Forget resolutions for next year that last only a few weeks and have little impact. These changes for better workplace health require placing an order, arranging a meeting on your schedule, and thinking a bit differently about how you will stay productive next year. You can make the changes now, and keep the curve arcing upward for better health.
1. Stand up
I'm convinced that one of the best ways to improve workplace health is to stand at your desk. I recommend the Teknion 30 x 60 Livello Counterbalance desk, which rises up to a standing height with a quick pull on a lever. By standing, you are benefiting from better circulation and posture, and your body has to work a little harder than when you sit all day. Plus, standing for short periods makes you more alert.
2. Schedule 15-minute breaks
Here's a quick and easy tip for getting healthier at work. Go into your calendar app right now and just add a repeating 15-minute meeting and call it "break time." Make sure there's a pop-up notice, and you'll see it each day. OK, it will be really easy to ignore. However, what if you see it at least once or twice a week? It will serve as a "healthy" reminder. Or you could try this Windows and Mac app that plays music as a reminder.
3. Have your office join a fruit club
Most of us don't have time to walk down to the local grocer and pick up some fruit for the break room. However, you can have it delivered right to your door. I like how The FruitGuys' service works, because there's a nice mix of exotic fruits. The company just started offering a way to donate your box of fruit to a charity during the holidays--you know, when you'll be at the gym working out, not munching down on cookies and candy canes. Another good monthly service is called The Fruit Company. Or just hit Sam's Club.
4. Get a treadmill for your office
Treadmills are boring, they don't really work as an energy booster, and they make you sweat in the office. Right? Well, not so (ahem) fast. Don't think of a treadmill as a workout machine, get one to take a quick walk and maybe catch up on a few phone calls. If you walk slow enough, you won't build up sweat, but you will get a nice boost--even if you walk for 15 minutes per day. I like the Rebel Desk model I reviewed recently. It only goes at walking speeds. (Check with those in the office if they mind having one around.)
5. Calibrate your thinking
How you think about life and your workload during the day can seriously impact your health. Worry and frustration, anger and resentment--they all conspire against you. When you get stressed, you might eat more unhealthy snacks. My advice is to take a break, not just to relax or get a cup of coffee, but to think about what you really want to accomplish and to measure your daily tasks against your long-term goals. That expense report should not ruin your day. Pause to think about what really matters. It works.