Healthy Employees = Happy Workplace
More and more frequently I’m hearing about friends’ employers instituting a mandatory “wellness questionnaire”, with comforting reasons such as “Save $520 a year on your insurance costs!” and “Help us help YOU!” I’m not fooled, insurance company, I can hear you silently judging me from behind the digital curtain for my 5-7 glasses of wine and 30 minutes of exercise per week. Whatever, I do what I want!!! But healthier employees do generally mean happier employees. Here are some ways that Astek ROCKS at supporting employee health, and how you can help yourself in and out of the workplace.
Exercise – the word everyone loves to hate
When Astek moved to our swanky new office, we were gifted an added bonus of access to the workout room (complete with shower!) in our building. Theoretically awesome – practically, well… empty. Then our fearless leader gave us an incredible opportunity – the chance to log up to three hours of workout time per week during business hours. What a great chance to step away from the computer and get the blood flowing! I’ve heard my coworkers say that a mid-afternoon jaunt on the treadmill or elliptical is just the thing to revitalize a tired brain. We count ourselves very lucky to be able to get that time in, but ultimately Astek also benefits from more productive employees.
Realizing that many workplaces don’t have the same resources, how can you make the most of a quick lunch break? Easy! Grab that empty conference room (maybe the one without the windows) and get through a speedy workout routine. One of my favorites is Real Simple’s “15 Minutes & You’re Done” workout series – they include one in every monthly issue. And remember – you’re more likely get motivated with a workout buddy. Talk to your coworkers about getting an exercise ball or a set of hand weights for the office – and get cranking! If arm curls and yoga poses aren’t your cup of tea, how about trying the most simple form of exercise: walking. Set aside even 15 or 20 minutes during your lunch hour and get those legs moving.
If you’re looking for something outside of work but you’re not into spending your monthly grocery budget on a gym membership, try the Couch to 5K or Ease into 5K app. As a total non-runner, I was not enthused when a bunch of my girlfriends decided to start signing up for every race in the city. When I started using Ease into 5K, I couldn’t run two blocks. I ran two 5Ks within about nine months of the program. It can be done!
That’s what we call a sack(ed) lunch
I am a huge believer that bringing your lunch to work is a great way to eat more healthily. Not that this girl doesn’t love her Jimmy John’s every once in a while. But if your workplace has a kitchen with a fridge and a microwave, TAKE ADVANTAGE!
In a typical week, I’ll go to the grocery store on Sunday morning. Thinking about my week ahead, I can plan to make a big dinner one night and bring in leftovers (pasta, soup, chicken or steak to make sandwiches later in the week) or I’ll buy plenty of veggies and brainstorm a kickass salad. Homemade dressing is the easiest thing in the world to make, and you can make a big batch and keep it throughout the week. One of my favorite salads has only a few ingredients but is super tasty: baby arugula, avocado, parmesan shavings with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and salt (3:1 oil to lemon juice).
Need some inspiration? Check out Epicurious’ mobile app – just plug in an ingredient you have at home and compile your shopping list as you go.
Wellness in the workplace – one website at a time
One of Astek’s clients, Mainstay, recently launched a new site touting their work with schools, human services organizations and employers. My25’s portal allows employees and their families to access a week’s worth of healthy recipes and grocery shopping lists plus articles on how to make smarter food choices. We’re excited to share their mission of “eating better . . .together”.
Step away from the donut. Here’s to making a happier, healthier work environment.