Employee Health: Bring lunch and take breaks

Employee Health: Bring lunch and take breaks (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A couple of small changes in a person’s workday could add up to some big health improvements.

That was the latest from business health experts in the Tri-State. Since so many people spend so much time at work, employee health specialists said there were some little things that could add up to some big health improvements in the new year.

One of the first things Tina Legris, an employee health specialist, suggested to improve health at work was to get up from the computer.

Legris, director of Saint Elizabeth Business Health Services, said, “Set an alarm on your phone so every hour you are getting up and doing something.”

That something gets people moving and while not a substitute for a real workout, it would help burn calories throughout the day. Her second suggestion was find a friend and see if that person will walk before, during, or after work.

“If somebody else is there encouraging it then they are more likely to participate,” said Legris.

Third thing, ask the employer what's available to help people quit smoking, “Smoking is a big thing, can they support them with smoke free environments.”

Many also will cover the cost of stop smoking support groups and medications to help people quit.

Legris said find a way to focus on what people are eating in a workday, “Pack your lunch. A really good option so you are not doing the fast food and eating out.”

She pointed out that much of the success in getting healthy at work may start outside of work. For example, if people go to the grocery store they will have healthy foods to bring with them to work.

Finally, no matter where people work remember that starting new habits takes time, so let them take time. Legris was a big fan of things at work that let people burn calories while they work such as stand up desks and meetings. People do burn more calories, but that's not always practical.

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