Posts Tagged ‘work’

Sleep is important: Americans are sleeping on the job

The National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey as part of their Sleep Awareness Week. They polled working Americans and asked them questions regarding their work and sleep habits. They found that Americans are getting a lot less sleep than they expected and many are “sleeping on the job.”

Respondants say they are getting 6 hours and 40 minutes of daily sleep, below the 7 hours and 18 minutes that most people say they need, and below the minimum of 8 hours that is recommended.

This leads to lower productivity, safety on the roads, not to mention medical and quality-of-life-related issues. 2/3 of the respondants acknowledged they knew it was a problem, but are not doing anything about it.

According to the National Institute of Health, more than 70 million Americans are affected by sleep problems. 

This random telephone survey of 1,000 individuals across the country, conducted at the end of 2007, found:

  • Respondents spend an average of almost 4.5 hours each week doing additional work from home. That’s after an average 9.5-hour workday.
  • One quarter of respondents have an eight-to-nine-hour workday; one quarter work nine to 10 hours per day; a third work 10 or more hours daily.
  • 28 percent said that daytime sleepiness interferes with their daily activities at least a few days each month.
  • 29 percent reported falling asleep or being sleepy at work in the past month.
  • Respondents got an average of six hours and 40 minutes sleep per night on weekdays, although they said they needed seven hours and 18 minutes to be refreshed.
  • 36 percent have nodded off or fallen asleep while driving; 32 percent were drowsy while driving at least one or two times a month; and 26 percent drive drowsy during the workday.
  • 20 percent have lost interest in sex or have sex less often because of sleepiness.
  • 12 percent reported being late to work in the past month because of sleepiness.
  • 32 percent only get a good night’s sleep a few nights per month.
  • 65 percent have a sleep problem, such as difficulty falling asleep or waking up during the night; 44 percent said they had such troubles almost every night.
  • 17 percent get help falling asleep, in the form of alcohol or prescription/over-the-counter sleep medications, at least a few nights each week.
  • 58 percent drank caffeine to cope.
  • 38 percent chose foods loaded in sugar and carbohydrates.
  • 37 percent say they take naps.
  • 34 percent work at places which allow napping during breaks.

Read the entire article.

Get Heart Healthy at Work

No one is safe from heart disease. Everyone should be heart-smart. But the reality is, very few of us probably are because of our busy lifestyles. I just read this article, and it is a reminder as to how important exercise and stretching are.

I know I have problems finding time to fit in exercise during the day. It’s morning rush to get the husband and 23 month old up, ready and out the door and to work and school on time (I use “on time” loosely). Then after work, it’s a rush to get home and get dinner ready, then clean up dinner, bathe the baby and spend some time playing with her and cleaning up the house at the same time. Then put her to bed and clean some more, check email, get things laid out for the morning, etc. You’re familiar with the routine.

To stay healthy and in shape, you need a healthy diet and exercise. So with the busy lifestyle of a typical working parent, there leaves little time for exercise. Exercise is very important, so you have to be a little creative. Here are a few things you can do at work to help:

1. Park at the back of the parking lot, or walk to work or the train if you can.
2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
3. Walk to ask your colleague a question in person rather than sending an email
4. Bring walking shoes and take a quick 15 minute walk at lunch – or walk the stairs
5. Use resistant bands while on a long phone call (you may get some weird looks if you are in a cube environment
6. Google “desk exercise” or “yoga at your desk” and you will find all kinds of different exercise you can do on a quick break.
Anything that helps your heart rate get up for any amount of time is beneficial.

Aside from activity, watch what you eat. Concentrate on adding healthy items to your diet rather than determining what you need to eliminate. Research shows you can reduce your chances of heart disease by 4% for each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables. That’s just 25 servings to reduce your chances by 100%.  

It is also important to reduce stress in the effort to prevent heart disease. It’s suggested that you take a “breather” for yourself everyday. Your body needs a break, a stress reliever. 

At home there are other things you can do too that will also allow you to spend time with your kid(s). You just have to be creative. Here are a few things I do:
1. Turn on the music and dance
2. Limit TV time in the evening – get off the couch and move
3. Use your child as a weight and balance them on your feet while they are superman; or lay on your back, curl up your legs and bounce them on your feet like a horse.
4. Race down the hall. I often hold my daughter and we run down the hall. She loves it!
5. It’s getting warmer (well, that’s debatable I guess). Plan to get up or get home 15 minutes earlier and take a walk outside.
6. We are planning to get bikes for our anniversary with a baby seat on it, so we can bike ride as a family.

I believe that making daily exercise part of your child’s daily routine will set them on a course for good health and exercise habits. Then exercise is just something you do, like brushing your teeth, rather than something you should do.

Here are a few articles to help you get moving at work. Note, these are not great cardiovascular workouts, but it is definitely better than nothing.

WebMD’s Desk Workout

Exercise at your desk – article and links to several types of desk exercises