3 Ways to Be Healthier at Work

Stress, staring at a computer screen, reacting to email-after-email and sitting for hours on end can culminate into 40+ hours of bad habits. And none of these further your fitness goals you’ve set for yourself. A healthy employee is three times more likely to be more productive than their fellow colleagues. By making your office a friendly place for health and fitness, you’ll help your career, too. Win-Win!

1. Make Time to Stand

Let’s start by NOT sitting for extended periods of time. My fitness tracker flashes “Time to Stand” at me once per hour to move if I’ve found myself stuck behind my desk. It’s brain-draining and energy-draining to sit too long. Think about how you communicate in your work environment. Ignite the calorie burn by walking to speak to a colleague rather than picking up the phone or sending yet another email. Take that few minutes to clear the mind, ease some stress, regain focus to improve your overall health throughout the day.

2. Snack Healthy

All these bursts of calorie burn will more than likely make your stomach rumble, so be smart about mid-morning and late afternoon snacks. Don’t let the vortex of the vending machines pull you to unhealthy options (especially if you are a “stress eater”). Instead, stock your desk with low-sugar, high protein options such as nuts or protein bars. In addition, keep a water bottle on your desk. This way you can sip on it as the day moves along, take it on your journeys throughout the office while helping your body get the water it needs. (Staying hydrated helps your work performance too!) Don’t just rely on coffee and soda as thirst can zap your concentration, energy and performance.

The hustle and bustle of work often gets in the way of fueling your body during the lunch hour. Be diligent about eating a low-calorie, high fiber meal for lunch, as this will prevent overeating at dinner. Don’t pack on those desk-bound pounds, incorporate small changes to what you eat and where by planning in advance, such as packing the night before. Your wallet will also thank you, so will your car as it won’t be making all those quick drive-thru stops.

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3. Practice Balance

We all get pangs about the amount of time in a day and feeling like there is never enough to accomplish our work load, but truly the most important step toward your fitness goals is a work-life balance. Each of us needs to take the time to limit the hours we work to a manageable number, setting boundaries between home and office. We all need a “switch off” so we can be rejuvenated and motivated to go back to work and that means limiting emails and calls after hours. Take time in the evenings for fun and fulfilling things to take your mind from work to home. Need a calm environment? Here are the top 5 places in Toledo to find inner peace.

By taking these steps you can begin the road to a healthy work-life and a healthy you.

IMG_1027Shannon Loar is the Executive Director of ProMedica Toledo Hospital/Toledo Children’s Hospital Foundation. She attended the University of Toledo, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She is a ProMedica Wellness Champion who helps promote healthy habits. Shannon has three children and enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, shopping, and running.