Life Balance: Exercise in the Break Room

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 6th, 2015

I recently read about a clinic where doctors were doing wall sits, and nurses were planking in the hallway. Other employees were doing wall push-ups, counting how many they could do in a minute. The CentraCare Health employees were participating in a fitness challenge initiated by the Internal Medicine Department. Jay Ophoven, director of internal medicine, was doing the tabulating. “We don’t just treat sick people,” he said. “We want to prevent illness. And this is a good way to promote health and well-being.”

“We’re competitive in our quality scores and patient outcomes already. So this was just a natural thing,” Ophoven said.

nurses exercising Instead of doughnuts or ordering pizza for staff meetings, he promotes wellness and healthy eating, and exercises, even at work. “It’s a way to have motivation to exercise. Exercise can be boring and dreadful. But when you have competition and you’re working with other people, it helps to hold you accountable,” he said.

This is why, for my 12-month SelfCare for HealthCare program, I hired an illustrator to draw sketches of fun exercises and stretches that can be done at the nurse’s station or break room. If you’d like a copy to share with your team now, send me a message. I’m happy to share!

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