Healthier workers, on average, are happier workers. But the odd hours and sedentary nature of school bus driving and monitoring can make it a challenge to squeeze in exercise and healthy eating. Here are some tips for building a team of healthy, happy drivers and attendants. Tips are courtesy of Phil Paige, president of Paige Bus Enterprises in Chicago.
1. Use the buddy system — Or partner with a group of coworkers who want to improve their health.
2. Select a role model — Choose someone to emulate, a person in your age group who has had success in physical conditioning and nutrition.
3. Keep a daily diary — Record food intake and exercise.
4. Start slow, with realistic short-term goals — Examples: Cut back on extra portions. Do stretching, low-impact aerobics and walking.
5. Make it a fun competition — Sponsor a charitable fundraiser: a walk-a-thon, a table tennis tournament or a team sports competition.
6. Create a drivers’ workout room — Suggest to management that exercise equipment is a smart investment.
7. Convert snacks in vending machines — Include healthy foods like fruits, juices and bottled water. Encourage brown-bag lunches rather than fast-food stops.
8. Work exercise into daily activities — Stretch while sitting in buses waiting for schools to dismiss. Park at the far end of the employee lot and walk to the office. Have an employee garden so employees can exercise by planting and weeding.