Tom Rath Talks Wellness, Energy Levels and His New Book
Tom Rath spends his workdays researching and writing on a treadmill or pacing around his office. A few years ago, he decided to build a homemade desk and ditch his chair to keep himself more active. Since then, Rath has continued to spread his message on wellness while writing about the human behavior of business, health, well-being and how they are all connected.
Now, the five-time bestseller has come up with some new concepts that will help you energize your life with his new book Are You Fully Charged?: The Three Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life. We sat down with Tom to discuss them:
When you started writing, what did you want to accomplish to extend your message of well-being? What I decided to do with this book is pull together as much information as I could from a wide-range of social sciences about the most practical things we can all do to have a little bit more energy.
In the book, you talk about how harmful sitting is to our overall health, when did you realize this was a major issue? I realized it myself after having a lot of back pain and spending a lot of my days in planes, in trains or chairs and not having a lot of energy at 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I would still do my 30 or 45 minutes of exercise a day, but it just wasn’t working. There’s no way even 60 minutes of exercise offsets the damage we create when we sit down for eight or ten hours a day. I started to make changes in 2009 and I started walking around in meetings even if it defied the social convention of sitting during meetings to pay attention.
What kind of reception have you received from companies on this issue of being active or standing more throughout the work day? If you are talking about changing a culture where activity has more value that really needs to start with leaders. They can be leaders in HR or could be leaders in the entire organization. However, until those leaders are modeling these things themselves, it’s very hard for us as individual workers to step back and do something different or courageous like bring in a treadmill or bring in a desk where you can stand more.
You’ve discussed movement to get more energy, but how important is sleep for you to feel recharged? Sleep is the one that’s most frequently underestimated. If you’re leading a team and only getting four, five or six hours of sleep, you’re nowhere near as effective. You have lower creativity levels. You’re not going to have as many good ideas and you won’t have as many good interactions with your colleagues and have more challenges with your family members.
After using a vívosmart, what have you thought of the product so far? I was eager to try it out, especially with all the information that’s built into the display so you don’t have to unlock a smartphone. I think that gives you the brief look you need to see how you’re doing throughout the day. One of my best finds of the last year was being able to wear something 24/7 that I didn’t need to worry about counting steps or activity with.
Click here to visit Tom’s website to learn more about the book and click here to learn how you can win a copy. Follow Garmin Fitness on social media and let us know how you keep your energy up throughout the day:
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