Workplace Weight Loss: Fitting in Exercise at the Office
This might not actually come as much of a surprise to many people, but Americans work more than anyone else around. For some reason in the United States, we put in more hours than our peers do throughout Europe, and there is even evidence now that in the US we work more than our counterparts in Japan—a culture who prides itself on work ethic and professionalism.
The full-time work week in the United States is 40 hours. However, most Americans are clocking in a good deal more than that—and this only accounts for what is formally logged. Between 1970 and today the workweek has increased so much that hour by hour, Americans work a full month more every year than we would have 50 years ago.
Working around the Workplace
The trouble that comes out of these startling statistics is that working hours are not the only thing to have increased substantially in the past 50 years. Currently, approximately two-thirds of Americans are overweight with about 30% of the population being obese. Most people who do struggle with their weight will tell you that they would be healthier, but they don’t have the time to work out every day, and ultimately when it comes to bringing in a paycheck or getting to the gym, it is our health that pays the price.
Perhaps out of necessity, but all in the name of convenience, there is a rising trend among workplaces to institute office-based workout incentives. In some office places this means an on-site gym where employees can work out before or after work, or even over a long lunch break. Not all office places are equipped with such benefits, however. There are other ways that workplaces are getting into the groove of helping employees stay active and healthy.
Here are a few ways that workplaces around Newtown, Pennsylvania are supporting weight loss efforts across the country:
- Employees form a wellness committee and bring in different incentives at least once a month to improve workplace morale and encourage healthy eating and exercise
- Form a walking competition and use pedometers to track steps. This is a great incentive for employees to encourage one another and work together to achieve improved health.
- Encourage healthier eating habits in the workplace by rotating healthy snacks in the break room. Some office places have replaced chips and candy in vending machines with healthier alternatives, too.
If you aren’t looking for ways to revolutionize your office culture, but are interested in improving your own habits at work, then you may want to make a few changes to your personal office or cubical space. Replacing your desk chair with a workout ball will help you build core strength while you work on the computer. You can also try standing up, or ask your boss to invest in a few treadmill desks to help you walk while you type.
If working is a big part of your life, then it is important that you find ways to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle at the office. Medical weight loss programs are most successful when they are fully incorporated into every aspect of your day.