From the New York Times’ Well blog comes a great article about physical activity, obesity, and their correlation to the workplace environment. The article points out that over the past decades, the landscape of the workforce has widely shifted from manufacturing and agriculture-based jobs that include a high level of physical labor to the now-common desk job that involves hours on end sitting in front of a computer.
Essentially, that means that we’re burning fewer calories than workers have in the past. When you add highly-processed food into the equation, it’s no wonder obesity is so prevalent today. The environment in the workplace has become sedentary, making it very difficult to get as much exercise as we should.
“In many ways we’ve engineered physical activity out of our lives, so we’ve got to find ways to put it back into our lives, like taking walks during breaks or having opportunities for activity that are more routine to our daily lives, not just going to the health club.”
Only about 20% of all the jobs in today’s American workforce include some form of moderate physical activity. The other 80% is mainly sedentary, or only require light activity throughout the day.
In the past, the focus of the fight against obesity has largely been on home-life exercise and eating habits, but it is long past time to turn our attention to the workplace. Starting today, make changes in your workplace environment. Find out if your employer offers subsidized gym memberships or other health-related incentives – and take advantage of the options available. The article also recommends that employers “redesign offices to encourage walking, by placing printers away from desks and encouraging face-to-face communication rather than email.” Though it is unlikely that these measures will completely replace the loss of workplace physical activity, they certainly may have a positive impact on your health and are a step in the right direction.
For the more information and other ideas for adding physical activity to your workday, check out the full article here. You can also eliminate highly processed foods from your workplace environment with FruitShare’s brand-new Company Wellness Club and other organic fruit delivery options.