Nurses spend their days focused on their patients’ health — the job can be so stressful and time-consuming that they often forget to take care of themselves.
As a result, more than 50 percent of nurses experience burnout. In addition, multiple studies have found more than half of nurses are either overweight or obese. These troubling stats are some of the reasons UK-based @WeNurses Twitter started the #WeActive challenge. It encourages providers of all stripes to prioritize their own wellness by exercising regularly this August.
So far, hundreds, if not thousands, of nurses have shared photos and videos of themselves getting active on Twitter, many of them in quite creative ways! From starting a conga line through hospital hallways to getting off public transportation a few stops early and walking the rest of the way to work, participants look like they’re having a blast.
To get involved, all you have to do is tweet using the hashtag #NursesActive and share photo or video evidence of your workout. Any length of time or degree of intensity counts! You may even get a tweet response from the WeNurses community with photo of your medal…
If working out during your days off isn’t exactly your idea of a good time — and who can blame you? — then consider integrating exercise into your shift. It’s a lot easier than it sounds!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Simple yoga stretches. After every patient interview ends, put down the paperwork, close the door and pick a relaxing pose, such as mountain, triangle or child’s pose.
- Walk and take the stairs — instead of the elevator! Pace when you’re on the phone, park far from the entrance to your workplace, and walk the long way to your destination when you can. Get a step-counting app or wearable device so you can track your efforts.
- Do a little dance. Not only will this get your heart pumping, but it’s also a great de-stressor. When you get a break, blast your favorite song through your headphones and boogie.
While the #NursesActive challenge only lasts until the end of August, making small lifestyle changes increases the likelihood that you’ll keep it up longer than just a month. And don’t get down on yourself if you miss a few days here and there. Just try again!