Corporate Wellness Week

Strike that work-life balance with these easy office workout suggestions

We are all trying to achieve a work-life balance, juggling careers with family, friends and hobbies. But how much balance do you strike between the hours of nine to five?

July 1 to 5 2014 is Corporate Wellness Week in South Africa. It’s a week that puts the spotlight on wellness in the workplace and identifies the pitfalls and productivity levels of an ‘all work and no play’ attitude in the office.

If eating your lunch at your desk while furiously trying to type up a document between bites is a regular occurrence for you, then perhaps it’s time to break a few bad habits. Naazneen Khan, Wellness Manager at Nestlé South Africa, says that changing your routine in a few simple ways can have a hugely beneficial impact on your energy levels at work and your ability to manage stress.

“We’re all guilty of thinking that we cannot afford to take time out of the day to go for a short walk, enjoy a cup of tea in the office garden or enjoy a lunch break away from our desks, but once you realise how much more creative and productive a refreshed mind is you might think twice about not wanting to leave your work station,” says Khan.

Here are some of Naazneen’s top tips to squeeze in some exercise at the workplace and let your increased serotonin levels absorb some of those little stresses that pop up in your inbox:

  • Taking about 10,000 steps a day (1 hour and 40 minutes) is enough to boost your energy and lower your risk of serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke. Start those 10 000 steps by parking your car further away from the office, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and deliberately using a bathroom on another floor.
  • Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. This will strengthen your abs and back and you'll work on your posture without even trying.
  • Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and move around. Even if you just swing your arms or take a deep breath, you'll feel more alert.
  • Use the restroom on another floor and take the stairs.
  • Deliver documents or messages to co-workers in person rather than by email or phone.
  • Walk to the mall for lunch or park your car on the opposite end of the food court. Get a headset for your phone so you can move around while you talk.

Does your company encourage workplace wellness? Here are some suggestions you and your colleagues can make:

  • Work with local gyms to provide membership discounts for employees
  • Organise office-wide yoga, pilates, aerobics and cardio workouts
  • Encourage staff members to participate in weekend charity walks – this will instil a walking culture in your workplace in no time
  • Set up short walks during lunch whenever your deadlines allow for it. Before you know it you’ll have a few colleagues joining you for a quick power walking session
  • If your company has a small garden or outdoor area, set up outdoor meetings and brainstorm sessions and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunshine

“Eating a healthy lunch full of the right nutrients goes a long way, and remember that adding short sessions of exercise throughout the day will help you burn more calories and also reduce stress,” adds Khan.

For more helpful tips on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, visit www.tastierhealthierchoices.co.za. Want to know a little more about nutrition, health and wellness? Then test your knowledge using the WelNes IQ tool at www.welnesiq.org.

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About Nestlé South Africa

Is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé Switzerland. The company was formally registered in South Africa about 97 years ago. The first Nestlé products arrived in South Africa during the 1870s, and the company’s presence in South Africa was formally entrenched on 7 July 1916 when it registered as a company. In order to meet the demands of a growing country, local production started in 1927 with the purchase of the South African Condensed Milk Company Ltd factory in Donnybrook, and the Estcourt and Franklin factories. Nestlé South Africa also services neighbouring countries – Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. Nestlé is committed to bringing consumers tastier, healthier choices in their product offering, and will continuously strive to become the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company.