Examples of Green-Tech Investments

Hi guys, Scott Asner here.

In my previous blog post, I discussed the possibility of governments using stimulus packages to invest in green technologies that will, in turn, help create new jobs while bringing the U.S. into the forefront of burgeoning industries.

However, it’s easy to just state these claims without giving thought to what that process could look like. So today, I wanted to take the time to go deeper into this topic and discuss a couple of areas where green-tech and green industries can help stimulate job growth.

Building Renovations

Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global green-house-gas emissions. The two most common sources of energy for buildings are electricity and direct consumption of natural gas and petroleum for things like heating and cooking. This is a large area of energy consumption — which makes it a great area for improvement.

The process of making existing buildings more energy efficient is called “retrofitting.” Often retrofitting involves modifications to existing commercial buildings that may improve energy efficiency or decrease energy demand. Improvements can be done in areas such as lighting, air distribution systems, heating and cooling upgrades, and much more.

Many buildings still need to be “retrofitted” and this could be an area where we invest in higher energy performance commercial building assets while also simulating jobs. It may be worthwhile to increase the current number of buildings being renovated for energy efficiency.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

Bloomberg NEF’s latest analysis predicts that by 2022, there will be over 500 different electric vehicle models available globally. This expanding market will be able to offer dynamic pricing for a spectrum of buyers from luxury to price-sensitive, making EV a viable option for the masses.

The trends show that mass adoption of EV will make its breakthrough soon. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, the United States will need to invest more than $2.2 billion in charging infrastructure to meet demand for charging by 2025. A breakdown of those numbers shows that $1.3 billion will be needed to make the necessary upgrades to home charging while $940 million would go toward workplace and public charging.

Investments in charging infrastructure are critical to boost EV mass adoption in the U.S., as studies have shown that a lack of charging opportunities remains a top reason why potential buyers aren’t going for these kinds of vehicles.

In instances when the government issues trillions of dollars for stimulus packages – these areas present opportunities for investment. We could help change our infrastructure to support the adoption of these emerging technologies.

These are just two ideas — but the green tech industry is full of great, creative ideas on how we can create new jobs while also bettering our society and preparing ourselves for the world of tomorrow. We can possibly view this challenging moment as an opportunity to propel ourselves forward.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

Scott Asner: Thoughts on Investing in Green-Tech

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us what a global economic crisis looks like.

In just the first few weeks of the outbreak, the U.S. economy was pushed to the brink of a recession more severe than the one experienced in 2008. And due to the extraordinary nature of this emergency, policymakers were left working without a playbook and moved forward to issue trillions of dollars in stimulus in an attempt to maintain jobs and drive recovery.

As the world watches where things go from here, the uncertainty of this downturn is echoing the ambiguity of the virus itself. We have no idea when this crisis will end, and what our world will look like on the other side. That lack of confidence shows in our current market situation.

Even with the unprecedented efforts put in place to protect American jobs, will it be enough to truly keep us afloat until this crisis is ‘over?’ Perhaps what we really need is a sustainable, and fast, job-based recovery that can also grow long-term.

One immediate example comes to mind when thinking of an important sector that can accommodate a large influx of new jobs: green industries.

The rationale is simple, and the impact is two-fold: investing in green industries and tech creates a bounty of new jobs — while simultaneously addressing larger universal concerns such as climate change and a shifting energy sector.

A University of Oxford paper published in May 2020 sheds light on the potential success of this approach. The paper claims that renewable energy generates more jobs in the short-run — such as when jobs are scarce in the middle of a recession. The paper also advocates that recovery policies can deliver on both economic and sustainability goals. Given the magnitude of both crises, this would be an admirable mark to shoot for.

While we can understand the logic behind the standard stimulus packages used to prevent economic collapse, we have also seen them fail to help many everyday Americans, and they do little to invest in fixing issues for the long term. They appear to be necessary band-aids that cover temporary wounds, while they could be used for so much more.

Governments could use portions of these stimulus budgets to redirect investments into green technologies and industries, which will allow us to stabilize, grow and lead the economy into the future.

If you need more proof, here are the numbers: in 2011, the World Bank showed that every $1 million dollars of spending in solar, wind and energy efficiency creates almost 3 times more jobs than the oil and gas sectors. Additionally, for every $1 million in spending, 7.5 full-time jobs can be generated in renewable infrastructure, 7.7 in energy efficiency, but only 2.7 in fossil fuels.

The evidence is clear that this sector is extremely capable of providing cost-effective employment at scale, and if we chose to focus fiscal recovery packages to include green industries, then we can use a jobs-based recovery model that also helps us create a better world.

