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How Healthy is Your Office?

May 8, 2012

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Next time you’re in the office kitchen or break room, take a look inside the fridge. Is it lined with takeout food and frozen meals? How many of your coworkers ride the elevator each day and how many take the stairs? In your next meeting, notice how many people are on their third cup of coffee or can of Coke. This is what corporate America looks like, and it’s not pretty.

Many adults spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week in an office environment, where diet-sabotaging coworkers, a lack of movement or fresh air, and stressful commutes are all factors at play. According to ACTIVE Life, 86 percent of American adults will be overweight or obese by 2030. If change doesn’t start in the place where we spend the majority of our time, when will it?

In an effort to make the workplace healthier, ACTIVE Life teamed up with the National Association for Health & Fitness to designate May as Global Employee Health & Fitness Month. The Initiative encourages employees to create groups and projects benefitting their health. So far, people have listed things like walking to/from work, organizing adult skate nights, and bringing in homemade lunch.

Some companies are beginning to recognize the correlation between healthy employees and increased productivity, and are making an effort to create a healthier workspace. CNN recently reported on the active environment at The Motley Fool offices, and tech giant Google is famous for cafeterias that promote health and environmental values. When Joshua Rosenthal founded Integrative Nutrition, he knew creating a healthy environment for employees would be important. Our staff enjoys organic meals, in-house yoga classes, massages, and chiropractic adjustments. We’ve found that people who feel their best can accomplish amazing things.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the norm. Many offices will continue to load the vending machines with junk and deem Fridays as donut days. This is where you come in, Health Coaches!

Our graduates are doing amazing things for companies all over the world. Are you great at public speaking? Set up a presentation at a local company and suggest healthy practices for employees. Own a nutritious catering company? Get your name out there and start working office events and parties!

Do you work in an unhealthy office environment? What could you do for yourself or your coworkers to make daily life healthier?