Is Your Job Making You Fat?: Tips To Conquer Occupational Health Hazards

We know what causes obesity, too many high calorie foods and not enough physical activity. A recent study by the Center for Disease Control has uncovered one more factor:  Your Occupation.

What you do between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm has a big impact on your weight and your health. And while there’s nothing shocking about the findings of the report the CDC recently released  we can learn from it and put a plan in place to limit the effects our workplace has on our weight.

What you do from 8 to 5 can have a big impact on your weight.

What you do from 8 to 5 can have a big impact on your weight.  Flickr photo by Dan Perry

For the study, researchers reviewed 37,626 people working in the state of Washington.  They used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System – the largest telephonic health survey system in the world – during odd numbered years between 2003 and 2009 and gathered data on demographics, occupation, physical activity levels, fruit and vegetable consumption, leisure-time activities and smoking levels.

Overall the obesity level of workers in the State of Washington was at 24.6 percent which is lower than the rate across the United States as a whole, which is 35.7 percent.  According to the CDC over one-third of American adults are obese.

What’s more, the CDC report states that “obesity prevalence and health risk behaviors vary substantially by occupation” providing an opportunity for employers, policy makers, and health promotion practitioners to target workplace obesity prevention and health behavior programs. [Read more…]

The Latest Sitting Study Proves You Need To Take Action. Here’s How.

Different Study. Same Results.

Are you getting tired of reading about the results of more studies that show that sitting all day is bad for your health?  I know I am.  But, because I work at a desk most of the day, I’m having trouble ignoring the overwhelming evidence that keeps coming in that says even if you get a healthy dose of exercise every day, it can’t undo the damage caused by sitting.

Exercise That Works will get you moving more from 9 to 5. (Flickr photo by Josh Semans)

Bad News

The results of latest study were reported this week at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.  CT scans of 500 Californians of the average age of 65 showed that excess time sitting “was significantly related to pericardial fat around your heart.”

[Read more…]

Eleven Work Place Habits That Will Improve Your Health

Eleven Healthy Work Place Habits That Will Improve Your Health 

Most of us spend more time at work during the week than we do at home so developing healthy workday habits is critical to our overall well-being and productivity.  Try practicing these 11 tips daily for increased energy and efficiency, improved work-life balance, and better health.

Healthy habits will help you achieve work-life balance.

1.  Take active breaks – Studies have shown that employees that take short physical activity breaks throughout the day are more productive, show less fatigue, and are happier at work.  Taking a 10 to 15 minute walking break twice a day will keep your metabolism revved and energy level at its peak.

2.  Pack a healthy brown-bag lunch – Eating a nutritious, satisfying lunch is the key to maintaining positive energy and productivity throughout the afternoon.  A lunch that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins will curb your hunger and keep food cravings in check.  Foods that are heavily processed, and high in sugar and sodium can cause your blood sugar to spike which may perk you up short-term, but will set you up for a big letdown later in the day.

3. Eat protein – Compared to carbs and fat, protein keeps you feeling fuller longer, helping to carry you straight through the afternoon to dinner. Some excellent sources of low-calorie proteins are a can of tuna, a lean chicken breast, boiled eggs and legumes.  All of these foods will help fill you up and keep you from being hungry later in the day.

4.  Bring low-calorie snacks to share with your co-workers – It’s natural to want to bring some of your favorite desserts and treats in to share with your co-workers.  Always keep in mind that some employees may be trying to lose or maintain weight or have health issues that prohibit them from eating certain foods.  Honey crisp apples, Clementine’s, almonds, low-fat trail mix, fresh veggies with hummus, and other healthy snacks will be just as appreciated and will allow all employees to benefit from your generosity without having to ditch their diet or do without.

5.  Drink 8 glasses of water a day – One of the underlying causes of persistent fatigue is dehydration.  Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already partially dehydrated? Staying hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water a day will keep your energy level in tact throughout the day.

6.  Sit for 60, move for 3 – We all know that too much sitting is bad for our health. The best way to combat the ill effects of sitting behind a desk is it to move around more.  For every 60 minutes that you sit, make it a habit to move for three minutes.  Stretches that you do at your desk, three minutes of strengthening exercises with an elastic band, tube or dumbbell, or walking in place are all good ways to get 3 minutes of activity in every hour.

7.  Breathe deeply to reduce stress – The pressure is on.  The project you’re working on is due, the copy machine is down for the count, your computer is slow, and the kids are calling to tell you the dog threw up on the new carpet.  The natural tendency is to go into overdrive and try and handle as many tasks as possible at one time. But, if you feel like you’re headed for a meltdown, taking four or five slow, deep breaths can decrease your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and help you regain your composure so that you can handle the stress.

