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Sunday
Feb012015

Staff Swaps Coffee Breaks for Workouts

Worktime coffee breaks are good for a lot of things, including eye relief from the computer screen, chatting with coworkers and stretching your legs.  Some Wishek Hospital and Clinics employees do all three during their morning and afternoon workout sessions. 

The idea of exercise during the workday came from a women’s health conference in Bismarck this fall that inspired several WHC staff members.  One of the breakout sessions featured a demonstration of exercises that can be done in the office.  Jackie Weigel, a WHC transcriptionist and medical records clerk, attended the session and her interest was piqued.  “I thought it would be a good idea to use our coffee break time for exercise.”  The 15 minute mid-morning and mid-afternoon allotments posed a fitting time to schedule regular workout sessions.

When Jackie returned to the office, she shared what she had learned with her coworker, Georgine. With permission from their supervisors, the two started their coffee break workouts.  “Others saw what we were doing and asked to join,” recalls Jackie.  Now, the group that meets in the Wishek Clinic basement has up to eight women who work out together.  Jackie sees it as a simple way to get fit in these winter months.  “It doesn’t take a lot of time.  We sit too much during the day and need to get our minds and muscles doing something else.”  The group has added exercises, swapped some out and are constantly challenging themselves. 

As well as some determination, “Sticking to it takes other people to encourage and hold you accountable,” commented Jackie.  For these ladies, their regular exercises have become a group effort and builds comradery over something besides work.  “It’s fun as well as a good time to visit with coworkers.”  She testifies that just 30 minutes a day doesn’t seem like a lot, but if they do the exercises right, they often walk away hurting.  But it’s a good hurting. 

Along with the physical benefits, Jackie finds that these workout breaks are a boost for mental focus and office morale, backing up the numerous studies that show exercise improves productivity levels.   “It gets our minds more active while working.”  Jackie says exercise has a similar effect on her as caffeine.  “It helps wake me up a bit and be more alert throughout the rest of the workday.  The exercising really is a good ‘pick-me-up.’”

Try some of these coffee break office workouts with your coworkers

  • Running in place
  • Jumping jacks
  • Arm exercises
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Leg lifts
  • Calf raises
  • Push ups
  • Sit ups
  • Planks

If you are a Blue Cross Blue Shield member, you can earn up to $250 a year by tracking your physical activity, diet, and water intake throughout the week.  Go to www.healthybluend.com to sign up and start gaining points.

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