Activate Your Workplace – Top 10

Posted on June 19th, 2013 by Seth Nickinson

Got additional tips on how to activate a workplace? Email us at 

(1) Stretch Yourself

Whether you work a seated job or a highly physical job, it’s very important to intgrate stretching into your workday. For office workers, here are a video collection of office stretches including neck, arms, seated lower back, and standing ; a slide show of office stretches; and video and slides of 6 workplace stretches. Back pain for farmworkers; ergonomics for housekeeping and custodial; stretch & flex for construction workers

(2) Move the Meeting

Did you know it takes just about 2000 steps to walk a mile? Implement “moving meetings” when you have a 1:1 or small group gathering.  Consider whether you truly need your notepads, tables, or electronic devices – or is an open conversation what’s called for? Depending on time and mobility constraints, take a turn around the parking lot or go for a longer sojourn.  Sunshine and movement help blood and creativity get to the brain!

(3) Grow Up

Air-cleaning indoor plants can reduce by up to 45% the symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome such as headache, fatigue, and coughing. NASA has studied the most effective indoor plants. 

(4) Snack Smart

The average female office worker consumes a third of her daily calorie allowance – around 650 calories – on snacks such as chocolate. 49% attribute is primarily to boredom, rather than hunger.  What are some tips for snacks to keep at work?

Store in your desk or locker Store in the lunchroom fridge On the Road
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit / Canned fruit
  • Juice box
  • Rice cakes
  • Cereal
  • Granola bars
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned fish
  • Bagels / Bread
  • Bran muffins
  • Yoghurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fresh fruit
  • Raw vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Salad greens
  • Baby carrots
  • Celery sticks
  • Bagel bits
  • Rice cakes
  • Apples
  • Crackers

(courtesy of Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety)

(5) Lunch Bunch

Encourage people to bring a healthy lunch from home. Form a small lunch group to join you once a week for a BYO Lunch day.  If you make something delicious at home, bring extra to share.  Consider having a potluck lunch or even a rotation where every week a different person feeds the group.

(6) Stretch Your Team 

Start every meeting with 2 minutes of simple, low-impact stretches. like neck rolls, shoulder shrugs, arm circles, knee bends. Invite different staff to lead the stretch each time.

(7)  Family Matters

Employees are parents, siblings, partners and friends first. Find ways to make space for personal life with your team. Perhaps it’s a photo bulletin board of silly childhood photos, jointly compiling a team CD of favorite music, or a minute at your team meeting for folks to share anything exciting from their home life. And remember, encourage each other to take healthy ACT habits home!

(8) Breakfast of Champions

Learn from some of our team down at Franklin Clinic. Once a week, meet just before the work day starts for a healthy breakfast with some of your teammates.  Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, and low-fat and lower-calorie options. Dense nutrients, lean protein, high fiber, and 100% juice or flavored water.

(9) Break It Up

It’s really important to take your daily breaks, whether they are required by your company or not. Computer workers should get up from their chairs every hour for a couple minutes. Anyone doing repetitive motions needs to adjust at least every 30 minutes. More physical laborers, make sure to get those 10 minute breaks in to stretch and rest. Depending on the work environment, consider ringing a chime, setting up a recurring calendar reminder, or walking the work area to remind people to take a break.  Set an example by leading a walk outside during your break.

(10) Wet Your Whistle

Did you know that a lack of hydration is the #1 cause of daytime fatigue?  Encourage staff to fill up water bottles and water glasses before meetings.  Go even further and set up a flavored spa water dispenser or distribute reusable canteens at a meeting. Check out “Spa Water” days that are happening throughout our organization.

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