Re­solve for a healthy work­place makeover in 2017

The Boyertown Area Times - - COMMUNITY - By LeeAnn Wein­traub Spe­cial to Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

Now that 2017 is nearly here, many have started think­ing about New Year’s res­o­lu­tions. While we’re of­ten well-in­ten­tioned dur­ing this time of self-re­flec­tion and goal-set­ting, very few of those who make res­o­lu­tions will ac­tu­ally reach their goal in the new year.

The most com­mon New Year’s res­o­lu­tions cen­ter on weight loss and ca­reer growth. Maybe it’s time to fo­cus less on a spe­cific goal or num­ber, and in­stead spend time im­prov­ing your over­all life­style by mak­ing smart changes to your habits and sur­round­ings.

A healthy work­place makeover might be just the an­swer to well­ness and pro­duc­tiv­ity in the year to come.

If you work full-time, whether it is for a cor­po­ra­tion, a non-profit or self-em­ploy­ment, you likely spend the ma­jor­ity of your wak­ing hours work­ing. The work­place en­vi­ron­ment has a tremen­dous im­pact on fac­tors like daily phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, food choices and stress lev­els.

A phys­i­cal work space that pro­motes a health­ier life­style can set you up for per­sonal and pro­fes­sional suc­cess.

De-stress your space

An of­fice space that is re­lax­ing and pro­motes move­ment is key.

Try paint­ing the walls in calm­ing col­ors like pale shades of pur­ple, blue or gray. Opt for nat­u­ral light­ing in­stead of high-in­ten­sity or flu­o­res­cent light­ing that can be as­so­ci­ated with fa­tigue and headaches. Space fur­ni­ture and of­fice equip­ment strate­gi­cally to en­cour­age get­ting up from your desk more of­ten. If you haven’t al­ready, con­sider in­vest­ing in a stand­ing desk and er­gonomic of­fice equip­ment.

De­velop a plan

Some of­fices are stocked with pro­cessed, high-calo­rie snacks that are lack­ing in nutri­tional value. In­stead, keep some non-per­ish­able snacks on hand that con­tain pro­tein to help sat­isfy your hunger. Sin­gle­serv­ing pouches of tuna are con­ve­nient and pro­vide brain boost­ing es­sen­tial omega-3 fatty acids, which play an im­por­tant role in mem­ory and cog­ni­tive per­for­mance.

The Di­etary Guide­lines for Amer­i­cans rec­om­mend that ev­ery­one eats at least two serv­ings of seafood each week, so this is also a great way to help reach that goal.

Other pro­tein-rich snacks that are easy to store in­clude turkey jerky, un­salted nuts and dried soy­beans. To help get your five fruits and veg­eta­bles a day, con­sider sub­scrib­ing to a fresh fruit de­liv­ery ser­vice. Toss the candy bowl and put out a fruit bas­ket to re­stock weekly.

Stay hy­drated

Most peo­ple know they should be drink­ing enough wa­ter ev­ery day, but a hec­tic work sched­ule gets in the way. Keep a re­fill­able bot­tle eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble on your desk as a visual re­minder to drink.

Hav­ing a goal to drink a cer­tain amount by lunchtime and an ad­di­tional amount by the time of your af­ter­noon snack will help you keep pace with your fluid goals. For some­thing dif­fer­ent, choose fla­vored wa­ter, sparkling wa­ter and herbal teas over high-calo­rie creamy cof­fee drinks and bot­tled juices.

Get up and move

Break the habit of rush­ing through a quick desk­side lunch in front of the com­puter. Step­ping away from your work­load and screens will help you mind­fully en­joy your meal with­out dis­trac­tions.

Take a few min­utes to get out­side to stretch and walk around. Con­sider invit­ing some friends or co­work­ers to join you in a lunchtime walk­ing group. If the area around your of­fice is not con­ducive to out­side ac­tiv­ity, check out some fit­ness apps for desk ex­er­cises or short med­i­ta­tions to help keep you en­er­gized and alert through­out the work day. LeeAnn Wein­traub, a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian, pro­vides nu­tri­tion coun­sel­ing and con­sult­ing to in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies and or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the Na­tional Fish­eries In­sti­tute. She can be reached at RD@ hal­


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