Relaxation Breathing Technique: Count to five slowly as you inhale through your nose.  Again, count to five, as you exhale slowly through the mouth.  By the third cycle you will begin to feel calmer and more in control.

 8.  Purge negative thoughts – On average we have somewhere between 50 and 80 thousand thoughts each day.  Most of these thoughts are negative, repetitive, and serve no real purpose but have a big impact on our quality of life.  Practicing thought-stopping techniques or learning to distance yourself from your thoughts are two methods that have been found to be helpful in changing repetitive thought patterns. The Positivity Blog provides some good tips for controlling and calming the mind.

9.  Practice Good Posture – Sitting and standing up straight not only make you look better, it makes you feel better.  Good posture improves circulation and digestion, expands our lung capacity making breathing easier, makes us look slimmer and younger, keeps our bones and joints in correct alignment, and enhances our frame of mind.  To achieve good posture, practice keeping your shoulders back, abdomen pulled in, and head lifted so that the chin is parallel to the ground until it becomes a habit.

10.  Be supportive of your co-workers – Having a good support system both in and out of the workplace is important to your health.  Research shows that when people feel isolated they are more susceptible to depression, and illness. On the other hand, having friends and a good social network can strengthen your immune system and increase longevity.  Seek out co-workers to take walking breaks with or invite them join you for lunch or a cup of coffee.

Light a candle when you get home to symbolize the transition from work life to home life.

11.  Leave work at work – Making the switch between work life and home life isn’t always easy.  Turning off the events and stressors of the day to focus on the other parts of your life is vital to your happiness.  When you come home from work, have a ritual that signals the end of the work day.  Light a candle. Hang a sign that greets you when you arrive home that says, “Please leave your troubles at the door.” Turn off the cell phone and laptop by 8 p.m. These are just a few things you can do that will draw boundaries to balance life at work and at home.

What’s Your Action Plan?

Setting specific goals will make it easier for you to practice these tips each week.  Pick out two or three that you think will have the most positive impact on your work day and begin incorporating those daily.  As they become a natural part of your day, continue to add in the others.   Over time, you will find that you feel healthier and happier throughout the day!

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Don’t Let All The Sitting Kill You: 10 Activities That You Can Incorporate Daily.

Here We Go Again With The Sitting Studies

We’ve been hearing a lot recently about how bad sitting is for us.  Not too long ago researchers concluded that the study they conducted showed that no amount of exercise can undo the damage of sitting all day. I wrote about it here.

Last week the results of a similar study conducted in Australia reinforces this ‘sitting is bad for us’ theory this once again.  The Australian study analyzed self-reported data from more than 222,000 people age 45 and up and found that the mortality risks is 15 percent higher for people that sit eight hours a day and 40% higher for folks that sit eleven.

I need to get up and move around (Flickr photo by Josh Semans)

Here’s a list of some of the negatives that come from too much sitting:

  • Muscle atrophy
  • Loss of energy
  • Increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, variety of cancers
  • Poor posture
  • Higher levels of blood fats and markers of insulin resistance

Same Stuff, Different Day

Now that different research projects are returning similar results it’s time to think about an action plan that will get us off our tush and on our feet a little more each day. The City of Presque Isle in Northern Maine came up with one of the best strategies to combat all of the sitting their city employees were doing at their desk jobs.  It’s a plan that might work for you and your co-workers.

Sit for 60, Move for 3

The City of Presque Isle borrowed the concept Sit for 60, Move for 3 from Maine’s Cardiovascular Health Program.  From the Sit for 60, Move for 3 concept, the City created a policy that would encourage employees to get up and move around for three minutes every hour.

No doubt breaking up the sitting at work is a good idea, but we also need to be attentive to what we’re doing once we leave work.  Many after-work activities also take place from a chair:  watching our kid’s athletic events, taking a class, watching T.V., surfing the web, pinning, Facebooking, blogging, and reading all need to have the 60/3 principle applied to them.

Ten  3-Minute Activities To Try At Work Or At Home

Here’s a list of ten activities that you can add to your day – with minimal effort I might add – that will get you out of the chair for three minutes at a stretch.

