I came across an article the other day that was commenting on how Americans are fatter now partly because of their sedentary jobs. Obviously, they have not met a nurse!! Americans who worked in jobs that required a moderate amount of physical activity made up about 50 percent of the workforce in 1960, now that same group makes up a mere 20 percent. This decrease in activity at work means that we are losing a caloric burn of 120-140 calories a day. Over the years, this means our slacks are getting tighter, our shirts are getting snugger and our chairs are getting more uncomfortable.
Although I don’t think most nurses are at risk for this same phenomenon, many hospitals are starting to implement wellness programs that try to help employees lose weight, quit smoking and get healthier. At my hospital, they even have a walking group that walks at their lunch break and sometimes does Tai Chi or Yoga!! Fun times!
I heard about a nurse who clocked how many steps she took in a shift while working in the ER. Apparently it was close to 8 miles. I don’t know if this is urban myth or fact but I think we can all agree that every step counts! So put down the donut and do an extra lap around your department. Figure out how to beat the battle of the sedentary bulge and burn those extra 120 calories every day. IV Pole race anyone?