Resolve for a healthy workplace makeover in 2017
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.
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@ halfacup.com.