Sarah Cole, BSW, RSW
Alberta Health Services
Being healthy can be quick and easy!
We all face challenges that prevent us from being the best we can be. Making small changes that fit into our busy schedules can have a positive impact on our ability to be healthy, and thrive at work and at home.
Here are some ways you can increase physical activity and healthy living:
Take 15 minutes of your day to do something active. This could be a brisk walk or doing something active in a group. Being physically active has been proven to reduce risk of chronic disease while also improving ones mood and boosting energy.
According to Shepell, employees are more productive when they work for 45 minutes and take a 15 minute break. One’s productivity is reduced when they work for 60 minutes without a break. Take frequent breaks to increase your overall work morale and productivity. Take these opportunities to include shorter and more frequent bouts of activity throughout the day. The benefits all add up whether you do 15 minutes of activity four times a day, or an hour of physical activity.
If your work includes sitting for long periods of time, invest in a wireless headset and standing desk options to alternate between sitting and standing. Investing in this type of office equipment can pay off in reduced sick time, increased productivity and better health.
Getting outside can reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure. Canadians spend about 90 per cent of their time indoors. When the weather permits, try to do something outside. Take advantage of walking trails, lakes, mountains or even your own back yard. Take a short walk for 10 minutes a day and build up to three times a day. Walking is great for our health, the environment and for building our communities.
Try some fun activities by challenging others to be active both at work and outside of work. This may include some fun runs, a bike challenge or accumulated steps as a team. This is a great way to work on team building or connect with friends and family more often.
To increase your healthy eating habits have a “taster’s day,” everyone brings in a vegetable or fruit they have never tried before, to sample share with co-workers. This can be a great way to create conversation around fruit and vegetable options. Additionally, it exposes you to a few new options to try at home.
Committing to healthy behaviours will increase protection against injury and chronic health concerns. Improving your health and well-being can improve your quality of life, your work environment, your community and connections with others. For more information on ways to include quick and easy health tips go to myhealth.alberta.ca or participaction.ca.