In our everyday lives, being happy and healthy comes in all shapes and sizes, just like each one of us. We each have different interests, likes, dislikes, jobs, routines, habits at work, and, well, lives. All of us have different goals and desires for each day that life brings. One similar goal for many people is to create a happy and healthy lifestyle in and outside of work.
Now even though we all have our different goals and reach these goals in different ways, there are some similar scientifically proven factors that have been shown to help create a happy and healthy lifestyle. For example, while we all enjoy eating different foods, there are some that are not healthy for us. For example, foods high in sugar and fat have been shown to not be as nutritious.
An Overlooked Factor
That seems like a no brainer, but one factor that can be overlooked is the benefit of moving. Whether it is running, hiking, walking, swimming, lifting weights, or simply standing, we as humans were designed to move! However, with many jobs that require us to sit all day, schools cutting back on recess time, and America facing obesity as one of the fastest growing afflictions, moving around has not been factored into a happy and healthy lifestyle.
The CDC reports that one-third of Americans are currently obese which is defined as having a Body Mass Index of greater than 30. A Gallup study shows that rates of obesity significantly increased during the years of 2008-2012 and was seen in every age group with middle age adults factoring in at one of the greatest increases.
The Impact on the Economy
What economic impact does this have on employers, job productivity and healthcare costs? Overweight workers cost their employers 10 times more due to decreased productivity, less workdays and inflated healthcare costs secondary to their obesity.
Recent studies have shown that there is an easy and simple solution to having a happy and healthy life. Standing burns 40% more calories than sitting and workplace productivity increases by 46% simply by standing at your work space instead of sitting. Mark E Benden, PhD, CPE and author of the book, "Could You Stand To Lose?" writes that by standing for 2.5 hours during your workday, you could burn up to 350 calories a day. This means that over the course of 10 days, you could lose one pound of body fat adding up to a potential total weight loss of 20-25 pounds at the end of a year.
Interventions to Stay Engaged at Work
1. On Break
What are some ways to form healthy habits at work? Take advantage of your break time. During your 10-15 minute break, stand up and better yet, take a stroll around your office or work complex. If you leave your floor during your break, take the stairs and not the elevator. Visit the break room at the far end of the office. During your lunch break, don't sit at your desk but get up out of your chair. Why not take a quick walk after lunch to get your blood flowing and to burn a few extra calories. You can always recruit a buddy, who like you, is looking to shed a few extra pounds or just get active. Make it a date every day to use the last 15 minutes of your lunch break to take a brisk walk.
Related: Encourage collaboration and self-motivation by learning in motion with an active environment throughout the workday!
2. While Taking Calls
Stand up while taking phone calls. The person on the other end of the line will sense that you are more engaged and you may find yourself being more enthusiastic as you speak. Standing up puts your body and mind in the position of being ready for action and thus rendering you more productive at the tasks at hand.
No matter how tired you are at the end of the workday, take a few minutes to clean up your work space. Not only will you be happy the next day arriving to a clean work space, but by moving your body, you are burning extra calories aiding your efforts at weight loss and better health.
Forming these standing habits at work will work together to help create a more engaging and productive workspace. On your search for a healthier and happy you, give your health the priority it deserves so that you can be the best version of yourself for years to come.