Making the Office a Healthier Place

So, if you’re like me, you work in an office where you spend hours daydreaming about your next workout and or what your next meal is. No? You’re not like that? Well.. this is awkward..

As most of you know by now, I work in advertising full time and teach spin part time. I really love what I do (most days) in advertising. It’s different every day and always brings challenges. But I’d be lying if I said that I’d rather stay in advertising than do fitness full time. If my body could physically handle it, I’d never get off a spin bike. Unfortunately, I’m not Wonder Woman so this does not seem to be in my cards anytime soon, so I’m not going to quit my day job (literally).

I’ve often thought about how I can combine my two passions for fitness and health with design and advertising. A few months ago, a fellow fitness obsessed coworker and I started scheming of ways to make our office healthier. I love where I work, but it’s not the healthiest place in the world. We have a beer vending machine for crying out loud. I’m serious. Check it out. His name is Arnie. And he tweets. While this is great and it definitely makes for a fun work environment, we realized there are a ton of ways we can make our workplace a tiny bit healthier. We got together with our HR guru and put together a little committee of other health conscious folk at the agency. Together, we’ve been working on doing some minimal changes that will hopefully have a big impact. These are all very small, minimal-zero cost changes that EVERYONE can make.

First things first- encourage people to take the stairs. Our office is 10 floors. I understand not taking all 10 flights but if you’re going up 2 flights… COME ON. It’s actually faster to take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. We posted these signs inside the stairwells as fun little incentives to keep people going.

Next, we organized walking and running groups. Once a week, a group meets during lunch to go for an hour long walk, and once a week after work a group meets to go running. Even if you can’t make the designated time slots, we’re just encouraging people to get up from their desks in the middle of the day and MOVE. It is so horrible to sit for extended periods of time. I read a study recently that said you’re 80% more likely to have a heart attack by the age of 60 if you sit all day. So, get up! The world will continue to spin on it’s axis if you leave your desk for 20 minutes and get some fresh air.

Speaking of sitting all day, I recently made my cube into a standing work station, and we’re encouraging others to do the same as well. I still have a high chair for when I do want to sit, but I’m trying to stand for at least 4 hours a day. If you have a cube, it’s really easy to do, or if you’re a big shot and have your own office (not jealous or anything) you can buy a nifty one from Ikea!

To kick off our programs, we sent out a newsletter to the whole agency that informed them of what was going on. We’re going to make it a monthly thing, including new recipes, health information, fitness deals around Boston, restaurant reviews, upcoming races, monthly challenges, etc.

On top of that, we had a big kick off launch party to announce some new programs and happenings that are going to be happening with the agency. Basically, just inundating as many people as we can with our health ideas. Sorry, not sorry.

My partner in crime, Anna-Ruth

People were PSYCHED to get their BMI testings and blood pressure taken…

The bottom line is- there are a gazillion ways you can make your day a little bit healthier. I know you’re all health and fitness fanatics like me (especially my FitFluential peeps!!), so why not spread the love?? What things can YOU do to make your office a better place? I guarantee that even though you’ll get weird looks at first, people will catch on and get involved. So take a challenge. This Monday, implement something healthy at work. Even if it’s just grabbing someone to go for a walk in the afternoon. Take the stairs. Motivate people. Make a difference. You do it online, why not do it with your coworkers?

Any of you guys have healthy offices? Have fun work stations? Sore butt from sitting all day? Spill! And have an awesome weekend 🙂



8 thoughts on “Making the Office a Healthier Place

  1. I wish I could get a raised office! I sit all day 😦 I do have a reminder every 30 min to get upfor a bit though. And I try to stand up every time I pick up the phone.
    I love that you are making your company healthier

  2. This is great initiative you and your coworker are taking! The standing thing is not even an option as our cube walls are mid-face height. BUT there is a program at work that started about 3 weeks ago called “The Biggest Loser” which is (as I’m sure you’ve guessed) based on who loses the most percentage of their body weight within a 10 week period, and the winner gets the pot of money that everyone had to contribute a minimal amount to participate. I have no weight to lose, so I’m not participating…

  3. I took your 6pm tonight (it was great!) but heard you mention you had a blog and I tracked it down. Then I ran across this post…I actually worked on Volvo as an AM not super long ago. Anyway, small world.

    Thanks again for a great class!

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