  1.  Wear a pedometer and track how many steps you take in three minutes.  If you walk for three minutes 12 times a day, you’ll add 36 minutes of walking to your day.
  2. Do two or three sets of wall push-ups in your office.  You might not be comfortable getting down on the floor (if you are, go ahead) but you can push off from the wall for several repetitions to get your heart rate up a little.
  3. Keep some light weights in your desk.  Stand up and do a set of bicep curls, tricep kick-backs, lateral shoulder raises and upper back flies twice a day. Not only will you be moving, your arms will be ready for summer gear.
  4. Encourage your co-workers to incorporate walking meetings.  At this time of the year the weather is nice enough to take meetings outside and around the block.
  5. Instead of sending all of your communications by e-mail get up and walk to the desk or office of the person that you were addressing the e-mail to.
  6. Park the car in the spot farthest away from the building.  I know this may sound old and cliché’ but do it anyway.  I’ve done this for years to the point where it used to annoy my youngest daughter.  Now that she drives she does it too.
  7. Skip the drive-through and make dinner for you and your family.  Making meals in the kitchen will assure that you’re moving around during the preparation and clean-up.
  8. Walk in place during the commercials breaks when you watch T.V.  This is a tip that one of my co-workers said she was doing during our Put Down The Cookie program at work.  What a great idea!
  9. Get out of your chair and pace around when you talk on the phone.  With a Bluetooth you can wander out in the yard and pull a few leaves or water the flowers while you talk.
  10. Put the T.V. remote control across the room.  Everytime you want to change the channel you’ll have to get up to get it. If you’re a channel surfer you’ll be able to get quite a few steps in.

This is simple stuff, but if it’s done on a regular basis can add up to a significant amount of movement.

What have I missed?  In the comment box below please share some of the things you’re doing to move around more throughout the day.

A Week In Review. Random But Important Stuff That Everyone Should Know.

From LSD to the Dreaded Pink Slime.  It’s Been A Week!

Some weeks are crazier than others.  I’ve learned so much this week that I can’t possibly write a detailed post about all of it.  I’ve decided to share some of the most critical information about a lot of different stuff with links to the articles so you can read the slimy and gory details for yourself.

Guinness: Thick, velvety, frothy and Irish! Flickr photo by KellBailey

Guinness Irish Stout- Let’s start with the highlight of the week and save the bad news for later.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day!

I celebrated a little early by meeting a couple of close friends for happy hour yesterday.  As I was driving to the place where we to meet up for cocktails, the radio station had the local beer distributor in the studio and they were talking about Guinness.

The knowledgeable beer guy said that Guinness in the can was the absolute best.  (Once it is correctly poured into a glass of course.)  Guinness puts a little widget in each can.  This widget has a tiny hole in it.   When the can is sealed and pressurized the air in the widget is compressed so that when you open the can, the widget aerates the beer making it more flavorful.

So we celebrated by enjoying a rich, frothy, flavorfully aerated Guinness last night in honor of St. Patrick.  The Guinness web site describes the beer as ‘velvety’ and ‘bittersweet’.  I agree, which brings me to my next amazing discover.

LSD Is Being Used To Help People That Suffer From Alcoholism – LSD, you know, the psychedelic drug that was popular in the 60’s, now shows promise of helping people that misuse alcohol.  Researchers have found that a one-time use of LSD can reduce the cravings for alcohol for up to a year.  Apparently the LSD provides the user with insights into their behavior, helps them become more self-accepting and initiates a motivation to change. The original research isn’t new, but was conducted in the 60’s and 70’s.

It’s estimated that more than 12 million people in the U.S. suffer from alcoholism and many don’t respond to treatments that are currently being used.  The good news is the results of the randomized trials that were done 40 years ago are now being re-analyzed in hopes of finding new options.  A re-evaluation of the studies done in the 60s and 70s may open the window for new, more effective treatments today.

Burnt Out and Emotional Eating In Women – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who are burnt out at work don’t just eat when they are hungry.  They eat when they are stressed, anxious, or depressed.  The findings were based on a study that involved 230 women ages 30 – 55. All of the women were employed.

Surveys, using self-reported data, showed that 22 percent of the women had ‘some degree of work burnout’ and that as a group, they were more prone to emotional eating than the women that were not suffering from work overload.

The study did not find that the emotional eaters were overweight, but cited that people that have a habit of reaching for food for reasons other than hunger often don’t eat the most nutritious foods, and have more of a tendency to gain weight over the years.

This seems like a perfect opportunity for companies and organizations to develop strategies to reduce job burnout, which will result in long-term benefits for both the women and their employer and makes a case for importance of workplace wellness programs.

