We launch wellness challenges with high hopes that employees will become engaged and participate. Unfortunately, the way wellness challenges are designed can doom them to failure before they even get started. Here are five pitfalls that can cause wellness challenges to fizzle out – and how you can turn them around so they’re successful.
It would be ideal if each employee felt that wellness was valued so highly at their company that taking a 30 minute fitness or meditation break would be supported whole-heartedly. But until this ideal is a reality, employers may want to consider the full range of benefits of regular exercise.
Conscientious companies are getting in-tune with what Arianna Huffington calls the Third Metric of Success and are making workplace wellness a top priority. In reading Harvard Business Review’s Regular Exercise is Part of Your Job, there are simply too many benefits for the individual and employer to ignore.
What if I told you sitting all day is killing you? Well, that’s exactly what scientists have discovered in several recent studies, including one published this month in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It turns out, our bodies were never meant to be glued to a seat for up to 60% of the day, and that our hunting and gathering ancestors who stood up or walked for 90% of their day actually had the right idea.
How bad is sitting, really? Dr. James A. Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic/Arizona State University Solutions Initiative and the inventor of the treadmill desk, who has published more than 100 scientific papers, has this to say in hisarticle for MindBodyGreen: “Your chair is killing you. Many American workers sit more than 15 hours each day. Think about it for a second. You get up in the morning, drive to work, sit all day long at work, drive home, eat dinner, watch TV and surf the Internet before bed. This degree of excess sitting is not what our bodies were designed to do.”
“When we take care of ourselves, we are only going to be better at everything,” proclaimed Arianna Huffington at a Business Chicks event in Sydney. Huffington is promoting her new book “Thrive” and her new lifestyle of doing less, not more. “Drop the things that no longer serve you,” she says.
After collapsing in her office due to sheer exhaustion in 2007, she committed to getting a full eight hours of sleep a night and abandoning a life of chronic busyness and unfinished aspirations, like wanting to be good skier. “I’m never going to invest the time and energy to become a good skier so it was liberating to complete that project by dropping it.”
For many Americans, Labor Day’s most popular meaning is “the last hurrah of Summer,” but its national significance is much bigger than that. According to Wikipedia, Labor Day was established as an official holiday in 1887 as a celebration of the American labor movement. It is an annual tribute to the contributions all workers make to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country. Here’s how we think you should celebrate:
First, relax and have fun! You work hard so you certainly deserve to celebrate this weekend! Grokker’s Guide to Labor Day Weekend will help you maximize your fun and relaxation with:
Wellness sounds like a wonderful thing, and while you might be already tuned in to a lifestyle of wellness, it’s still an elusive concept for many of us. There are lots of ways to create a healthier, happier life, but here are 3 paths that may help you find your way.
Focus on Being your Best You
It must be human nature to compare ourselves to one another, but when it comes to wellness, the best place to focus is on yourself. What choices did you make today that were good ones? Did you take time for at least 20 minutes of exercise today? Did you eat the apple with lunch instead of potato chips? Remember, self care isn’t selfish, so go ahead and focus on being a better you. And there isn’t just one definition of beauty. You are powerful, and you are responsible for you.
If you’re like me, when you have a minute at the doctor’s office or hair salon, you indulge in a little guilty pleasure of reading the entertainment magazines. I always check out the “celebrities are just like us” section to see pictures of the stars going about their daily lives.
And just like us, actors and entrepreneurs in the public eye also struggle with their work life balance. And, just like us, they choose to devote time to activities they love; those activities that help keep them healthy and centered.
In today's world, many people feel there’s a particular cache in always being super busy. The perception is that busyness signals people value your time and demonstrates that you are in high demand, so everyone seems to want to be thought of as a busy person.
However, in a recent blog post by the Harvard Business Review, Greg McKeown identifies this obsession with “doing more” as an unhealthy and ultimately unsustainable bubble which inevitably bursts. He argues that we should instead focus on a smaller set of tasks that are truly valuable and strive to actually do less. A growing number of what McKeown calls the Essentialists, are focusing on doing just that.
We all have those days where we can’t get away at lunchtime for even a walk or maybe your boss values “face time” too much to ever let that happen. Here are 4 tips I’ve found to help you fit in some exercise while stuck in the office.
Toning from your office chair. Verily magazine shows us that it’s possible to tone your tummy and glutes right from your office chair. With exercises called the “desk chair non-wall-sit” and the “I-need-to-adjust-my-monitor-air-squat” your colleagues may not even notice! There are even dozens of active desk chairs which will engage your core while you sit.
I’ve worked at a lot of companies, big, small, start-ups, agencies and Fortune 500s, and when it comes to workplace wellness, it’s not size that matters. Even though more than 85% of large employers offer a wellness program, less than one in four employees actually participates in it, according to a recent Gallup poll. This is a problem. Not only for companies’ bottom lines, but for the people who work there. Even when my big name employer offered an elaborate fitness facility, monthly wellness speakers, and subsidized massages, I always felt like I had to sneak out to take advantage of any of it.
Just read my previous post on increasing employee engagement through work-life balance to see how companies benefit from increasing engagement with wellness programs and you might wonder the same thing I do-- why are so few people using these programs? What can I do about it? How can I improve my workplace wellness?
As a working mom and wife, I struggle like so many others with finding work-life balance. And it’s not just me that struggles; my husband does as well. Clearly, the challenge of attaining work-life balance isn’t gender specific. Anne Marie Slaughter expressed it so well in her Tufts University commencement speech, she says that the only way to balance the scales is to balance the work/home roles.
Slaughter asked graduates to imagine marriage as a partnership, where "breadwinner" and "caretaker" shift fluidly between both partners. Here is more of her advice:
Call it idleness, resting, or just being lazy, but I bet you didn’t know that doing nothing is one of the most important things you can do in your day?
Everyone’s too busy. In today’s world, if you’re not “busy” you must be unpopular, or at the least, unimportant. How dare you show any vacant slots on your calendar for coworkers to see; or offer more than a smidgen of a window of time that you are available to meet up with a friend. Nobody in our overly productive culture today would dare admit to purposely making space in their day to do nothing.
But that’s exactly what neuroscientists, medical experts and mental health professionals want us to do ASAP.
You may have been hearing a lot of buzz around “mindfulness” and wondering, what is it? Why should I care? And how would I practice it if I wanted to? Here’s the quick “What”, “Why” and “How” to get you started.
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