Why is it important to Eat Smart and Be Active at Work?
Because most of us spend so much time at work, we need to learn how to incorporate more activity and good nutrition in our work environment, if we want to be healthier. Here are some things you can do.
How Can I Be Active at Work?
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Visit the CDCs Stairwell Initiative toolkit to see what they did http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/hwi/toolkits/stairwell/index.htm  .
- Walk or ride your bike to work, if possible.
- If you drive, park further away to get some extra steps.
- If you take the bus, get off one stop earlier.
- Start a walking club with your co-workers and go for a walk on breaks or at lunch.
- Interested in a little friendly competition? Consider signing up teams or co-workers for Live Healthy Iowa  .
- Consider having walking meetings. When meeting with small groups, you can take your meeting on the move.
How Do I Eat Smart at Work?
- Eat a healthy breakfast at home, so you won't be tempted by less healthy options in vending machines or in the cafeteria. Eating some protein and fiber at breakfast will keep you fuller longer, so you won't overeat at lunch, too.
- Bring your lunch to work with you. It'll be healthier and less expensive than eating out.
- Pack healthy snacks like apples and string cheese or sliced fresh veggies. If you do all of the chopping on the weekend, you can just grab and go in the morning.
- If you find yourself hitting the vending machine during the day, pick healthy options like 100 calorie snacks, baked chips, trail mix, or lowfat yogurt.
- Turn Donut Fridays into Fruit Fridays.
- Bring healthy items to office potlucks.
- Ask your employer to implement a healthy meeting policy. When snacks or beverages are provided, consider low-calorie, low-sugar options.
- If your worksite has a cafeteria, make a healthy choice. Look for words like "grilled" or "steamed." Choose fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, whole grains, and non-fat milk products.
- Limit the number of times you eat out for lunch. Choose places that offer nutritional information on their menu items to make sure you're informed about your choice.
Find Out if Your Employer Has a Worksite Wellness Program
- If your employer offers a worksite wellness program, take advantage of the options that sound enticing to you. Ask if you can earn "well time off" or participate in wellness events during your work day.
- If your employer doesn't offer a wellness program, ask to start one. Visit the Wellness Council of America site   for more information and resources. Or, contact Iowa's local council by visiting their site at http://www.wellnessiowa.org/   to find out about what's being done in Iowa.
- Talk with your employer about offering reimbursement for memberships at area fitness clubs if you do not have an onsite facility.
- Ask about starting peer support groups such as Weight Watchers at Work or smoking cessation classes.
- Talk with your employer about offering more healthy options in vending machines and cafeterias.