Take Charge

For most of us, work takes up the majority of our lives. How to get healthy and stay that way while at work can seem insurmountable, but making small, manageable changes will help motivate and get you to your best self. Here are a few things you can do to help you eat well and get active while earning a paycheck:

Bring your own lunch. When you bring your lunch and snacks to work, you control exactly what goes into your body – low salt, sugar, fat and calories. Choose whole grain bread, lean meats and cheese and condiments like mustard and reduced-fat mayonnaise for sandwiches, add vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, onion, sprouts or avocado, and pack fruit and veggies for side dishes and snacks. You can also experiment with soup, salads and leftovers to give your lunches variety.

Take breaks. Sometimes, you get so busy at work you forget to take a break, but the best possible thing you could do for yourself and the quality of your work is to go to lunch and take two 15-minute breaks throughout the day. This will give you the opportunity to relax, focus on something other than the task at hand, and give you more energy to tackle assignments.

Go for a walk. A change of scenery can change your perspective by letting you breathe in fresh air, get your heart pumping and work your muscles. Take the opportunity to walk around the building or parking lot where you work or run the stairs on inclement weather days.

Make it official.

If you are committed to eating healthier foods, tell us. We’ll send you tips to keep you motivated, encouragement when you need it, and celebrate with you when you reach your goals.

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How North Little Rock is Fit 2 Work

We spend the majority of our day at work, many of us at a desk with little or no movement. Sedentary lifestyles, highly processed foods and tobacco use can negatively impact our health, and the City of North Little Rock is taking steps to arrest these trends in the citizens it employs.

Employee Wellness Program

Fit 2 Live has developed policies and programs, as well as researched best practices, to give employers and employees across North Little Rock and Arkansas the ideas and tools they need to create healthier workplaces. You also can get membership discounts to the North Little Rock Community Center, Hays Senior Center, Burns Park/Emerald Park Golf Courses and Burns Park Tennis Center. Employee Wellness Brochure For more information contact: Bernadette Gunn Rhodes, Fit 2 Live Coordinator, 975-8777, brhodes@northlittlerock.ar.gov.

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Employee Wellness Policy

Fit 2 Live staff has drafted an Employee Wellness Policy, which is currently under review and must be adopted by North Little Rock City Council. Elements of the Policy:

  • Formation of a wellness committee
  • Employer supports for:
    • Healthy eating
    • Physical activity
    • Tobacco cessation and prevention
    • Chronic disease management
    • Stress management
    • Breastfeeding

Healthy Food Options

North Little Rock City Clerk Diane Whitbey celebrated Administrative Professionals

To make the healthy choice the easy choice, North Little Rock needs more healthy food options like fruits, vegetables and whole grains at restaurants, convenience stores, concession stands and vending machines. The City of North Little Rock has put together Healthy Food Options Guidelines for City food service, but also for citizens to use as a model for making healthy choices. The guidelines were approved by the City Council, and you can access the complete document at: Healthy Food Options Guidelines

Employee Wellness Program

If you are an employee of the City of North Little Rock, you can get help in quitting smoking, dipping or chewing tobacco; making healthier choices in planning, preparing and eating meals and snacks; losing and maintaining weight; getting more exercise and managing stress. You also can get membership discounts to the North Little Rock Community Center, Hays Senior Center, Burns Park/Emerald Park Golf Courses and Burns Park Tennis Center.

Employee Wellness Brochure

Fit 2 Live Employee Wellness Program Video

How to Get Involved

The Fit 2 Live Employee Wellness Program keeps wellness fresh and fun.

Employee Wellness Kickstart Application

Individual employees can apply to be reimbursed up to half of the expense of the wellness activity of their choice for up to three months. Spouses are also eligible to apply. Funding is provided by the City’s employee wellness budget, so individuals must be full-time employees on City of NLR payroll. They must also first become members of the City’s Fit 2 Live Employee Wellness Program to qualify for reimbursement. Examples include: Gym membership, fitness/yoga/dance classes, certified personal trainer, counseling (mental health, marriage, nutrition), tobacco cessation counseling or treatment, financial literacy classes, wellness coach, weight management program (such as Weight Watchers). Other ideas are welcome and will be reviewed by the Employee Wellness Committee.

Download the Application  or  Apply Online Now

CPPW Employee Wellness Grant Application

Individual City departments (or groups of departments) may apply to fund a employee wellness activity of their choice.  All departments/organizations eligible for the Fit 2 Live Employee Wellness Program are eligible to apply. Examples include: Paying for Weight Watchers classes, hosting a cooking class for employees, hiring a wellness coach or instructor, offering a Lunch and Learn on a certain wellness/mental health/life skills topic. Other ideas are welcome and will be reviewed by the Employee Wellness Committee.

