You’ve probably heard of the “freshman 15,” but as an adult, you may be more familiar with the “office 15.” It strikes those of us with sedentary jobs.
Who can resist a warm malasada or two at the office potluck or going-away breakfast? But when there are malasadas, cookies, or other treats every day and every week, it can be a problem. It’s all too easy to develop habits that are a disaster for your waistline and overall health.
Workplace customs that contribute to weight gain include:
- Endless potlucks and parties
- Unhealthy snacks in the breakroom or at meetings
- Eating out every day
- Mindless eating or stress eating (while sitting all day)
- Unhealthy vending machine drinks and snacks
- Pau hana food and drinks
Many workplaces have started offering wellness programs as a way to help employees feel good and stay healthy. Even if your workplace doesn’t offer a formal program, there are immediate steps you can take to improve overall wellness.
Schedule walking meetings.
If you’re meeting with one or two other colleagues, take it outdoors. There are many benefits to walking meetings. Physical activity promotes health and energy, a change of scenery boosts creativity, and stepping away from a stressful environment can lead to better communication.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Park farther away from the office and take the stairs to increase your number of steps for the day. If you’re feeling extra motivated, start a challenge with your coworkers and see who can get the most steps every day.
Bring healthier options to potlucks.
If your workplace is having a Thanksgiving potluck, bring a healthy option. Go for brown rice instead of white, fresh green beans instead of the popular casserole dish, or fruit salad instead of cranberry sauce. You don’t have to restrict yourself to only healthy food, but swapping in a few good choices can keep you feeling full and alert instead of bloated and tired.
Keep your desk stocked with healthy snacks.
It’ll be much easier to pass on the potato chips in the break room if you have something healthy and delicious to snack on instead. Try dried fruit, nuts, or a protein bar. The trick is to pick a few items that require minimal effort for you to prepare and will hit the spot when those sweet/savory cravings kick in.
Bring your own lunch from home.
Restaurants often add higher amounts of fat, salt, sugar, and MSG than you would ever dream of adding to your meal. Cooking at home will allow you to control exactly what you’re eating. And your wallet will thank you, too.
Join up with coworkers to share healthy meals or get extra steps on your breaks.
Worried home lunch will put a damper on your office social life? It doesn’t have to. Team up with coworkers to share healthy meals. Maybe on Mondays you can bring a healthy lunch to share, and on Wednesdays your other coworker can make something. With the extra time you have after your meal, go for a walk.
Corporate wellness is a hit at ALTRES
One of the most effective ways to stay on track is to make it a company-wide initiative. Here at ALTRES, wellness is part of the culture, thanks to an employee-led initiative that arose in 2014. We now have healthy meals delivered weekly, a vending machine stocked with healthy options, and gym membership discounts as part of the standard benefits package.
One of the most popular perks is our company gym where employees can work out before, during, or after work. An onsite corporate trainer offers personal and group fitness classes and nutrition education. Pretty cool right?
If ALTRES sounds like a great place to work and you’re interested in joining our team, check out our in-house job board to see if any position could be a great fit for you!