Fitness Friday: Worksite Wellness

Greetings guys (on Sunday!) I wanted to have this week’s fitness post focused on worksite wellness.

I work for the state government here in Oregon, specifically the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). OHA is comprised mostly of people with Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees, nutritionists, doctors, environmentalists, epidemiologists and so on. We work to improve health outcomes of Oregonians, including ourselves!

I am very fortunate to work with the OHA. There are tons of worksite wellness perks that come along with the job. As I previously mentioned, we have a gym on my floor where I can do weights, cardio or use the AV system for videos. Everyday, they offer group fitness classes such as yoga, strength training and bootcamp! There are also Nia and Tai Chi classes (I do not take those). Membership is $4 a month with classes costing $5 per.

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Our building is 11 floors and there are signs everywhere to encourage us to take the stairs. A few years ago, they placed handy signs on each level of the stairwell, telling us things like “Fight Fat. Frequent these flights!” They also put a call out for artists to paint the stairwells so that we would have something beautiful to look at as we take them!

The sign under floor 9 reads “In one minute, a 150 pound person burns approximately 10 calories walking up stairs and only 1.5 calories riding an elevator.”

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We also have a cafe that serves healthy foods, for the most part (with fried foods as well! YUM! hahhah!) There are salad bars, hot soup, and healthy entrees. I bring my lunch most days, so I don’t eat there often.

Additional worksite wellness perks we have are:

  • Breastfeeding and pumping rooms – these are where mothers can go to have a quiet, clean place to nurse or pump. I don’t plan on ever needing these rooms, but they are nice to have. I also use them for my dressing room when the locker room is crowded.

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  • Sick room – Sometimes, you need to rest at work. We have a quiet, dark room with a cot and some pillows where one can take a nap and rest at the office. I have used this room a few times to catch a quick snooze!
  • Gym reimbursement – Up to $15 a month!
  • Flex time for wellness – I love my work schedule! I go in at 7am and leave at 3:30pm. Our schedule in between is pretty flexible. I take lunch at varying times, depending on my workout schedule. We have 45 minutes for lunch and can stay later or come in earlier if we want to take fitness classes. It is a great change from my first job when I had to be there at 8 and stay until 5 with a 1 hour lunch at 12! No thank you!!!
  • Bomb insurance! – I am able to go to the chiropractor or acupuncturist for $10 a pop. My physical therapy co-pay is only $5. I could not imagine having to do the treatments I do now out of my own pocket!
  • Free Weight Watchers – I do not use this, but there are people who do!

The most important worksite wellness piece to me is my standing desk! Since returning to the office environment, I began to get neckaches, backaches and headaches sitting all day. I starting chiropractic care, with some results. Then I was referred to physical therapy and acupuncture, which has changed my life. The last piece of getting my strength back in my neck and shoulders was to take a stand … literally! I asked to get a standing workstation. I heard rave reviews about it from people in other sections who had them. Our manager got one and told me he loved his, so back in September, I got my standing desk! So, I stand almost 7.5 hours a day and I love it! It has changed how I dress for work (no more heels, mainly flat boots and tennis shoes) and it has changed my life! I no longer have constant nagging pain from sitting all day! I feel like I have more energy. I do not think that I could go back to sitting all day at a desk. It would literally kill me!

Here is my standing station. I have dual monitors, as every researcher should! Notice how my chair is pushed under my desk! I rarely use my chair anymore! Also notice how I am looking up clothes on one screen and working on the other! HAHAHAH! Also, it is important to note to use a high quality mat to help buffer you from concrete floors! 

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Hopefully for those ladies who work, you will be able to have a few options to maintain wellness while at work. I find it refreshing that many companies are now realizing the importance of ensuring workplace wellness for their employees, as it cuts down on sickness and insurance premiums, to name a few benefits!

I would go on a rant why every employer should, but that would bring on PTSD from writing grad school papers! 😉

 

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