Public Service Announcement for WORKING GIRLS and guys! We are living in a very unique time, a time when corporations are being (or trying to be [or trying to look like they are]) socially responsible *cue gasp*. Social responsibility is the idea that businesses should balance profit-making activities with activities that benefit society, it involves developing businesses with a positive relationship to the society in which they operate (definition from investopedia.com). What does that mean to you? Perks. Yep, perks. What is your job offering you in terms of a wellness program? Don't know? Find out!
- INSURANCE PERKS: For instance, the insurance my job offers actually pays ME to go to the gym. If I go to the gym 50 times within a 6 month period, they will pay me $200, and I can do it again in another 6 months. Why would they do this? Because the healthier I stay, the less likely i will get sick or get a disease, and the less likely they are to get a large bill because I need heart surgery. They're paying me to live longer, how sweet!
- SNACKING PERKS: Does your job stock the pantry with snacks? Request some healthy options.
- MENTAL HEALTH PERKS: And this is not just about the money or snacks - it's about mental wellness. Ask HR if they offer stress and time management training. If anything, that would be the most impactful for your peace of mind once applied.
Now, I understand that we're not all so lucky, we don't work for Google or ClassPass 😔. I remember my own experience at a very small office - that didn't have many perks at all, more like a prison really. But you can definitely get healthy too!
- I stock my bottom drawer with healthy snacks (i.e. rice cakes, peanut butter, honey, oatmeal, nature bars, veggie chips). If you have a fridge in the office (I doubt you don't) add some healthy snacks there too (i.e. yogurt, fruits, veggies)
- You can find a gym or studio nearby and go during your lunch hour or after work. Eating at my desk is totally acceptable so I have a snack and then head to the gym, and then work/eat when I get back. It's noble to work through your lunch hour but you're getting paid to take a break...so take an intentional break...at the gym. You get an hour, take your hard earned hour! (Lunch Hour: Workout for 40 minutes, shower/get ready for 20 minutes)
- Gym not an option? Invest in a Fitbit! Or any calorie/step counter. It will motivate you to get moving. There is a woman in the building I work at who goes up and down the steps, trying to get her steps/stairs count in (she's looking at her watch as she walks up the steps and then turns and goes back down at the landing) - I have serious admiration for her.
- Get healthy with a partner/coworker or with the whole office. Create a challenge in your office - collect $5.00 per person and see who can drink the most water at the end of the week, winner takes all! *Flashback of Mindy Kaling AKA Kelly passing out on the scale after crash dieting during The Office's weight loss challenge*
- Or take turns cooking healthy lunches for one another (my friend Gurpreet and I do this all the time) One of the biggest motivating factors in losing weight is having people do it with you and I'm happy to say the people I work with are very health conscious. We even tried the cabbage soup diet together 4 years ago (big fail - lots of hungry and gassy people, who gained all the weight back within 2 weeks)
If you are working in an office and sitting all day, it can be difficult getting into a routine but it's not a real excuse. As a matter of fact, we should be the ones making sure that we get up and get moving, our daily basal metabolic rate (calories we burn just being alive) is much lower than someone who works in outside sales, retail, healthcare, or anyone who is on their feet all day. As a disclaimer, I am not encouraging you to exploit your job/employer, but to seek what's being offered and take what's rightfully yours.
Hope this helps! and if you have any suggestions, please share in the comments!