Tag Archives: exercise

Only 15% Of Workers Leave The Office Every Day

Have you noticed that you eat lunch more at your desk every day?  I certainly have.

With 7 hours of meetings (at least) every day plus 300+ emails every day, we’re busy.  I’d argue that most companies these days are busier than they were historically.  At the same time, everyone is focused on wellness and healthier choices.  When sleep, diet, exercise, and stress are all related to health, it’s hard to separate those from the workplace.

That being said, I wasn’t too surprised by this recent poll I saw which highlights this.

Exercise at work

Advertisements

What’s Your #Moment4Change?

I’ve being doing a lot of work lately on how to tackle the obesity problem in the US. This has been great personally as it has forced me to look at lots of research to understand all the tools out there.

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Coaching programs
  • Devices
  • Social networks
  • Physicians
  • Centers of Excellence

It’s also made me look at different drivers of obesity including sleep and stress. The new report out showing that sitting is a huge problem (even if you exercise) is very eye-opening also.

For years, I’ve talked about my challenges is managing my weight which lead to some fluctuations, but at the end of the day, I think a lot of this boils down to a “Golden Moment” or a “Moment4Change”. Even people who do this every day (e.g., doctors or sports coaches) are often overweight. We have to have something which prompts us to change our life. We aren’t generally motivated by dropping our HDL. We’re motivated by being able to play with our kids or living long enough to see our kids get married.

In my life, there have been several Moment4Change points so I thought I would put this out there to hear what’s motivated others:

  • In 2002, I went to the doctor for the first time in a decade. He saw some health risks in my blood work and sent me to another physician. He told me I was obese. (Something less than 50% of physicians actually tell their overweight patients.) I was shocked. I was 215 pounds and 5′-10″. After 2 days of agony, I decided that I couldn’t accept that diagnosis and proceeded to lose 40 pounds in the next 60 days (all through exercise and social motivation through a running group).
  • Last fall after letting much of that weight creep back on over the decade, I decided to do a 5K with one of my kids. I’d run 3 marathons and was running several days a week (although at an average pace of 9 minute miles). I got killed as my kid ran at a 7:30 pace in their first race ever. Not only did I feel old, but I felt like I wasn’t being much of a role model. That motivated me to change. Now, after using the FitBit (see several comments), I’ve had good success losing 25 pounds in 3 months and seeing my cholesterol drop 120 points in that same time frame.

So, I’m interested. What has motivated you to changed? And, how do you measure success? I suggested that while women may use the “skinny jeans” test that men might be more likely to use the “belt buckle” test.

 

 

I think this image below from the AON Hewitt 2012 Health Care Survey is a good one about the fact that 80% of our costs are driven by 8 behaviors.

I also thought that this presentation at the FMI by The Well which was a GSW project was right in line with this.

How To Improve Good Cholesterol (HDL) If Drugs Don’t Work

The Wall Street Journal on 1/8/13 had an article called “New Rules for Boosting Good Cholesterol” which shared the results of a recent study on medications that improve HDL (or Good Cholesterol).

“Not all HDL are created the same” was what Roger Newton, chief science officer of Esperion said.

“If you raise HDL in non-pharmacologic ways, it really does help you” says Steve Kopecky, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist.

The points made in the article can be summarized in the following:

  • Improving good cholesterol is important.
  • People with high HDL face fewer heart attacks (according to the Framingham Risk Score)
  • Multiple trials to improve HDL with drugs have failed
  • People may need to raise good cholesterol by behavior change

This should lead to 3 questions:

  1. What should be my HDL or Good Cholesterol? From the Mayo Clinic on Good Cholesterol:

  1. What can I do to improve my Good Cholesterol without drugs? From the WSJ article:

Activity

HDL Increase

Exercise

4 mg/dL

Drink Alcohol (in Moderation)

2-4 mg/dL

Quit Smoking

5 mg/dL

Lose Weight

1 mg/dL per 3-6 lbs

Eat Fish And Olive Oil

3-5 mg/dL

Avoid Carbohydrates

8 mg/dL

  1. What are my risks and the value of medications? For that, I found two online risk tools.

Here’s a simple one that uses the Farmingham study to estimate your risk of having a heart attack.

Here’s another one from over in Europe that’s focused on the value of statins and hosted by the Cleveland Clinic. It takes more inputs but then gives you several outputs. (A nice algorithm to integrate with something like iBlueButton or your care management system perhaps to warn you of risks without having you input a bunch of data.)

Stay Moving Avoid Sitting Disease

A clinician was talking to me he other day about “sitting disease“. They said that our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are causing all kinds of problems – not least of them being obesity.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share this article and Infographic…

Office workers can exercise at their desk to get into better shape

Stuck working in an office with no time to hit the gym on a regular basis? There are ways to burn off a few calories during office hours, says Selen Razon, a physical education professor at Ball State.

“Studies have shown that long periods of inactivity — including sitting at your desk — increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer,” she says. “I suggest that people do a few simple exercises to get their bodies moving and then stretching and toning at your desk. Moving a little goes a long way.”

Razon suggests:
• Start exercising before arriving at your desk by first parking your car as far away from the building as possible and then walking.
• Take the stairs whenever possible.
• Do exercises at your desk, including flexing arms, legs and abs on 30-second intervals.
• Get rid of a chair and sit on a medicine/fitness ball while working. Sitting on a ball will tone and strengthen your abs.
• Stand up and/or take short walks every 20 minutes at desk. Studies show even simple frequent standing breaks significantly decrease your chances of getting diabetes.
• Exchange the typical desk for one that allows you to stand, which burns more calories.
• Bring gadgets to the office. Hand grippers and stretch cords are relatively cheap and can provide great outlets for keeping active while you look at your screen.

Wii Fit: Using Technology To Teach Wellness

I talked about the Wii a few months ago when we first got one. At the time, I didn’t know that Wii Fit was coming.

This past weekend we happily bought it, and I enjoyed it. It tells you your BMI. You can do yoga. You can do aerobic exercise (running, hula hoop, step aerobics). You can do agility exercises (downhill skiing, tight rope walking). I was a little skeptical, but I have been fascinated by the Wii so far.

And, I loved the fact that my 6 year old could get into it. She loved that once you put in your height, and it calculates your weight that it changes your Mii (avatar) to reflect your likely dimensions. She spent lots of time on the yoga moves that I probably never could have gotten her to do in a traditional forum.

This creative use of technology gives me a lot of hope for how we can teach our youth, drive rehab programs, and impact people.

Now what I am looking for is when will we see a competition to lose the most weight only using the Wii for training.


%d bloggers like this: