When you make workplace wellness a priority, you take steps to increase physical activity during the workday, support healthy eating choices, and promote healthy habits that employees can share with their families. Another important piece of employee wellness extends beyond the company's walls: community engagement.
Sitting for long periods of time is hard on the body and mind. Research suggests that even short bursts of exercise are beneficial—and every bit helps add up to the 60 minutes of physical activity needed daily.
Healthy workplaces promote the “Sit for 60, Move for 3” rule, getting 3 minutes of physical activity for every 60 minutes of inactivity, especially if you sit for long stretches of time at work. Setting an alert on your phone or wrist monitor to remind you to get up regularly for stretching or a brisk walk is a good way to be sure you don't go too long without a break.
Walking is an easy way to get active. Walk or march in place while you’re on the telephone. Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of calling or emailing. Lap the building when you go to the restroom, before or after lunch and before leaving for the day. Walk to and from lunch; if you usually bring your lunch, go for a walk before and/or after eating. If you keep a water bottle on your desk, only fill it halfway so that you finish it more quickly and can double the number of times you get up to walk to the water dispenser.
Ready to do more than walk? Here are 10 easy exercises you can do at your desk or almost anywhere:
If you work full-time, that's where you spend the majority of your day. It is important to make sure that your work environment is as healthy as it can be, so that you can get in the habit of practicing healthy behaviors.
For many of us, being at work means sitting all day. We all know that's not the ideal state for our bodies, but often find it hard to make changes. Because we spend so much time at work, it's important to consider ways to keep ourselves moving and active even when our work requires us to sit for long stretches. Fortunately, Jump IN has some easy (and no-cost) ways to remind you to take time during the day (every day) to move around. A comprehensive work site wellness policy is ideal, but even without one, you can take simple steps that can improve your health and well being during the work day.
Did you know? Jump IN for Healthy Kids is fortunate and honored to be one of the 50 organizations competing for the $250,000 Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge. The Challenge is a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties. The partnership empowers small to mid-size U.S. cities and counties to create a positive health impact. 50 communities were selected by competitive process to be part of the Challenge, and Jump IN's community demonstration project in Greater Lawrence and the Far Eastside (GLFE) was selected as one of the 50. Jump IN's work and the work of our partners is broad and deep, and we've listed nearly everything below that we're up to in GLFE, so it's a bit of a long read, but we really wanted to tell you about our work. It's a lot, and there are wonderful partners and grassroots efforts that are helping improve the health of residents every day. If we are fortunate enough to win the Challenge, the prize money will go directly into the GLFE community to continue and expand our work.
Community engagement is an important part of a comprehensive workplace wellness program. Employers gain many advantages by engaging in community partnerships, but how do you choose effective partners for your community engagement efforts?
Effective community wellness partnerships require strategic planning and ongoing communication. You want to find a partner(s) whose interest in and commitment to improving wellness is well aligned with yours.
Do the rewards you give your employees support their health goals or sabotage them?
Pizza parties, doughnut breakfasts, and birthday cakes are easy to plan and execute, but they contradict your goal to help employees adopt healthier habits. So what else can you do?
Whether you want to reward your team for achieving a goal, celebrate a holiday together, or specifically incentivize them to participate in wellness initiatives, you can opt for healthy rewards that support wellness goals and are meaningful and valuable to employees.
Everybody needs at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity—enough to feel your heart pumping and increased breathing—every day. Luckily, we don't need to get all 60 minutes at once.
Healthy workplaces stock a fitness area or activity room for employees to use during the workday. The return on investment in employees' physical activity is significant—improvements in employee health as well as improvements in productivity, absenteeism, and morale.
Four in ten kids in central Indiana are at an unhealthy weight. That's nearly a quarter million kids, or enough to fill Lucas Oil Stadium three times.
Because of their weight, these kids are at significantly higher risk for life threatening conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
How did we get here?
The causes of the obesity epidemic are numerous and complex. Food has become highly processed, calorie dense, and “super-sized.” Many families lack access to affordable, healthy food. Children have fewer opportunities to play and be active, as recess and physical education classes have been reduced or cut entirely in schools. Too many kids spend too much time sitting in front of computer screens, tablets, or smart phones. Many of them live in neighborhoods that lack safe places to play.
As a result, simply promoting public awareness and “personal responsibility” will not solve this crisis. There are no simple or one-size-fits-all solutions.