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(D)aily Workplace Health Commitments Improve Our Performance

Posted Jul 26 2008 10:18am 1 Comment

“Exercise!  Eat healthy!  Keep a food journal!  Yeah, right.  I don’t have time to take a break at work how do you expect me to take better care of myself!” 

Many of us have repeated this mantra over and over again only to find ourselves stressed out physically and emotionally.  Been there, done that!  Unfortunately, I ended up with more serious physical problems that swirled out of control.   When I was sitting in the doctors office waiting for my MRI results, I wasn’t thinking about how the next project or the next meeting.  I was thinking about if I was going to be around for the next day.  Funny, and this was all for

  • the love of the job
  • the thrill of the chase
  • my commitment to my employer and teammates who could not live without me
  • ego
  • money
  • fame
  • position
  • status

By ignoring my daily health commitments, I put my family at risk in more ways than one financially, physically, emotionally and socially.  Who was benefiting from my ill health and not so stellar attitude?  It wasn’t me and that was the most important person I needed to take care of. 

Professionals place high expectations on themselves.   Good for the employer.  When we cannot distinguished when we are in the the “51% zone”, then our health and productivity start to plummet.  The “51% zone” is when you are giving 51% or more of you physical, emotional, social and intellectual energy to one particular event or period of time.  For example, you are professionally devoted to your position, this is great!  But when you cannot shut it off enough to take a break, go to the restroom, take lunch, exercise, or be somewhat social with your co-workers, you’ve probably crossed the 51% zone.  The whooping benefits can be … drum-roll please …..

  • headaches
  • migraines
  • upset stomach
  • anger or short temper
  • shortness of breath
  • overweight
  • overwhelmed feeling
  • acid reflux
  • bad attitude
  • poor eating habits
  • tired
  • achy breaky feeling
  • loss of energy and feeling of importance

Some people are energized by being totally enveloped in the 51% zone.  Wonderful!  Please make sure you are seeing your physician at least 2 times per year for a complete checkup.  Sometimes intensity that makes us feel great doesn’t show up on the outside but still may have internal silent effects that you not be aware of.

Each person’s prescription for energy and productivity is different.  Here are some suggestions to move yourself away from the 51% zone.

  •  Give yourself permission to take a break or lunch.  Start by affirming that it’sokay to take move away from the desk.  No one will get hurt in the process.  My teammates can go on without me for 15 minutes or more.  When you come back, look around.  Is everything the way you left it?  More than likely, yes!
  • Take the steps to move from floor to floor.  This will move you one step closer to any fitness goals you have established.  The immediate benefit is that your burning more calories and getting you circulation moving.  Hey, you may even meet some really interesting people that you haven’t seen for awhile in the stairwell.
  • Start your own personal walking program even if you need to do it alone.  We had a parking garage on the lot where our building was located.  I would walk up the garage levels (creates resistant) and take the garage steps (increases cardio) in 32 degree weather or above.  Why 32 degrees and not ALL degrees?  Basically, I didn’t want to have to deal with ice in more ways than one.  The benefit is that I lost weight!
  • Graze on healthy alternatives during the day.  Suggestions would be left over salad, nuts, fruit, or 100 calories healthy snacks.   Your local grocery store has alot of healthy offerings.  It’s a matter of taking the one time and discovering what’s available. 
  • Be in silence.  When it just gets too much go to a quiet place in your office building or complex or even your car to be in silence.  Sometimes we need to quiet all those demands in the form of people and projects to get ourselves in shape for the next round of meetings.  Silence helps us sort-out the real from the imaginary and helps us take control of our attitude.

 These are all suggestions we have heard or read before over and over again.  It’s time to make the commitment to take control of our daily health.  Small changes will not impact you negatively but will allow you to keep in the race longer.  They will increase your productivity and health a little more each day.

Be healthy and fabulous!

Sandra

Comments (1)
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Bada bing bada boom!  So it is with most all of my colleagues in health care!!  Well said!
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