Archives for posts with tag: health

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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Walk

As a member of the HNI Healthworks team, I spend time with other members within the company working to encourage healthy habits in the workplace. Workplace wellness continues to be a hot topic, both inside and outside the world of office furniture. Moreover, working for an office furniture manufacturer provides a very unique insight into this issue.

On one hand, as a HON member, I like knowing that people can put our seating products to good use. We offer a large variety of styles, functions, and features—executive chairs, modern chairs, chairs with more adjustments than I ever knew possible, and even reception area chairs. When designing our products, we make sure that it not only passes testing standards for safety, but we want it to be comfortable as well. One perk of working at HON is that our members are given the chance to test out new products and provide feedback to the designers and engineers before anyone else.

On the other hand, as someone who is fairly active, I also know how physically taxing it can be to remain at your desk for eight or more hours. I know, I know—sitting is hard?! It may sound crazy, but studies have shown that there can be negative side effects to remaining seated for too long without any movement.  Sitting is necessary for me to accomplish my work, and as much as I like my HON chair, I sometimes need a little break from sitting.

So what can you do? Here are a couple of helpful tips that I’ve been able to implement into my daily routine:

1. Take a walk! Everyone needs to take a break from work for a few moments during the workday, and I like to spend mine walking. My coworkers can attest to the fact that I can be spotted making a loop through our building, or even walking a lap in the parking lot during my breaks or over lunch.

2. Want a few extra steps?  Choose a parking spot that’s further away from the entrance to the building.

3. Take the long route when heading to the restroom, meeting room, break room, etc.

4. Skip the elevator (as your health allows) and take the stairs instead.

5. Eat your lunch away from your desk. Even if you just go to the break room or cafeteria, getting away from your desk not only gives you a chance to get some steps in, but it’s also a great way to “reset” yourself mentally.

6. If you have standing-height tables available for meetings or breaks, use them! You might not be moving, but standing for a meeting can be beneficial for your overall mobility.

7. Drink water—staying hydrated is important for your health, and the more you get up to grab a refill, the more steps you take.

These are just a handful of ways that I incorporate movement and activity into my day. Share your workplace wellness tips below!

photo by Flickr user jetheriot

I am sure you have heard that laughter is the best medicine.  When I decided to look into this claim, I found that both the Mayo Clinic and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s websites say that laughter can have positive health benefits including:

  •          Improved overall attitude/mood
  •          Reduced stress/tension
  •          Pain relief by triggering the release of endorphins

Both sites also reference that forced smiling and laughter can active the same responses as genuine amusement.

I believe it also stands to reason that this impact is derived by your feelings of humor, not by those of people around you.  I mention this because I have a special affinity for puns that my husband does not share.  He likes to say “You’re funny.  You’re just not as funny as you think you are.”  He always says it with a smile but I am excited to now claim that I am promoting good health when I can’t stop laughing at some cringe-worthy pun.

I encourage you to chair this issue to improve your own health by taking the time to smile and laugh.  But for now, let’s table the topic.

Check.

How to Resist Your Co-Workers

I’m not talking about the lure of the small town interoffice relationships, I’m talking about how summer’s coming, I’m getting married, and I’m trying to be healthy. (Yes, summer is coming.)  What can I do to get back in shape for all of that?  For the majority of my college career to fund my education I was a Personal Training Coordinator who oversaw the personal training at our local gym and helped many individuals get back into shape or better their shape and overall happiness.  For one reason or another travel, late nights, missed lunches or lunches out all add up.  One day I went to bed a strapping young man, then the next I woke up having to find another belt to strap it all in.  I am putting the knowledge I have learned from my previous life and having lost over 50 pounds to return my own body to its former glory…  Here are the tricks that I am using along the way that might just help you too!  I call it the RESIST approach…

R-ealization

E-ating right

S-leep

I-can

S-ay no

T-ime

Read the rest of this entry »

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