How to Have a Healthier Work Day
Sitting is the new smoking—try these simple tips for revving up your wellbeing during your 9-to-5.
If you work a desk job, sitting all day in front of a computer is inevitable. While the damage this is doing to yourself has been reported, there's not much said about how it affects your entire team. "Companies that have a heavily sedentary culture commonly report high employee disengagement and less innovation," says Jane Wang, CEO of corporate health and wellness company myHealthSphere. "This, in turn, develops into benefits claims, more sick days taken and a culture of sluggishness."
Wang went on to tell us that the average worker sitting over eight hours a day has the same risk of heart attack as if they smoked daily. That statistic alone should inspire you to take action, but knowing where to start can be baffling. After all, you don't want to be that employee doing lunges at the cubicle. The folks who hit the gym regularly aren't off the hook, either. No matter your activity level, any extended time spent sitting puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes.
The key is to engage in easy, healthy activities throughout the work day. For instance, in Wang's myHealthSphere office, morning meetings are done while walking; there are set break times allowing the team to socialize; and brainstorming sessions take place on their feet over ping pong matches, games of catch, pacing in boardrooms or drawing on whiteboards together. "We know that physical activity gets the blood flowing and improves the creative process, making our workdays more dynamic and fun," says Wang.
She introduced us to myHealthSphere's app companies can sign up for called Dooo, which engages employees in office-wide health "challenges." You get reminders throughout the day to do things like stretch, drink water, practice yoga poses, take group breaks and more. It varies by company, but you can even win health-promoting prizes such as a FitBit or Nike and Under Armour gift cards.
Even if you don't have such an app as part of your workday, we've come up with activities you can do to make sure your 9-to-5 is productive. Click through below!