We spend more time at work during a typical week than just about anywhere else—and if your office is like mine, that means you’re probably spending that time sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen. The only exercise most of us get is when we walk to the vending machine! Fact is, all of us are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
A May 2010 study at the University of South Carolina shed some light on the relationship between sedentary lifestyles and heart disease in men. And the results were a little shocking: More than 23 hours per week of sedentary activity—sitting at dinner, watching TV, driving, and work, of course—meant a 64-percent increase in risk of death by heart disease when compared to men who clocked in at just 11 hours.
Those stats are enough to make anyone brainstorm on how to lessen the sedentary activity in their life. May is Employee Health & Fitness Month, which is a great opportunity to grab some of your work buddies—those people you see more hours each day than just about anyone else—and get moving!
Employee Health & Fitness Month is a global effort organized by two nonprofits, the National Association for Health & Fitness and ACTIVE Life, to support active, healthy work cultures and habits for workers everywhere. Visit healthandfitnessmonth.com to get more info as well as make suggestions for and plan healthy activities for those in your area.
In our office, a number of employees recently participated in the March of Dimes Walk, and several more are looking forward to the upcoming Wall Street Run and Heart Walk at the end of May. With warm weather on its way, a charity walk or run is a great, healthy team-building activity to get involved in as a company.
Try organizing a company softball team or Zumba classes in the office. Or speak to local sports clubs and gyms to see about discounts for members of your organization. Of course, your efforts can be as simple as walking to someone’s desk rather than sending an email when you have a question. Stretch on your lunch break, or get off the subway a stop early and walk a little longer to your destination.
Above all, make an effort this month to work on your work-life balance, and encourage your co-workers to join you in more healthy activities. Get up, and get moving. You’ll live healthier, happier—and longer—for it.
George Hulse is vice president of External Affairs at Healthfirst. For more tips on leading a healthier lifestyle, visit Healthfirst Healthy Living, www.hfhealthyliving.com.