By Laura Jean Whitcomb, MBA
Most days, I sit at a computer for 8 to 10 hours. That’s not good for my waistline, my heart, my brain, or my muscle strength. But with frequent meetings and ongoing marketing campaigns, it can be difficult to carve out time for exercise.
I’ve watched and learned from my co-workers at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital. Not only do we have nature trails on campus, there’s a rail trail in close proximity. Walking is only one way to be more active; my APD colleagues share how they add steps, stretches, and standing time into their workday.
Sitting and Standing
Kirsten Eastman, Manager of Rehab and Occupational Health Services: “Instead of calling a colleague, I will get up and walk over to where they are. I switch my position at my desk and I will change from my chair to a therapy/exercise ball.”
Carole Gaudet, Marketing and Communications: “I switch up sitting and standing. It’s great for alignment and has eliminated pain. I do stretches and foot exercises during meetings and no one can tell.”
Walking and Connecting
Sarah Johnston, RN, Director of Medical-Surgical Unit and Surgical Short Stay Unit: “I park in the farthest spot from hospital and walk in. I always take the stairs. I make sure I get up and move every hour. At lunch, or when frustrated, I take a walk around campus.”
Megan Rae, Finance: “I like coming to work early and walking on our well-lit and well-maintained campus before starting my workday. I find being outside in the early morning to be naturally uplifting; it helps my mood and positivity. Sometimes I like to grab a friend and walk a bit just to take a break during the day. Adding extra steps to my work day helps remind me to make healthy choices over the course of the whole day.”
Kristie Foster, RN, Emergency Department: “I try really hard to get out for a walk each day during my lunch break. I love walking up and around the Woodlands as it is a peaceful, calm, and beautifully landscaped setting. I enjoy meeting the residents and their fur babies and exchanging pleasantries. It’s a nice way of connecting on our campus.”
Yoga and Stretching
Brian Lombardo, MD, Medical Director of Primary Care, moves all day long so he makes sure he stretches before his workday. “I find 10 minutes of yoga in the morning before I leave for work (successful many mornings) makes a huge difference on how I feel from an ache-and-pain standpoint.”
Michael Lynch, MD, Chief Medical Officer, agrees. “A little bit of yoga goes a long way. I try to go once a week although twice would be ideal. For daily exercise, it is almost always after work. I would love to be a 5 am morning exerciser like our CEO, but I just can’t do it.”
“It’s usually 5:30 by the time I get moving, but I am an early riser,” said Sue Mooney, MD, CEO and President of APD. “My standing desk is a must and I do isometric, lower body strength exercises on and off throughout the day when I get up to stand. Finally — I never take the elevator.”
My trick? Getting outside. Studies show even five minutes in nature improve self-esteem and health. When I have writer’s block or want to process new information, I’ve found fresh air can do wonders. Of course, it’s more enjoyable if the sun is shining and you get a hit of vitamin D, but even a cloudy day can boost your mood — and your job performance.
Laura Jean Whitcomb is the manager of marketing and communications at APD. She has lost 60 pounds (so far) by walking on campus every day.