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Math of Gratitude (Part Two)

Hi all,

It’s Scott Asner in Kansas City – welcome back to my blog!

Previously, I shared some interesting facts related to the population of the United States in comparison to the rest of the world. I thought it was a fascinating topic that underscores just how lucky we all are in our daily lives. – so today I wanted to expand the idea and focus on our current place in time.

I’d like to invite you to ponder some of the following points and get a sense of all of the things we take for granted simply by virtue of being born in our historical era.

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As a starting point, it is estimated that the total number of human beings to exist throughout all of history is around 100 billion people, with the first appearing between five and seven million years ago. To give you some perspective – there are currently 7.6 billion people alive today. This is an important idea to keep in mind because it highlights the sheer number of people who have lived much harder lives in years past, without the modern comforts we now enjoy.

Take something as common as the air-conditioner for example. Air-conditioning was not invented until 1902. And while anyone living in the 21st century would find it hard to go about a hot summer day without our buildings circulating cool air – that was the standard for millions of years.

Going back just a couple of decades earlier, the modern lightbulb first appeared in 1879. Before that we had torches, candles and gas lamps, each with its obvious limitations. Think of how many extra hours in the day the modern person gains through such a small invention. And now, we even have options for things like colored lighting, mood lighting and flashlights on our smartphones – all of which would have been inconceivable not too long ago.

You can even go back tens of thousands of years and find incredible inventions that now allow us to live in relative luxury. For example, the adoption of agriculture is considered to be one of the turning points in the human story. While challenging to nail down, experts estimate that humans first began farming somewhere between 10,000 – 15,000 years ago.

Before farming, humans lived short lives in nomadic tribes, hunting and foraging for every piece of food they could find. Life was grueling and spent traveling from location to location (most often by foot) to hunt down the next meal. With no time to waste, every second counted as valuable time to find resources just to survive. And imagine how many people passed away from mistakenly eating harmful plants and animals, before slowly figuring out the appropriate diet for human beings.

Contrast the reality described above with today, when most people are not even sure where their food comes from. Billions of people all over the world make convenient stops at the supermarket and pick up their favorite mass-produced foods and snacks, or even order it directly to their doors with a couple of swipes on their phones. Most people exert little to no effort and still have access to nearly unlimited options for food sources.

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Of course, these examples do not even factor in game-changing inventions that are the basis of modern life. Things like antibiotics, the automobile, computers, the internet, smartphones and more keep us all happy, healthy and afford us ample time for leisure.

It can be easy to overlook these modern miracles but reflecting on their tremendous value and their impact on the arch of our shared story is a great way to find gratitude as well as a reminder that we are always living in the best of times.

So consider yourself lucky and remember that the best is yet to come.

Until next time,

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri

The Math of Gratitude

Hi folks,

Scott Asner here in Kansas City – hope you’re doing well.

A friend of mine recently shared some interesting statistics about the global population, and I thought I would share some with you. It can be eye-opening to learn just how the globe breaks down into collective groups and how all of us fit into a world that is getting smaller by the day. It also will help convey the idea to you of just how lucky we are in the grand scheme of things, and why we should all be grateful for every day that we have on this earth.

As we recently celebrated Memorial Day, I thought I would start with some interesting statistics about the United States.

While there are many wonderful places to live – I feel extremely fortunate to be born in the U.S.A. If you’re like me, considering the following statistics will give you an idea of just how lucky we are to be here.

Economic Prosperity

If you are living in the United States, you and your fellow citizens make up around just 5% of the total world population. Currently, the U.S. has around 330 million people. And while that may seem like a lot, consider the fact that there are another 7.3 billion people in the world.

And while wealth inequality within our country has become a focus of concern in recent years, we have to consider just how well off the average American is in the broader context of the world. In fact, Americans earning $32,400 in yearly income fall within the top 1% bracket of the world’s population. Realizing this shows just how much we have to be grateful for.

Access to Food & Clean Water

According to the U.N., around 10.7% of the world population struggles with malnutrition and access to food. That means that around 815 million people go hungry on our planet every year. This number has dropped dramatically over the last couple of decades, but a 10% chance of being born into an impoverished area without access to food is a reality for hundreds of millions.

Contrast this with the abundance of food in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that around 30-40% of the U.S. food supply is eventually wasted. This is something that so many of us take for granted in our day-to-day lives, where we make ready use of access to fast, convenient and cheap food. Even during a global pandemic, we see food delivery services taking off as we get restaurant quality meals brought directly to our homes. Meanwhile, many are suffering. We shouldn’t ignore that.

