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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?

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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?

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