We all want to be well, or at least more-well. We all work (well, most of us work). We all work at an office (well, mostly anyway). And here we find challenges: unhealthy food options, sitting, stress, no fresh air, no sunlight, and more. Work life, especially office-based work life, is often seen as an obstacle to healthy living, understandably so.
And yet there ARE ways to incorporate health & wellness into work & office & meetings etc. Here are a few ideas:
Walk. A quick 2-minute lap-around-the-desks, up and down the stairs, circuit of the building etc. Head office Wealthsmiths are lucky to have a special 1000m “Stride” route marked out in the building but even without this, almost everyone can include a bit of walking into their work day. It’s just a matter of making a start.
Stand. Prolonged sitting can be harmful so try to stand up often. Try mini-breaks (just a minute or so helps) every 30 minutes or so. Stand-up meetings can be energizing and creative and they are healthy for sure. Many call-center agents stand when making calls and they feel better for it. Maybe consider a stand-up desk even.
Fruit. We know that when people have healthy options, they eat better, so making sure you have alternatives to the pies & pastries, is critical. It’s a great idea to form small “fruit clubs” where a small group of people take it in turns to bring fruit to the office, for the group to share.
Water. You want to drink 1-2 liters a day at the office. Get jugs or large glasses. Add a slice or two of lemon, orange, cucumber, mint or berries. Ice if you have it. Get this onto everyone’s desk (yours and those around you). Refill each others’ glasses & jugs. Repeat…
Challenges. Why not enter a walk or run or cycle or swim event, as a group. Make sure it is far enough in the future so that everyone has enough time to train. Do some training together. Support each other. Celebrate when you succeed but be sure to book the next challenge immediately. Repeat…
Talk. Share your favourite healthy recipes. Discuss the best options from the local catering outlet or shop (there are nearly always some good options and if not maybe you can approach management with ideas). Forward valuable articles you’ve read online. Make wellness part of your conversation at work.
So there are some simple but hopefully valuable ideas.
What works for you? What happens in your office? How are you making your workplace healthier? Please post your comments below and let’s really share around workplace wellness.
Colin was a medical practitioner (GP) from 1988 to 2000. Since then he has worked in the wellness field, designing, developing and delivering various products and services. Out of clinical practice for many years now he no longer practices medicine formally but retains a keen interest in helping people become more-well versions of themselves. He acts as a wellness coach and not as a medical practitioner today.
Colin's approach and philosophy is based on empowerment: the notion that people only need a little help to make choices they usually already want to anyway - it's about respect and support rather than instruction or correction.
Colin lives at the Vaal Dam with his wife Cathy. He spends time walking mountains, cycling, motorbike riding, kayaking, sailing and always looking for better & better balance.