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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Most people experience one or more of the same group of common challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while at work. Keeping your weight under control is among the most common as is finding the time and place for physical activity during the workday. Managing stress and avoiding bad coping strategies such as smoking are also among the most widely cited difficulties. Luckily there are many resources and an abundance of helpful suggestions and information which can be used to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle in the workplace.
Nutrition & Weight Management
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Guide Pyramid offers the ChooseMyPlate.gov website, which offers comprehensive nutritional information. The NetWellness Wellness Center features a wide array of tools to help you meet your nutrition and fitness goals . These resources offer suggestions that can help guide you towards making good nutritional decision during the work day.
Regular exercise is a key component in keeping yourself healthy and well. The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports offers guidance in setting and meeting fitness goals. Coworkers, friends, and family can keep each other motivated by working together to track their progress. Also of value are exercises that you can do while at work to improve strength, flexibility, and overall health.
Stress is a major source of health problems and the workplace is a major source of stress. This comprehensive report on reducing work related stress can be helpful in improving your mood, energy level, and physical health. This collection of articles provides information on the sources, risks, and benefits of stress in a work environment.
Learning about the benefits of a smoke free workplace may motivate you in your efforts to successfully quit smoking or promote a smoke free environment at your business or company. Information on supporting colleagues in their efforts to quit smoking, or gaining support for yourself is also available. This Guide to Helping Your Employees Quit Smoking has a lot of helpful information and resources both for employers and employees.
Rates of diabetes diagnosis have increased dramatically over the last few years. Making a concerted effort to eat nutritionally balanced meals, getting regular exercise and appropriately managing stress will help you stay healthy. It is also imperative that you have your primary care provider conduct an annual physical exam to monitor your blood glucose levels. These efforts are especially critical if you have a family history of diabetes. Learn more about diabetes from the American Diabetes Association.
Lactation programs facilitate work/life balance for employees with infants. Use of these facilities provides great health benefits to mothers and babies and provide mothers with a way to stay connected with their child even though they are not in their presence during the work day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that breast milk be offered exclusively to infants during their first six months of life. The vast majority of new mothers return to work far sooner. Using a lactation room and pumping breast milk at work allows mothers to continue to offer breast milk to their child.
The following links contain information on establishing worksite programs and tips on managing to breast feed while working:
To give the professional consultation necessary to establish such a program, the International Lactation Consultant Association has a service to help you find a certified lactation consultant. Speaking with representatives from these organizations will help you determine if you want to establish pumping rooms, offer worksite classes, offer discounts on breast pump purchases, or offer other lactation services onsite.
Many research studies are underway to help us learn about worksite health. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:
This article is a NetWellness exclusive.
Last Reviewed: Jul 13, 2011
Elizabeth R Click, ND, RN, CLE
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Case Western Reserve University