Here’s One For Men – Research done by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that drinking one soda pop a day can increase the risk for heart disease by as much as 20 percent in men.  A study done on 43,000 men showed that men who drank soda had higher levels of triglyceride blood fats and proteins in the blood – both which are precursors for heart disease – than men who did not.

The research on the 43,000 men was done over a 20-year period.  The soft-drink industry argues that the study is bogus and the increase in heart disease among the soda drinkers could have easily been caused by other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors over the 20-year period.  No doubt we’ll be hearing more about this since it seems the debate is far from over.

The Infamous Pink Slime – I’m sure you’ve all heard about the recent findings that the pink slime is just absolutely everywhere.  It’s in the McRib, school lunches, and even in the meat that we buy at the supermarket.

What exactly is pink slime?  An “ABC World News” report by Jim Avila, says that Gerald Zirnstein, a former meat inspector for the USDA describes pink slime as ‘amonia-treated sludge that consists of meat scraps and unusable parts of a carcass’. Zirnstein no longer works for the USDA and grinds his own beef at home.

Let’s End On A Positive Note.

Which Cities Wear The Most Green – It may be too late to travel for an all-out St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year, but here’s some ideas if you want to plan a get-away

Chicago – One of the best cities for the wearin’ of the green.

for next. Hotwire has compiled a list 10 U.S. city’s that do it up right for St. Patty’s Day.  They are:

  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego
  • Boston
  • Houston
  • Columbus
  • Indianapolis

A couple of those are well within my reach for next year without the cost of an airplane ticket.  But for this year I’ll be celebrating at a local fund raising event, wearing the green and possibly enjoying one more can of Guinness or maybe a homemade Shamrock Shake!

Lose A Pound A Week Without Dieting. It’s Simple Math

Sometimes To Go Fast . . . . . . You Have To Slow Down

This is the first week of our Biggest Loser Competition at work.  Everyone that’s signed up is super excited to do what they need to do to lose weight and ultimately win the prize money. Sometimes the folks that are totally motivated and drop the most weight in the first two or three weeks lose their momentum somewhere around week four and can’t get going again.  By week twelve they are no longer coming to the weigh-ins.

There’s no doubt a variety of reasons for this.  Mostly it’s because once the start gun goes off and the over achievers are out of the starting gate, they begin a diet too low in calories and double up on their workouts.  By week three they feel like it might not be worth it.  By week four they’re starving and exhausted.

How Does The Turtle Win The Race?

The people that started out slowly, making small, yet effective changes that don’t totally turn their entire life upside-down end up getting to the goal.  Forgive me for citing an old cliché:  “Sometimes the turtle wins the race.”  Here’s why.

Weight Loss 101
One pound is equal to 3,500 calories so to lose a pound a week you have to reduce your caloric intake by 3,500, increase your physical activity to burn that much more, or do a combination of the two.  You may not be trying to win a Biggest Loser Competition, but if you want to be successful at losing that ever elusive pound a week, and get it done without upsetting your life and the lives of everyone in your path, you need to know what you’re up against.

To get started, take a step back and look at how you can 1.) Eliminate 500 calories a day from your diet, or 2.) Exercise away 500 calories a day or 3.) Reduce your calories by 250 and increase your physical activity so you burn 250 more each day.

#1 – Reduce Calories by 500 A Day
Let’s start with the first one.  What are some of the foods that you eat everyday that you can live without?  These may not be the big diet sabatogers like ice cream and pop that we always think of giving up first – although those should go too – but some of the foods that are labeled ‘healthy’ can be just as much of a problem because we don’t bother counting them most of the time.

Here’s a list of foods that seem innocent enough.  They certainly sound healthy, but have too many calories for their nutritional value. Plus most of them are high on the Glycemic Index which means you’ll get a sugar rush followed by the inevitable fall, and wind up hungry again in an hour.

  • Orange juice – 12 oz bottle – 167 calories
  • Yogurt  – Greek with strawberries – 140 calories
  • Whole grain bagel – 340 calories
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars – 180 calories
  • Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers (5) -70 calories
  • Kashi 7 Grain Frozen Waffles – 170 calories
  • Luna’s Sports Bars – Chocolate Peanut Butter (1 bar) – 190 calories
  • Dried Fruit – Banana Chips – 1.5 oz = 218 calories
  • Terra Chips – 1 ounce – 140 calories
  • Trail Mix – 3 tbls. = 137 calories
  • Sun Chips – 16 chips – 140 calories

There are plenty more.  These are the foods that we really need to look at when we decide we want to lose a few pounds.  We think they are lightweight and good for us, but they add up quickly throughout the day.

