This blog post was written in response to the June 2013 Coffee Shop HR World Café topic: “How can we maintain healthier lifestyles at work?”
We all know that healthy employees are happier, more productive, and are engaged but how many organizations encourage healthy lifestyles? I am fortunate that my company has built a large gym with great equipment and a variety of fitness classes. Our cafeteria (also known as the “Hub”) has healthy menu items which change daily. And our communications team regularly posts suggestions on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Aside from the organization, most of my teammates are fit and enjoy healthy, active lifestyles. Most of us regularly go to the gym and enjoy our own physical activities outside of work (ranging from running, hiking, tennis, rock climbing to mountain biking). We encourage each other to maintain healthy lifestyles and have even gone so far as to abstain from all forms of junk food and eat only healthy protein and vegetables while we are at work.
Of course not all organizations or teams are so extreme. Despite my employer’s best efforts, many employees do not exercise and regularly eat the small selection of fried foods from the cafeteria on a daily basis.
It comes down to choice. At the end of the day it is your choice to be healthy and active, or not. I have chosen to (try to) maintain a healthy lifestyle and it isn’t always easy. It takes a great amount of organization and planning. I plan my meals days in advance and make the effort to pack my lunch and snacks the night before.
Do I cheat? Of course, on occasion. Again it comes down to choice. You made certain choices to obtain the career you have today, why not do the same for your health?