6 Ways to Live Healthier While at Work

Date Posted: Nov 6, 2019

Work. It is where most of us spend the bulk of our waking hours each week. So, it only makes sense that healthy habits during the workday have a positive influence on our overall health. But it's not so simple. Especially in today?s world where working through lunch, mealtime business meetings and constant connection are the norm. The combination of work-related pressure and a busy schedule can make sticking to your healthy habits a real challenge.

When work pressures mount and stress levels rise, we often turn to things that provide comfort, such as empty-calorie snacks or packaged and processed foods, in an attempt to cure feelings of anxiety. And when our to-do lists feel impossible, we skip our lunchtime workout or coffee break walk with colleagues to give ourselves a bit more time to get things done. In reality, this combination of bad food and reduced exercise makes it harder to manage our stress.

So, does that mean you need to turn down every birthday cupcake and put in marathon workouts before and after work every day? Certainly not. But making small changes to incorporate wellness into each day can make a big difference. Here are a few tips from our LivingWell blog that might help make living a healthy work life a bit easier.

1. Recommend a Workplace Wellness Program

The facts are in - workplace wellness programs work. They can increase productivity by diminishing absenteeism when co-workers actively participate in them. They can also save employers money. Based on a report from the Health Communication Unit at the Centre for Health Promotion that tracked a company's workplace wellness initiatives, for every $1 invested in health-related programs, the business experienced an average of $7 in savings.

To encourage participation, try developing a healthy living challenge with some incentives for winners and runners-up.

2. Take the Stairs

Going up? Take the stairs instead of the elevator to the office and make it a routine.

Sure, it's quicker to take the elevator, but by taking the long way to the office, you'll burn more calories, which add up over time. Stair climbing is one of the more effective ways to get the heart rate elevated and helps improve energy at the same time.

3. Establish a Routine

We tend to be creatures of habit, utilizing the same desk, lockers or seats everywhere we go. Routines bring a sense of comfort and stability. Develop a routine around your workday so you hit the gym for an hour before you head into the office, or join colleagues for a walk during the lunch hour a few times a week. It can set the right tone for the day, or help you collect your thoughts as to how you'll tackle an upcoming project.

4. Prepare Your Lunch or Dinner

Regular exercise should be complemented with smart eating habits. This can be difficult on the job because there tends to be lots of "grab-and-go" options. Bringing your lunch doesn't have to be time consuming; it can be as simple as bagging some pre-cut vegetables along with some hummus for dipping. Made up primarily of chickpeas, hummus is loaded with fibre, healthy fats, and protein. It's also great as a sandwich spread.

5. Recruit Friends or Your Spouse

Tasks tend to be easier when we have others there to offer encouragement or support. Talk to co-workers or your significant other to see if they would be up for getting healthier. You could make it a group effort with everyone chipping in $10 or so to see who can lose the most weight. To the victor go the spoils.

6. Have a Health Insurance Plan

A health insurance plan is a great way to make wellness a priority. Be it emergency essentials like casts and ambulance rides, or preventative services like acupuncture, eye exams and dental cleanings, supplemental health insurance covers things your government health plan doesn't. It allows you to proactively manage your health by booking regular checkups with your dentist and optometrist, visit your massage therapist to keep aches and pains under control, and dedicate time to mental health. These activities can help prevent health problems before they add extra stress to your life.

Lucky for you, CPA Insurance Plans West members and their families have access to comprehensive health, dental and travel coverage from GMS at exclusive rates. Visit cpaipw.ca to find out which plan is right for you.