April 1-7: Celebrate National Public Health Week

A message from our Healthy Life Director, Alexa.

A message from our Healthy Life Director, Alexa.

Obesity.  Overweight.  Unhealthy.  Sick.

These words are being used more than ever to describe the health of our communities, businesses, schools, and each other.  April 1 – 7 marks this year’s National Public Health Week.  Started in 1995 by President Clinton, the idea is to celebrate this observance by focusing on an issue that is important to improving the public’s health.

According to a poll of nearly 6,300 people by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, it’s likely that you spend a stunning 56 hours a week not moving—staring at your computer screen, driving, or planted like a geranium in front of your television.

Even if you think you’re energetic, sitting all day at work is common for most of us. And it’s killing us—literally—by way of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes. All this downtime is so unhealthy that it’s given birth to a new area of medical study called inactivity physiology, which explores the effects of our increasingly butt-bound, tech-driven lives, as well as a deadly new epidemic researchers have dubbed “sitting disease.”

So, what can we do about it?  Walk the Talk. 

take-a-walking-breakDuring National Public Health Week, I am going to take my meetings, outside! Many people assume that solving business problems must take place within the confines of four walls.  But, in reality, the most creative moments take place outside them.  If your work place will allow it, I encourage you to schedule a walking meeting to get a change of scenery, boost your energy, get some fresh air and burn a few calories too.

Give yourself a break from being bleary eyed in meeting rooms and take your meeting outside. Walking meetings offer:

  • A chance to fit some physical activity into your day
  • Different environments to inspire new ideas
  • A chance to get some fresh air and natural light
  • A shift in group dynamics
  • Improve the group’s physical and mental well-being

If you decide to schedule a walking meeting, I’d love to hear how it goes.  Did it improve the conversation or your level of creativity?  Did you feel better throughout the day when you were able to walk for thirty – sixty minutes?  Did it make you want to make healthier food choices?

Read more about the positive effects of walking meetings here: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/20/business/walking-meetings

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