Blue and You Fitness Challenge

Employees are encouraged to get started with their New Year’s Resolutions by joining the Fit 2 Live Employee Wellness Program or renewing their membership and annual physical. All new/renewed members are entered into a drawing for prizes and ½ days paid time off!

Are you a fan of fitness? Follow the Blue & You Fitness Challenge as teams exercise virtually across America. Although it’s a three-month contest, take advantage of healthy tips and hints and stay motivated to exercise all year long. The goal of the Blue & You Fitness Challenge is to encourage physical activity. It is a contest during which employees, students, or members of organizations participate in cardio exercises for a three-month period (March 1-May 31). The City of North Little Rock forms a team every year and rewards participants for completing 30 or more days of physical activity over the course of the Challenge.

Maintain and Don't Gain Holiday Challenge

Sign up for North Little Rock’s Maintain Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge – all participants who do not gain weight over the holidays enter to win a $25 Visa gift card! Participants weigh in at the NLR Community Center. And that extra cash sure feels good after an expensive holiday season. The Holiday Challenge runs from November 21 through December 31.

How to Get More Exercise at Work

by Paige Waehner, courtesy of About.com http://exercise.about.com/cs/fittingitin/a/officeexercise.htm You probably know a few tricks for staying active at work. Taking the stairs when you can, parking further away from the door and walking around the office are good places to start. Beyond that, there are a few other options to keep you moving:

  • Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. This will strengthen your abs and back and you’ll work on your posture without even trying.
  • Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and move around. Even if you just swing your arms or take a deep breath, you’ll feel more alert.
  • Use the restroom on another floor and take the stairs.
  • Use a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you take. Aim for 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day.
  • Leave something important in your car (your lunch, your briefcase, etc.) so you have to run out to get it (and take the stairs)
  • Deliver documents or messages to co-workers in person rather than by email
  • Go to the mall for lunch and park on the opposite end of the food court. Don’t forget to buy something healthy.
  • Get a headset for your phone so you can move around while you talk.

Be creative. Any movement is better than none, so don’t feel like you have to do sprints all day long. Adding short bouts of exercise throughout the day will help you burn more calories and will also reduce stress so you can easily smile at your boss when she piles more work on you.

 Exercise Equipment

If you have your own office, consider keeping a resistance band, ankle weights and even a couple of sets of dumbbells in your desk drawer. You can squeeze in some quick upper body exercises while you’re on the phone. If you work in a cubicle or don’t want people to see you exercising at your desk, all you really need is a chair and a couple of large, full water bottles you can use for any dumbbell exercise. For ideas on what to do, check out the new Office Workout.


Even if you’re busy, there are things you can do at your desk. The resources below offer websites and software you can use to make your workday a little more active.

  • Office Fitness Clinic, by Shelter Publications, offers ideas and software for working out at work.
  • Back stretches you can do at work.
  • Prevent repetitive strain injuries with WorkPace software.
  • Sissel Ergo Sit is a small, inflatable cushion you can sit on. It promotes good posture and helps you strengthen abs and back while you sit. It’s a lot like sitting on an exercise ball (which is another great option).
  • Commuter Choice helps you find bike paths and walkways near you so that, if you’re not far from work, you can consider riding or walking to work.
  • Desktop Yoga is a site offering yoga exercises you can do right at your desk.
  • Intelihealth Desk Exercises – choose a body part and start stretching.

Google Maps Pedometer – Calculate your route distance using Gmaps Pedometer. By marking points along the map, Gmaps Pedometer will calculate distance traveled for running, walking, cycling, or other activities. Find out more at http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/.

Making Your Office Fitness Friendly

Your boss may not have considered how much more productive his or her employees would be with a little exercise. If you can, encourage your boss to:

  • Work with local gyms to provide membership discounts for employees
  • Work with local personal trainers to provide monthly seminars or free body fat testing for employees. Some trainers will even do this for free.
  • Set up daily or weekly walks during lunch or after work.
  • Give you extra breaks during the day to take quick walks.
  • Be active. If the boss exercises, employees will take their own health more seriously.

Even if your boss is not a health nut, you can do a lot to get others involved in working out. Plan lunches where co-workers get together and talk about ways to exercise at work. Get a group together and join a local gym (and see if they’ll give you a group discount). Hire a personal trainer to come and work with you and your co-workers during lunch…many trainers also offer group discounts. There is any number of ways to encourage fitness in the workplace, so be creative!