If you have been struggling to fit exercise in to your lifestyle because you work too many hours, you’re in luck! You can fit activity “NEAT-ly” into your work day with just a little creativity. NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is adding movement of any kind to your daily routine such as extra steps, standing, toe taps, and fidgeting. Incorporating these activities can help burn more calories and increase energy and focus.
Try some of these NEAT ideas or make up your own!
Use desk peddlers. These compact peddlers (https://www.henryfordhealthproducts.com/product.cfm?product_ID=9114 )allow you to pedal while you work or during a break. It is an excellent way to log minutes. You can even bring it to meetings!
During your lunch break, go 50-50. Spend half your time eating your lunch and the other half walking. Impact someone else’s health by asking a co-worker to join you.
Do short bouts of activity with your co-workers. For example, in our office if anyone says “I’m tired,” we all do 5 minutes of arm circles or 10 pushups. That’ll get your attention!
Give up the elevator. (At least a few times every day). Or walk as many flights as you can and then take the elevator the rest of the way. Every step counts.
Stand up at your desk for part or all of each day.
Have walking meetings. Instead of meeting in your office, head outside (or for the hallways if weather is bad).
Park at the farthest corner of your work parking lot. I found the difference between the furthest spot and my usual spot was approximately 600 steps into the building (measured by a pedometer). That gives me about an extra 1.5 miles per week!
What else can you do to move at work? We want to know! Email us at WellnessEvents@hfhs.org
Posted by Megan Carnaghi, Program Assistant, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Henry Ford Health System. Megan can be reached at MCARNAG2@hfhs.org.
The momentum and goals of the Michigan Wellness Council were recently featured in Crain’s Detroit Business. You can read the full article by following this link.
Frequent media reports remind us of the obesity epidemic plaguing our state. Michigan spends billions of dollars annually on obesity-related medical costs ($3.1 billion in 2008), and will reach $12.5 billion in 2018 if the current trend continues. Michigan worksites pay for obesity-related illnesses through rising healthcare costs and lost productivity. Because of obesity’s impact on the health of Michigan residents and the economy, Governor Snyder has identified obesity prevention and reduction as a top priority of his administration. As a first step in curbing the obesity epidemic, the governor unveiled the Michigan Health and Wellness 4 x 4 Plan in June 2012. The plan lays out specific strategies for various sectors—including businesses—to implement in order to decrease the state’s obesity rate.
There are several worksite strategies that Michigan businesses can implement without having to invest a great deal of money or time:
- Assess your worksite using the Designing Healthy Environments at Work assessment tool (www.mihealthtools.org/work), and develop an action plan based on the assessment feedback report.
- Use the resources available on the Michigan Health & Wellness 4 x 4 website (http://www.michigan.gov/healthymichigan), including the development of worksite environments that encourage and support healthy eating, physical activity and the adoption of the 4 x 4 Plan. Additional worksite resources are available on the Michigan Department of Community Health’s website at www.michigan.gov/cvh under “Healthy Businesses.”
- Access the Our Partner Resource page for employers to download tools to promote the 4 x 4’s “MI Healthier Tomorrow” campaign at work.
- Support breastfeeding in the workplace by establishing policies and providing appropriate space and break time for breastfeeding.
- Promote a workplace healthy food policy that supports nutritious foods in the company cafeteria, vending machines and work functions. Some examples include developing recommendations for healthy food and beverages offered at employers’ meetings and parties, offering competitively-priced food and beverages that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and working with suppliers to include specified percentages of healthy food in recommended portion sizes in vending machines and cafeterias.
- Provide opportunities for employees to be physically active during the work day, such as promoting stair usage, providing shower facilities, and offering alternative work schedules so employees can increase physical activity during the work day.
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is helping the governor implement the plan by offering many easy-to-use, no-cost resources for worksites. If you have additional questions please contact Christi Demitz at email@example.com or 517/335-8771.
Wellness Strategies are a vital business component for today’s employers. Employee health has a direct effect on performance at work, ultimately impacting both competiveness and business performance. Wellness has been proven to improve health, and lead to increased employee satisfaction, productivity, and cost savings.
One hospital client, Dekalb Health, found considerable results in many of these areas. This 500 employee group implemented a comprehensive wellness program for its predominately female workforce in response to an increasing trend in employee claim activity and expense. Read More >