Home Away from Home: Your Workplace

Can you believe that people spend almost 2,000 hours on the job each year? Considering we spend that much time at work, it’s important to make good decisions in what we eat and what our daily activity will be. Our health and wellness is hugely impacted by these daily decisions. Planning ahead is the key! Below, you will find helpful hints on what to shop for, how to prepare healthy meals, and ideas about how to be more active during your workday.

Stock Up on Healthy Foods

  • Create a small “stash” of non-perishable food you can keep in your desk, briefcase, vehicle or locker. This is food that you can snack on or use to round out a meal on the go. Examples: dried fruits (raisins, dried cranberries, dried apples or apricots), individual containers of canned fruit or applesauce, whole-grain crackers, mini-boxes of whole-grain cereal or trail mix.
  • Replenish your entire “stash” at least once a month to ensure you always have a fresh supply of healthy foods on hand.
  • Pack a water bottle. A lack of water can make it harder to concentrate and can affect your work performance. Keep a water bottle with you through the day. Avoid an overindulgence of specialty coffees, teas and soft drinks. Instead, frequently enjoy water with your workplace snacks and meals. A lemon wedge is a great addition to any glass of water.

Make Your Brown Bag Meals Healthy Meals

  • Packing your lunch or other meals can be better than buying them. When you pack your lunch, you can control the choices and the amount you eat. Example: for lunch you could bring a whole-wheat pita (grain product group) stuffed with shaved turkey (peanut butter is another favorite), a baggie of raw vegetables (vegetable and fruit group), and a container of low-fat yogurt (milk product group).
  • Vary your choices each day to prevent boredom.
  • Play it safe. If you don’t have a refrigerator at work, use insulated containers and ice packs to keep foods at safe temperatures.
  • Put food that’s meant to be hot in containers that lock the heat in. Use ice packs to keep cold food icy cool.
  • If possible, avoid eating at your desk. Desktops have been shown to harbor high levels of bacteria, which can pose a health risk. Enjoy lunch in the staff lunchroom or, weather permitting, head outside and do a picnic.

Make a Move

  • Taking activity breaks through your workday can help to increase productivity and promote overall health and wellness.
  • Enjoy stretch breaks. Step away from your desk, and take a minute or two to get the kinks out.
  • Replace your coffee break with a walking break. Invite your co-workers to join you.
  • Sign up for a cause. Form a team in your office and participate in a charity fun run or walk.

Work is a big part of life for most adults. Take the healthy eating habits you practice at home on the job with you. Stock up on healthy snack foods, bring brown bag meals that pack a nutritional punch and make active living a priority in your workplace.

This post was written by Kris Otzelberger, PEC’s HR Director. You can find Kris on Linkedin here.
Some content of this post was summarized from www.HealthyAlberta.com

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