Last week I hit up the vending machine and ended up with a Special K Chocolate Pretzel bar which had 130 calories and not much of anything else.  As soon as I ate it I realized my mistake.  I was in the hole 90 cents, had consumed 130 calories and the pretzel bar hadn’t made a dent in my hunger.  Thankfully I was out of change or I might have purchased something else.

#2 – Burn Off 500 Extra Calories A Day
This will require spending 45 minutes to an hour each day speed walking, jogging, biking or participating in a fitness class.  Determining exactly how many calories you’re burning during exercise is tricky. The best way is to wear a heart rate monitor, but if you’re okay with an estimate, you can get a reasonable calculation at Calorie CountNutri Strategy has a list of activities and with estimated calorie expenditure that you can use.  Keep in mind, these are not entirely accurate so just use them as a guide and, to be on the safe side, underestimate.

#3 – Combination of #1 and #2
Move more and eat less.  This strategy does not entail a crash diet, require a gym membership, and will allow you to live a normal life for the most part.  You can purchase an inexpensive pedometer and once you find out how many steps you take each day, set a goal to increase your steps by 3,000 daily.  This should help you get to the increased calorie burn of 250.

Download a good calorie tracker and get serious about reducing your intake by 250 cals a day.  My Net Diary and My Fitness Pal are two that are highly recommended.  Tracking calories will encourage you to make better food choices.  You’ll end up swapping the whole grain waffles and orange juice (total calories – 337) for a boiled egg, slice of whole wheat toast, and an orange (total calories – 232).  Calories savie – 105!  See how easy this is going to be?

After a couple of week you’ll get food smart, be in the habit of selecting more nutritional foods, and learn how some basic swaps can make a huge difference in your progress.

The ultimate goal when we set out to lose weight is to keep it off.  Gaining knowledge about the calories in food, how much we burn when we walk or workout, and discovering how to balance the two in a way that we can live with, not just this week or until the competition is over, but forever is the key.  There’s no need to rush the process.  Take your time.  Adapt the role of the turtle and win the race!

Kathy Smith’s Yoga Sculpt Review – A+

Kathy Smith Delivers With This Three-Workout DVD Set

Yoga Sculpt Is Both Ageless and Timeless

We’ve been doing fitness classes using workout DVDs at work.  This is a program I launched after the holidays to get people more active during the workday and after work.  The sweatier workouts – Turbo Jam and Zumba – are after work, and yoga and strength training are held over the lunch hour.

I will confess that I have not done a lot of yoga.  Okay, I haven’t really ever done it.  I’ve been intimidated by it for the same reasons many people are: the clothes, mats, exclusive studios, and most of all that calm, Zen-like atmosphere.  I like energetic, rhythmic workouts to music!

But I wanted to offer yoga over the lunch hour to give people a chance to do a class where they could go back to work without having to shower.  Plus, after I did the post on the workouts that the stars do to stay looking fabulous and learned that yoga is a mainstay, I decided it’s definitely something I want to try.

I watched almost every yoga clip at CollageVideo.com and decided to order Kathy Smith’s Yoga Sculpt.  I made a good choice.

Three Workouts In One DVD

Yoga Sculpt includes three workouts:  New Yoga, New Yoga Challenge and a 30-minute toning workout.  I consider the workouts to be intermediate to advanced although a beginning yoga student can start with the New Yoga workout and be challenged but not find it impossible. Those of us in the class were not able to hold the poses the first couple of times through, but we like to be challenged and plan to keep working on it.

Kathy provided excellent cues, options for modifications, and a calm demeanor throughout.  What I like most about the workout was that is was intense enough that I felt energy from it the rest of the day. I wasn’t so relaxed that I had trouble keeping my eyes open at my desk, which is what I had feared might happen.

This clip from the DVD should give you a sense of the flow and level of difficulty of the workouts.


 

Yoga Sculpt Has Been Around For Awhile

The workouts in Yoga Sculpt aren’t new.  The DVD is actually a compilation of three earlier workouts originally sold under separate cover on VHS.  Even though there are newer yoga programs I selected this one because I knew I could count on Kathy to deliver a program that I could use in a class setting at work.

Kathy Smith – Fitness Icon

Kathy herself is a fitness icon that has been in the fitness business for thirty or more years.  She is the president of her own company, Kathy Smith Lifestyles, and has sold over $500 million in fitness products and equipment.  She has a wide variety of workout DVDs on the market that include everything from cardio kickboxing, to workouts for baby boomers and pregnant women, and her famous fat burning classics.