Even more surprising, the CDC estimates that 35% of the world lacks access to improved sanitation of drinking water. This is estimated to be the cause of death for around 850,000 people every year.

The above statistics do not even cover topics like Americans’ ability to travel, freedom of religion, access to education, healthcare and so many other areas of life that are far from the norm in other places around the world.

Here are a few more facts that you might find interesting:

The average American home has tripled in size over the last 50 years – and continues to grow even larger.

The average American family spends around $1,700 on clothes annually, but we also throw away 65 lbs. of clothing per year.

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I hope you contemplate these statistics and take them with you as you go about your day. It can be very humbling and an incredible source of gratitude. Understanding just how lucky we are can instantly help us appreciate everything we have.

My best to you,


~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri

Fighting Coronavirus and the National Shutdown

Hello readers – Scott Asner here.

I hope that you are all staying safe.

Today, I thought I would take some time to think out loud about the state that we find ourselves in regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It has been several weeks since most cities and states have implemented shelter-in-place orders – closing non-essential businesses and public areas and placing millions sheltering in their homes. This strategy has certainly worked to help mitigate the spread of the virus, but it has also presented new challenges. As of this point, more than 33 million Americans have lost their jobs and we could be facing some long-term economic damage.

Essentially, we are at war with this virus, and we have difficult decisions to make in the weeks and months ahead. Whether it be at the federal, state, or individual level – decisions for how to respond will inevitably come to a point of factoring in the common denominator of cost. Hopefully as we learn more about this virus, it will help us make more informed decisions that will allow us to balance safety and our way of life.

As is so common in life, there are no perfect solutions. We are having to triage, as we balance the sanctity of life verses our way of life. But there are ways to think about balancing safe measures with opening our nation back up and running.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, researchers are finding that many people who contract coronavirus display zero symptoms, which also indicates that the virus is much more widespread than we know. And while the research is still out on the lasting effects of the virus, this seems to be good news and gives us hope that it is less deadly than our worst fears.

It will require thorough studying, research and solid testing to confirm just how dangerous this virus is, but I believe that we will eventually ascertain a reliable hospitalization and death rate – hopefully sooner rather than later. We can also expect to learn more about which underlying medical conditions may place individuals at a higher risk, and under what circumstances the virus may spread. Once understood, all of these factors and more will provide experts and leaders with a better guide for balancing the economy and public safety.

If it is discovered that the virus is far less of a public safety threat than originally thought, then states and cities will likely begin to lift restrictions in proportion to the risk that comes with doing so.

And the cost of risk is not a foreign concept. You could also take car manufacturing and safety testing as an example. Every day, automotive manufacturers make decisions to balance safety mechanisms with the cost of production. Everything from the types of material used on seatbelts, to the types of airbags installed – all parts of a vehicle and design choices are based on practicality and the risk involved.

As we move forward against the coronavirus outbreak, we should continue to implement smart and practical safety policies as best we can, but in continuing to do so, we will eventually be forced to factor in the inescapable risk involved.

Testing is the key. The most important thing we can do right now is test as many people as possible. Knowing the likelihood of various health outcomes is a critical step in allowing the public to make an informed decision. Obviously, each individual’s decision tree would be dramatically affected if the actual lethality of the virus is found to be 1/1000 as opposed to 1/10.

I am confident that with the world mobilizing its brightest minds to help solve this crisis, we will find the right balance and can begin to repair the damage done to our economy and communities.

Wishing you all the best,

~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri

The NFL Draft Might Be the Most Watched Sporting Event of 2020

Hey there, Sports fans –

As many of us tuned into the 2020 NFL draft a couple of weeks ago, I had a realization that seemed somewhat surreal to me. Due to the ongoing pandemic: the NFL draft may be the most watched sporting event in the entire year of 2020.

The draft has continually earned more viewings every single year, with the 2019 event attracting nearly double the viewership than in just 2015. And new ratings show that this year’s draft saw a record-breaking 15.6 million viewers; a 37% increase from last year. Needless to say, the NFL has never been hotter.

But with reports of a potential “second coronavirus wave,” expected to arrive in the fall, this year’s NFL season may end up being exclusive to TV, or even postponed.

Interestingly, due to the enormous amount of TV revenue generated in a typical season, the NFL is in a better position than other sports financially to play to empty stadiums. In fact, due to the postponement of virtually every other sporting event – including the Olympics – TV viewership will most likely be higher this year.

At least the NFL season has until the fall to figure out their strategy. Perhaps by then, we may have figured out a way to mitigate the spread of another coronavirus outbreak, or possibly even have an effective and reliable treatment. For the time being, we can all still boo Roger Goodell and hope for the best.

