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HEALTH HACKS: 11 Easy lifestyle changes to dramatically improve your health



When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, we all have the best intentions. Going for a run after work, drinking more water and cutting back unhealthy calories sounds simple. For any of us who have tried to commit: we know it takes more than wishful thinking. Improving your lifestyle involves action – whether it’s sharing your goal with a colleague, tracking your progress or setting realistic goals to get you started.

If you’re ready to make a lifestyle change, but aren’t sure where to begin, here are 11 health hacks you can start implementing today to improve your health.


Four things you do at work every day that are terrible for your health

Work is a place where we can achieve milestones, grow professionally, accomplish great things and meet wonderful people along the way. At the same time, pressing deadlines, overwhelming workloads and challenging situations can be very stressful for anyone, leading to both physical and mental health issues.

Health and work are intrinsically connected, and how you manage your health habits at home should be the same for how you manage them at work. Here are four unhealthy habits that many people practice every day at work, without even realizing it. Learn what’s in your control and how you can better manage your health at work!


ParticipACTION selects Sprout at Work as technology partner for national wellness initiative

April 7, 2016
BURNABY, KELOWNA, RICHMOND, VANCOUVER: Sprout is pleased to announce today that the company has been selected by ParticipACTION as the technology partner for the UPnGO with ParticipACTION wellness program. Designed with the intent to get Canadians sitting less and moving more at work, UPnGO with ParticipACTION will use Sprout technology to help inspire workplace culture shifts by providing a website and mobile app to track and engage employees in the program.

UPnGO with ParticipACTION was developed by ParticipACTION, a national non-profit organization that helps Canadians sit less and move more, in partnership with Public Inc., Canada’s leading social impact marketing agency. During their search for a technology partner, they zeroed-in on Canadian companies that were designed to promote wellness, had a platform accessible via mobile and web, included an activity log and rewarded positive trends. Sprout met these needs.

“We are thrilled to be the technology partner for the ParticipACTION UPnGO program. It’s an incredible initiative.” says Martha Switzer, Co-Founder and CMO at Sprout. “Our wellness engagement platform inspires employees to get fit and empowers employers to manage and quantify their corporate wellness. Together, we’re challenging participants across British Columbia to use Sprout to track and improve their daily health habits, ultimately lowering their risk of chronic disease and increasing healthy behaviours.”

“UPnGO with ParticipACTION is one of the ways we are harnessing the power of emerging technologies to support and encourage people to make physical activity accepted and expected at work,” says Elio Antunes, President and CEO of ParticipACTION.  “It’s all part of our push to get 10% of Canadians sitting less and moving more by 2020.”

The 10-month pilot program launches with a 6-week kick-starter challenge For these six weeks and beyond, UPnGO with ParticipACTION will depend on Sprout technology to facilitate healthy behaviours, by leveraging the platform’s features like push notifications, its ability to sync with fitness devices and leaderboards to inspire friendly competition.

About Sprout at Work

Sprout is the leading Wellness Engagement Platform, used by progressive companies to improve the health of their employees and their business. Sprout creates a work culture that enables individuals to lead happier, healthier lives, while empowering employers to effectively manage and measure wellness outcomes. More information is available at www.sproutatwork.com.

3 Meditation Practices You Can Do At Your Desk



Meditation is a very powerful practice for human beings. By refocusing, relaxing, and being in the present moment, people are inclined to feel much less stressed and distracted. Sounds like a great practice for employees in the workplace!

Meditation has been proven to change how the brain thinks. Forbes tells us that meditation practices decrease anxiety, preserve an aging brain, and improve concentration. In one study they describe, only a few weeks of practicing meditation had an incredible impact on the brain’s health.

Meditating at work is a wonderful way to inspire a calmer and more productive culture. However, meditation for some is a private practice, and not something that people would like to participate in with others around them. Help your employees refocus and destress by encouraging these three meditation practices that they can do every day, without even leaving their desk.


When’s the last time you gauged your team’s wellness?



St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, and, if you’re like most companies that partook in celebrations, you probably served your team green beer. But did the thought of serving green juice as an alternative cross your mind? If not, this post is for you.


It’s no surprise that the most popular time of the year to get sick is in the winter. According to Business Insider, there are a number of reasons for this: being inside more perpetuates germ transmission from person to person, and inflammatory genes in our DNA are expressed more in the winter season. And … if you’re thinking of the adage, “Spring has sprung, the grass has riz…” you may want to finish this phrase by saying, “I wonder why I’m still so sick.”


4 Ways to Love Yourself in March



Spring is right around the corner, and for some, blooming cherry blossoms and sun showers are lifting spirits. For others, specifically those located in cooler climates (cough, Toronto, cough), the promises of spring have yet to be seen. Whether the turn of the season is inspiring self change, or you’re still kicking the winter blues, here are four ways that you can love yourself this month.


New Year, New Job: Are your employees turning over?



Some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions include saving money, losing weight, quitting smoking and searching for a new job. Were any of these on your list this year? Now that we’re mid-way through February, resolutions will split and go down two tracks: they either fall off the radar, or they start coming to fruition.

For people who listed “new career” as a priority this year, chances are that they’re way past the application stage. Most will be interviewing, some are about to get offers, and a few may have already turned over. The war for talent is on.

