help to keep you from going back for thirds or fourths.

I absolutely love to run, so if I eat those chips and dip, I plan to run it off. Some do not find as much enjoyment out of running as I, to which I recommend to take a walk during your lunch break. Go up and down the stairs a few times, or just do a loop around the inside of the building every hour or so.

Another idea for those who want to snack but do not want the guilt would be to bring a healthy treat to the office. There are so many festive ideas for fruit and vegetable trays and you can save yourself some calories as well. You’ll also receive some compliments on the decorative appetizer that you made! Here is an idea for your next food day.

For those of you who eat that piece of cake and do not think twice, I envy you! Keep doing what you’re doing! For others, I hope that some of the healthy tips I provided will help you to stay on track with your diet and exercise goals! So, grab a small plate, eat that food, go for a walk on your lunch break, and enjoy your holidays!

Are you always asking yourself why there aren’t more hours in the day?  Take a look at the top 5 apps I recommend for being more productive at work.

App #1:  Evernote

Kill the clutter with this organizational note-taking tool.

What It Does:  Evernote is an app you can use to not only take notes and sync them between multiple devices, but also archive those notes and share them with colleagues and friends.  Evernote has become my new pen and paper.  Instead of using an average of one notebook per month to collect all my notes from meetings and to do lists, I use Evernote to record and organize my thoughts.  You won’t find me rifling through piles of paper anymore and with Evernote I never have to worry about running out of ink!

App #2:  Focus Lock

When everything is a distraction and you just need to focus.

What It Does:  Focus Lock (only available on Android) is an app that allows you to put all the buzzes, lights, rings and dings of your phone on hold in 25 minute increments.  This allows you just enough time to get into your work flow and then provides a 5 minute break so you can reconnect and sync up with some things you may have missed so you don’t fall behind on what’s happening in your work world.

App #3:  ETA – travel app

Trying to beat the rush?  Know your ETA with ETA.

What It Does:  I’d say Google maps is the second best thing since sliced bread, the first being the ETA app.  We’ve all been in those situations where it’s an unfamiliar city and you’re trying to find the location of your next appointment.  The trickiest part?  Navigating traffic. ETA takes out some of that stress and you are able to be more productive by not over or under estimating the amount of time you need to get to your next destination.  ETA will keep you on point.

App #4:  Pandora

With soothing sounds of the ocean or classic rock this app will help you get into your work flow.

What It Does:  When you need to put the constant chatter of your colleagues on mute while you get that report finished, use Pandora.  Blast your favorite Rolling Stones tunes or have the soothing sounds of Mozart lull you into your productive sweet spot.   My personal pick when I need to get things done?  Smooth jazz.  It’s a station I recommend you try at least once.

App #5:  Fitness Pal

Because what you eat and what you do does matter.

What It Does:  Fitness Pal tracks your calories, exercise, nutrient and water intake. It also connects you to friends and support communities, AND makes you eat breakfast in the morning.  Okay, maybe not that last part – that’d be too good to be true – but all the other things yes.  Fitness pal is one way I track what I eat to see what’s giving me the most bang for my buck.  Do you have pasta for lunch and then feel a mid-afternoon slump creeping up on you?  Maybe a salad is a better option for suppressing hunger and avoiding the drop in blood sugars.  Nothing can ruin productivity more than fatigue or hunger.

Try implementing these apps into your daily work routine and let me know what they do for your productivity!

Move.

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Exercising daily increases energy and wards off fatigue. To help fight off the afternoon slump, try incorporating some seated stretches into your day. Opt to get up from your task chair and talk to a coworker vs. emailing her or take the stairs instead of the elevator.  You can also try printing your next document to a different printer and get your blood flowing. Keeping your body active during the day also keeps your mind active.  Lastly, moving helps elevate tense muscles and that pain in your neck, keeping you focused on the task at hand.

Hydrate.

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One of the biggest fatigue fighters is hydration. Water helps your blood carry oxygen throughout your body. Water also makes up a large portion of your brain. Stay alert by hydrating your body and, subsequently, your mind.  Keep hydrated at work by opting for water over soda and always having a water bottle nearby. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women intake 91 ounces of water and men intake 125 ounces of water in food and drinks each day.  So, grab a bottle of water because staying hydrated doesn’t just help your productivity; it also helps your overall health.

Put your phone away.

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Hide your cellphone. Stick it in a desk drawer or your bag and leave it there until breaks. Texts, social media, and email have a way of sucking you in. If you want to meet that next deadline without staying late, hide your phone.

Snack in moderation.

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I think we can all relate to stuffing ourselves silly with a holiday meal. It usually makes us sleepy and lethargic. The same is true of over snacking. Always pack a portioned snack. Bringing a whole bag of chips (or any whole packaged item) thinking you’ll just eat a handful is a sure fire way to over indulge. Stick to light snacks at work like a piece of fruit or some crunchy veggies. Anything too filling and dense can have your head hitting the keyboard before you know it. And when you’re asleep, you are certainly not productive.

Earbuds.

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If your job allows, have a pair of earbuds handy. Listening to peppy music while you work can increase your productivity by keeping you motivated and helping you stay focused. Earbuds also help drown out loud conversations going on around you, ringing phones, or outside traffic. Whether it is a music boost you seek or the noise blocking benefits of earbuds, they can certainly improve your work productivity.

What are your go-to tips to stay productive at work?

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