July 9, 2014

The Secret To Employee Wellness

Secret To EMployee Wellness

Eat less, move more. Secretly, it’s really that simple. We often hear about diet trends, new exercise programs, or employee wellness programs, but we’re over complexifying it for no reason.

Another simple formula to use for wellness is calories in versus calories out. It’s not entirely that simple, but it’s a good way to monitor your intake. Of course you don’t want your calorie intake to be too high.

I’m reminded of a pretty funny sketch on MAD Tv from a few years ago, where they’re making fun of how simple this really is:

As leaders, we need to educate all of our employees on the importance of employee wellness, since healthy employees are more productive.

Having healthy employees is great for the company’s bottom line as well, since in theory, they should take less days off. You should see reduced absenteeism, which will save you money.

You could also argue that you would be saving money from paying someone else overtime, or potentially training costs to replace a sick employee, depending on what the issue is.

Eat Less

Rule #1 – Don’t eat bread. Ever.

Bread is probably the worst thing out there, which sucks because so much of what I like to eat is bread. Burgers, sandwiches, etc…

  • Bread is high in carbs and spikes sugar levels very quickly
  • Bread contains a lot of gluten, a protein that has glue-like properties, and damages the wall of the digestive tract, causing pain, bloating, and fatigue
  • Bread contains phytic acid, which is a molecule that binds minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc, and prevents them being properly absorbed
  • Bread has very little nutrients to begin with, and things like gluten and phytic acid reduce the absorption
  • “Whole” wheat bread isn’t actually good for you, it’s just less bad than white bread

Have you ever seen the documentary Food Inc? What about Vegucated? I’d recommend watching both if you haven’t seen them, it will really open your eyes about what’s going on in the food industry.

I won’t go into too much detail about some of the chemicals being sprayed on food, but it’s nasty to say the least. Apples, strawberries, grapes, peaches, pears, have all been found to be heavily sprayed foods.

Some of the less sprayed foods were things like onions, avocados, pineapples, bananas.

I’ve written before about different superfoods that you can eat to be healthier, but just remember that natural, unprocessed food is the way to go.

Move More

As employees, we spend most of our day not moving, just sitting around.

Seriously, sitting is killing you, and has even been called “the new smoking”. We weren’t meant to live like this. Humans are meant to be nomadic, and move around.

Something you can definitely do to help with all this is invest in a standing desk. You don’t even have to invest in anything too fancy, you could just stack a computer on top of a few boxes, whatever works for you, just stand up at your desk while you work for a few hours out of the day.

About a year ago, there was a great article written in the New York Times called The Scientific 7 Minute Workout.

What they talk about in the article is something called HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. What this means, is short, explosive bursts of exercise, followed by a short recovery, and then back on it.

This is how I train now, and it is seriously intense. The good thing is though, it’s a lot of fun, and never gets boring. I couldn’t run on a treadmill for 60 minutes straight, not because I can’t physically do it, but because I don’t have the patience to stay there for that long.

In the New York Times article, they list out 12 exercises, meant to be done for 30 seconds each, with a 10 second rest between each exercise.

You should be going for speed, and going at pretty much max capacity.

The only piece of equipment that you need to complete the workout is a chair, and the rest relies on your own body weight.

It’s super simple, and has long lasting results.

Even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.

You can even do stretches at your desk during the work day. The key here again, is to move more throughout the day.

What Do You Do To Increase Employee Wellness?

The secret is to eat less, and move more. By educating everyone we work with, we can all be healthier, happier and more productive. What tips do you have to share? Let me know your thoughts on twitter @JacobShriar or @Officevibe.

Read our latest content