Exercise isn’t a destination, its part of the journey. Just can’t get to the gym or make time in your schedule for even 30 minutes of activity? Take the stairs! And take the initiative to start the movement – literally – by inviting a few friends along. And put that commitment in writing – in an email – in a text – in a tweet…..saying it “out loud” makes it real – “for the month of November I am going to bypass the elevator and take the stairs – No Vator November!” Share your commitment with 5 or more of your friends and ask them to share it with their friends. That’s what happened here at Healthways…one person shared his commitment with friends and asked them to pass it on. The result? Hundreds of colleagues joined the movement and have taken to the stairs!
What difference can a few flights of stairs make? According to Dr. Alan Hedge at Cornell University, only 34 extra calories a day can be the tipping point. In looking at the rise of obesity in America over the last decade, Dr. Hedge found it really was that simple. Just 34 extra calories a day can add 5 or 6 pounds a year! Simple lifestyle changes – adding more movement to your day – can burn those 34 calories and more. Just two or three flights of stairs daily will offset those 34 calories, depending on your weight and the intensity of your stair climb. Ramping up to six flights of day could help you trim off pounds!
Your work environment is a great place to start the movement. You don’t need any special equipment or dedicated space. Little nudges like taking the stairs instead of the elevator to a meeting might get even the most exercise adverse employee moving. After all, do you want to be the only one heading to the elevator when the rest of the team is taking the stairs?
Optimizing the physical environment is key to supporting well-being in the workplace and creating a Culture of Health. Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. Thinking outside the box – or in this case – outside the elevator – is all it takes to start the movement in your workplace.