A 35-hour-plus work week can wreak havoc on your healthy habits: lunchroom donuts, birthday cake slices and forgetting to eat breakfast are just a few complications. But don’t be discouraged. There are healthy choices you can make at the office that your body will thank you for.

Cult of Fitness

An all-access pass to the braggarts who make up the social media fitness culture YOU’RE A RARE New Year’s Resolutioner. January came and went, and you made it to the gym three, sometimes four times a week. February proved more difficult but still, your gym membership didn’t go to waste. To rouse motivation, you scroll through fitness pages on social media. The before and after shots of top-form physiques run down your screen as you double-tap, because you too are working towards the after photo. But, little do you know, your “fitspiration” habit could be doing more harm than good. Similar to the way print and T.V. ads became the enemy for girls coveting the magazine look, “fitspiration” images lead to increased negative mood, body dissatisfaction, and decreased self-esteem. That goes for men, too. Regardless of gender, we’re wired for comparison: We determine self-worth by assessing others and gauging where we stand in comparison. The next time you decide to boost your motivation with a dose of social media ask yourself, is it motivation or a more sinister emotion like envy or jealousy? Whether it’s the glossy pages of a magazine, or on the screen of an iPhone, the story hasn’t changed: It’s all just smoke and mirrors, or in Instagram’s case, a valencia filter.

Challenge Accepted

Corporate fitness challenges boost office morale, demonstrate an organization’s commitment to wellness and encourage team building An active employee is a productive one, too: according to Health Canada, work performance can be improved by four to 15 per cent when employees take part in regular physical activity. With that in mind, here are some fitness challenges you can launch to get your workplace moving.

Walk across Canada

Use a pedometer, Fitbit or step-counting app, such as Walker or Pacer, to track your daily steps individually or in a team. See how long it would take your organization to walk the 6,170 kilometres from Victoria, B.C. to Halifax, N.S. The Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta took part in this challenge last year and Joanne Arsenault, manager of corporate wellness, says ­participation was high. “You don’t have to be a fit person; just going for a walk helps physical and mental health,” she says.


Have employees set a 12-week fitness goal. Reward those who reach their goals by the end of the challenge. The incentive encourages employees to get regular exercise in their own way.


Everyone is different, so it’s best to track progress through percentage of weight loss rather than total pounds dropped. Because it’s team-based, employees can interact regularly with co-workers during the competition (and hopefully afterward, too).