Kathy is also a spokesperson for the International Council on Active Aging. You don’t need me to tell you how appropriate that is.

Yoga Sculpt Gets an A+

This workout is not just for beginners.  It will provide an effective workout for a wide range of fitness levels and abilities, but is an excellent place to start if you’re like me and just now ready to add yoga to your repertoire.

Have you tried Kathy’s Yoga Sculpt, or do you have another program that you think is the absolute best?  Please share in the comment box below.

Start A Workplace Wellness Program: PTCDN.com Will Provide Arm Bands and Inspiration!

Jump-Start Your Workplace Wellness Program With A Wrist Band Give-Away

Workplace Wellness Programs Lead The Way In The Fight For Healthier Communities – There’s no doubt that working in an environment that supports healthy behaviors helps us reach our own wellness goals.  If you work for a corporation or organization that supports walk breaks, healthy vending machine options and donut-free meetings it’s much easier to gain the momentum you need to reach your own exercise and nutrition goals.  Believe me, with the rising cost of healthcare and the statistics that show how a well-run workplace wellness program can help offset some of those costs, getting the Human Resource Director on board is not all that hard.

Zero Trends and The Don’t Get Worse Philosophy – In 2009 Dr. Dee Edington, PhD published the book Zero Trends which has since become the workplace wellness bible.  In the book, Dr. Edington discusses the rising cost of healthcare which, in part, is due to the declining health of Americans.  The book also outlines a strategy for the workplace to reverse the downward trend, and includes a call to action inviting employers to take a leadership role by implementing changes that will support their employees’ efforts towards healthier behaviors. His philosophy has two strong messages that he believes will lower healthcare costs and increase workplace productivity:  “Don’t get worse” and “help healthy people stay healthy.”

Don’t Get Worse – America Needs You!

Don’t Get Worse? Over time, relatively healthy people that participate in unhealthy behaviors, such as eating a high-fat diet, smoking, and not getting any physical activity, shift from the ‘feeling okay’ bucket into the chronic signs and symptoms bucket.  Eventually they wind up in the ‘premature sickness and disabilty’ bucket where implementation of high cost disease management begins and absenteeism and presenteeism become noticeable.

We all work with someone that could take better care of themselves.  They may be running through the fast food line to pick up lunch every day, sit at a desk for eight hours without giving much consideration to the need for physical activity, and continue to smoke. During the early years of their life they will probably be able to work and engage in outside activities without difficulty.  Over the years, however, symptoms begin to appear – hypertension, high blood sugar, steady weight gain, shortness of breath.  Eventually, they have to begin to limit their activity and don’t seem as productive at work.

Dr. Edington believes this seemingly natural gravitation from wellness to sickness that has become so prevalent in our society is because of a ‘do nothing strategy’.  Our healthcare system does little to help healthy people stay healthy.  This ‘do nothing strategy’ is also what is driving the cost of healthcare as more and more people migrate into the chronic disease pool.

The Do Something Strategy – If the high cost of healthcare isn’t what’s fueling your desire to create a culture of health where you work, but rather your own desire to spend those eight to ten hours a day in a place where the aroma of McDonalds cheeseburgers don’t overwhelm you every day at noon and cream filled donuts aren’t standard fare at morning meetings, the ‘don’t get worse’ philosophy is still relevant.  The Zero Trends viewpoint will help you establish programs that are designed for all health and fitness levels; from your marathon runners to your couch potatoes.

Put That Cookie Down Now! Can Help You Get Started

Put Down The Cookie was the name of the Maintain, Don’t Gain holiday program that I introduced at work last year prior to Thanksgiving and it has now evolved into our wellness slogan and this web site, which was originally started for the purpose of supporting the workplace wellness efforts.

The task of creating a workplace challenge is not that scary.  It just needs a super-motivated, organized wellness champion like you!  Invite your co-workers to participate in a weight loss competition, physical activity program like 10,000 Steps a Day or Couch to 5K or join a No Fast Food For Ten Days Challenge.   Tell them you’re going to all work together to put down the cookie in 2012.

Bracelets Anyone?  Once you’ve decided to lead the charge on your workplace wellness program, I’ll send you putthatcookiedownnow.com bracelets for you to give away to the first 10 people that sign up.  Just send an email to me at K_Stefaniak28@yahoo.com  and tell me what you’ve got planned for your program start-up along with an address or P.O. Box to receive the bracelets.

Good luck!  America Needs You!!