Is Your Job Making You Fat?

By - Zonya Foco, RD, CHFI, CSP

While what we do at home is certainly important, let’s face it, most of us are spending a high percentage of our waking hours at work. So it just makes sense that it’s a lot easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle when our work culture is “healthy.”

business meeting in conference room

When morning meetings provide fruit and bagels instead of donuts and coworkers choose healthy fare for lunch instead of grazing from the vending machines, our personal health goals can be much easier to achieve. That success climbs even higher when office mates use break time for walking or dedicate 30 minutes after work for fun fitness time together.

So how can you make your worksite a “healthier culture?” Read on to discover three major ways to get you started.

1) Take matters into your own hands.

  • people on a walkKeep a fruit bowl on your desk at work, refill every Monday.
  • Bring a “veggie tray” every Monday to help fill out meals and snacks healthfully throughout the week.
  • Recruit a walking group that will commit to walking with you at lunch, just before or just after work. Keep the “walk banter” positive and encouraging.
  • Bring water to work daily and keep it with you always.
  • Ignite your metabolism and brain before starting work by doing a few minutes of jumping jacks, leg lifts, squats, lunges, stretches or brisk walking.
  • Initiate a “tasting is believing” healthy potluck lunch once a month or once a season, including sharing recipes to help inspire one another.

2) If your workplace offers wellness screenings and classes—Join In!

I am often surprised by how many people struggle with chronic health challenges, yet they don’t take advantage of the wonderful wellness solutions their workplace offers. Why is that? STOP THE EXCUSES and JOIN IN! From smoking cessation programs to Zumba classes, be grateful and participate in the benefits offered. They truly are a health blessing to all!

3) If your worksite doesn’t currently offer something you’re interested in—ASK!

  • Over 60 percent of employers offer some sort of wellness program, while about 30 percent plan to offer a program in the future. Have a voice and take the opportunity to request what you want.
  • About 50 percent offer wellness programs for spouses as well. This is GREAT! Success loves company, so join as a team.

Benefits of a worksite wellness program help both you and your employer.

Forty-two published studies have shown worksite wellness programs can yield:

  • 28% reduction in sick leave absenteeism
  • 26% reduction in health costs
  • 30% reduction in workers’ compensation and disability claim costs
  • 56% increased employee morale
  • 41% improved health
  • 8% increased productivity

Consider This Worksite Wellness Program…
DIET FREE: The Eight Habits That Will Change Your Life!

If your worksite is interested in offering an engaging, affordable, turnkey program for creating a healthy eating and exercise culture, my DIET FREE Leader-Facilitated Video Seminar Program is perfect for groups of 10 or more. These eight powerful habits are presented in “video seminars” that can be facilitated by anyone in your work place, and the program includes all the necessary tools participants need for success. Learn more here or email Amy Shovels at amys@zonya.com

Diet Free kitCrittenton Hospital in Michigan

Participant comments
“I lowered my cholesterol 40 points during this program.”

“ I learned more in this program than I ever did with all of my times attending Weight Watchers.”

“This is a program that I can do forever.”