May 16, 2008
Bike to work: Battle the office bulge while saving the planet
Although I work from home now, I've worked in my fair share of cubicles over the years, as both an employee and a free agent. And for this former cube dweller, the highlight of the workday was always, without fail, receiving an unexpected department-wide email that read, "Leftover chocolate birthday cake in the break room!"
Apparently I'm not alone. A CareerBuilder.com study released this month found that 45 percent of workers have gained weight at their current jobs. Of the almost 7,700 workers polled nationally, 26 percent have gained at least 10 pounds and 12 percent have gained at least 20.
Obviously making your own lunch, reigning in your mocha consumption, and resisting the call of those "free empty calories in the break room!" emails goes a long way. Ditto for taking a lunchtime stroll or hitting the gym midday. In fact, 28 percent of companies offer gym passes, workout facilities, or wellness perks these days, according to CareerBuilder.com.
Another option is to bicycling to work. Yeah, you heard me. Riding your bike. To work. Less than 2 percent of us do it nationally, but those I know who do swear by it: it's cheaper, less stressful, good for the planet, and an easy way to drop a few pounds.
If, like me, you've always been a bit bike-curious, you're in luck. May is Bike to Work Month in Seattle, which means that the good folks at the Cascade Bicycle Club are sponsoring all sorts of events, including a free one-hour lunchtime seminar downtown on May 21 for those curious about how to stay safe and dry while pedaling to work. (See schedule for details.)
The CBC says they'll even take their commuting workshops on the road. To have a representative come speak to your workplace, drop them a line. And if you do start cycling to work, let me know. I'd love to see your before and after photos!
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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