Let me paint the picture. It’s February in NYC, it’s below freezing every single day. The worst winter in most places across the US. Follow that with 4 straight weeks of fielding studies in March – all locations in which squeaky cheese and barbecue dominate! We were desperately in need of an eating habits overhaul.
Research shows that exercising during the work day increases mood and therefore boosts office productivity, so what better way to nix the greasy fingers and get the blood flowing than getting active? In May we kicked off our office’s Movement Month. Athletes or not, we are a pretty competitive bunch. Everyone received an official Movement Month coloring page where they could keep track of their fitness goals, nutrition (based off the knowledge we picked up researching for USDA), office-related activities and personal goals. We formed teams and began to strategize.
We are proud to report that people took the 5 flights of stairs to our office nearly every day, conducted walking meetings, stretched while we brainstormed, and ate together at the conference table instead of in front of the computer. We weren’t perfect, but then again it was meant as a way to shake things up (which it most certainly did).
The added activity not only increased our movement, but also boosted our morale, healthy habits and camaraderie in the office. After movement month we started keeping healthier snacks in the office, continued our walking meetings and maintained the practice of multiple visits to the water cooler. And over shared homemade lunches, we even came up with an impromptu conference presentation. So while movement month is over, a healthy, productive lifestyle continues at MCG!
Coulson, J. C., J. McKenna, and M. Field. “Exercising at work and self-reported work performance.” International Journal of Workplace Health Management 1.3 (2008): 176-197.
~Melissa DeFeo, Research Associate