Health in the Workplace
By David Fieno, M.D., Ph.D.
One of the questions I am asked frequently as a clinical cardiologist is can I become healthy while maintaining a full-time job? Are there things I can do during my workday that promote well-being?
The answer is most definitely yes. People can and should stay active at work.
Walking the stairs, taking laps around the corridor, and toe raises or even peddling an exercise ergometer under your desk throughout the workday can promote circulation, burn calories, and improve flexibility. Many workplaces offer a lunch break that can be used to walk outside, stretch out on a mat, or even go to a local gym. Check with the administrators for all of these options. There may even be a formal on-the-job program to encourage healthy lifestyles – Heart South in Alabaster has a program called “Pulse” that encourages employees to track steps, attend work outs, and stay active, all tracked using an online app
One of the most effective tools to be more active is to “buddy” the effort with a colleague. With this measure of accountability, many people find it easier to get in there steps, to take the stairs instead of the elevator, and to adopt healthier eating habits. Such friendships built on adopting healthy lifestyles tend to last lifetime in my experience.
So make the effort! Take the stairs! Circumnavigate the building ten times at lunch! Find a partner and get in some steps in between calls and meetings!
The health benefits of even modest consistent exercise are substantial, and the improvements in outlook, flexibility, and wellbeing reinforce the new routine.