Why is this happening? Well, there are many reasons that employees will choose to leave a company. Perhaps a better opportunity for growth presented itself – or maybe the employee wants to work with a company that shares their same values. Of course, some turnover will be inevitable. But a large part can be controlled: some of the main reasons for why employees quit include not liking their boss, wishing they were paid more, or not feeling connected or recognized for their work.

If you are noticing increased turnover rates at your company this month, take a look at your engagement strategy and see if there is anything that you and the business could be doing to retain your employees.


5 Foods to incorporate into your diet in 2016

It’s February, and now is the time to take a temperature check and see if you’re on track when it comes to your 2016 goals. If health and wellness was a priority for you this year, your diet probably ranks top of mind. Perhaps you wanted to eliminate fast food – or, maybe you wanted to make more of that delicious healthy recipe you tried last month. No matter what your goals are, it can be a challenge to make lifestyle adjustments – particularly when it comes to food.

One way to monitor your habits is by tracking what you eat. This will help you visualize your diet and keep you on track. For others, a little inspiration can go a long way. Check out these 5 foods (and recipes!) you can incorporate into your diet this year. They’re healthy, hearty, and most of all – delicious.


4 Signs Your New Year’s Resolutions Were Realistic



It seems like the overwhelming reaction to the month of January is, “Where did it go?!”

We’re at the end of the month, and if you’re like most people, you’re wondering how exactly we got here. On the brightside (quite literally), the days are getting longer and Spring is in sight. From another perspective however, the “new year, new you” goals set a mere four weeks ago seem like a distant memory.

Now is a great time to stop and take a temperature check: are you on track when it comes to your 2016 goals? Approximately 25% of people break their resolutions within the first week! Check these four signs to make sure that your resolutions are not only top of mind, but that they will also stay there for the rest of the year.

  1. You’re Consulting an Action Plan
    How many people that are practicing law would say, “Tomorrow when I wake up, I’m going to be a doctor!” Or if you currently live in Toronto, what is the likelihood that you’ll be living in Vancouver next week?

    Goals without an action plan are just ideas. When you set your resolutions this year, did you consider how you’d go about achieve them? A great way to stay on track is by tracking your activities – especially if you’ve set a wellness goal. Perhaps you want to decrease the time it takes you to run a 5K … or maybe you want to eliminate sugar. Keeping track is a great way to visualize your progress and see your plan in action.

  2. You’re Considering the Journey, Not Just the Destination
    Set it and forget it! A common mistake is to set a really, really, really big goal. And everything ends right there.

    It can be a great practice to set BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals). They push you outside of your comfort zone and in some cases, help people realize their dreams. But imagine that you set the goal to own a $10 million dollar estate … and then didn’t have a savings plan in place. The likelihood of reaching your goal is nonexistent.

    If you made a big wellness resolution this year – to quit smoking, become a yoga teacher, or eliminate your red meat intake – you need to celebrate the milestones along the way. Have you gone the month without smoking? That is incredible! Did you complete your first level of yoga teacher certification? Celebrate it! Have you chosen to cook with ground turkey vs. ground beef when you made chili? Amazing! Any goal comes with accomplishments along the way … recognize them.

  3. You’ve Made Yourself Accountable
    Have you ever set a goal … something you really wanted to achieve … but kept it to yourself? Putting it into words would make the goal too real. There’s a word for that: accountability!

    Keeping goals a secret lets you off the hook. Unless you fall within the minority, most people need the support of others around them to overcome temptation and bad habits. Sharing your goal with someone who you see every day, like a partner or colleague, helps you feel accountable to your goal. Have you shared your resolutions with a team member at work? Get an accountability buddy for the rest of the year to help you stay focused and liable.

  4. You’re Open to Revisions
    As the saying goes, the best laid plans often go awry. Even with an action plan, measurable achievements, and accountability, sometimes goals cannot be met. Whether your goal was too audacious (trying to lose five pounds in a month is making you feel sick instead of healthy), or an injury is preventing progression (plantar faciitis is holding you back from reaching the 10K mark) – it’s okay to make revisions.

    Part of effective goal-setting (and New-Year’s-Resolution-making!) is factoring in reflection time. Without evaluation, some of the best intentions fall flat. When you’re not realizing immediate results (see: considering the journey), it’s easy to become dismayed, give into temptation or old habits and give up. But being open to revision can keep your resolutions alive this year. So you worked out three times a week instead of five? Reflecting might make you realize that exercising three times a week is what your body and schedule will allow. Devise & revise!

January has come and gone. but there are still 11 months to go! Are your resolutions on track? Does your work motivate and support its employees when it comes to achieving goals?

3 New Year’s Resolutions that HR Can Help Employees Stick To



The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, but while all of that holiday cheer is good for the soul, it isn’t so good for the waistline, bank account, or exercise regimen.

With the new year comes new opportunities to change one’s lifestyle, or so many people believe. In fact, as many as 40-50% of people make new year’s resolutions. However, the percentage of people who keep their resolutions for the next six months aren’t very encouraging. Approximately 25% of people who set a new year’s resolution break their goal within the first week. Yikes! Many people fail at their new year’s resolutions because they set unrealistic goals, they don’t track their progress, or they give up as soon as they slip up. Your HR department can help. Find out which resolutions you can help people achieve, and how.



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