Until next time, Go Chiefs!


~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri

The Coronavirus Pandemic and Control Groups

Hello readers,

I hope you are all doing well as we continue to endure the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been a difficult time for many of us. People we know may have become ill, and others may have lost their sources of income. Here in Kansas City, and in many other parts of the country, we are currently under shelter-in-place laws that have essentially shutdown businesses and public spaces. These are unprecedented times, and we all want nothing more than to resume our lives as normal, and as fast as possible.

In the meantime, we may finally have the opportunity to study and make headway against the virus with a few cases that could somewhat serve as control groups. What is interesting about these groups, is that they could be tremendously helpful in determining how the virus functions under various conditions and the true likelihood that it can spread from person to person.

Unlike in places like New York City, where there is no true way to manage or measure just how many people come into contact with the virus, these are groups that we can observe with confirmed numbers at the outset. We can use these fixed numbers to then calculate important factors involving the virus. I.E. the severity of the disease by observing the number of mild cases and severe cases, significant symptoms, percentage of fatalities and cases of permanent harm.

With accurate data, we can make better policy decisions to deal with the virus.

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Diamond Cruise Ship

Now known as the “Coronavirus Cruise,” this ship suffered one of the earliest known widespread cases of COVID-19 outside of mainland China in late January 2020. With nearly 4,000 passengers aboard the ship, the virus infected around 800 passengers over the course of a few weeks while docked off the coast of California, 107 of which were American.

This widely reported incident has become a major case of study for researchers, who have now determined that nearly half of all infected passengers were asymptomatic at the time of their diagnosis.

Marion Correction Institute

This case is interesting, if only to illustrates how a tiny virus originating in China could find its way to a landlocked facility located in the American Midwest in a matter of months. With nearly 2,000 confirmed cases, a shocking 78% of prisoners in this facility have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Unlike the Diamond Princess where passengers boarded and disembarked at locations all over the world, this population has remained fixed in a defined area for long periods of time. Researchers may be able to use this case to gain insight into how the virus spreads in closed spaces and help them understand what makes it so contagious.

South Dakota Smithfield Plant

In another example of how the virus can quickly spread in self-contained environments, this meat processing plant has confirmed 238 cases of coronavirus. This particular facility produces about 5% of the entire nation’s pork supply, but as of now, reports indicate that 2,200 workers at 48 different meat packing facilities have been infected, representing 1/3 of the nation’s biggest beef, pork and poultry processing plants. At this rate, we may be facing a severe shortage of common meat products, as many of these plants have been forced to close temporarily.

Here, we again see the potential for this virus to spread to remote areas with very little international travel. And with the high infection rate at these plants, researchers may be able to learn valuable clues about the nature of this virus and COVID-19.

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With the sheer number of variables present in typical cities and towns, it can be difficult to gather accurate information about the nature of this virus and its spread. We need a stabilized environment to assess the reality of the dangers we are facing, and the cases mentioned above may be the closest examples of control groups that we have had thus far. It will be interesting to see what we can gather through studying them closely.

In the meantime, I wish you all the best and hope that you and your loved ones continue to remain safe.


~ Scott Asner, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri

Best Apps to Make Your Life Easier

Hey everybody,

As someone who has always been interested in the tech space – I want to take a moment to talk about apps. They’re everywhere and it seems like more options are coming out every day. There are apps that manage finances, apps to manage social media, and even apps to manage your home.

As the saying goes, “there’s an app for that.” So today, I thought I’d share some of the best apps that I’ve been using recently. Maybe they can help you too.

Brave – a Peaceful Internet

I hate ads. They’re everywhere and advertisers never seem to run out of ways to annoy you with their increasingly intrusive targeting capabilities. If you feel the same way, you should check out Brave – it’s an internet browser that blocks pesky advertisements as soon as you start using it. Say goodbye to obnoxious popups, side panel display ads and questionnaires. It is also worth mentioning that the added bonus of this app is a dramatically improved battery life for your mobile device, as it will no longer be constantly pinging between trackers. If you want a faster, lighter internet experience, I highly recommend this app.

Soundcloud – a Better Way to Listen to Music

Have you ever wanted a way to download and listen to your music, podcasts, shows all in one place? If so, then you should download Soundcloud. This app has apparently been around for a while now, but it is new to me and I find myself using it all the time.

I use this app to catch up on news shows and to listen to some of my favorite music, anytime and anywhere. One of the reasons that I recommend using this app is because the sheer number of platforms and users it has. It has become so popular that anything you’d like to listen to is available through the app.

Nwsty – News Source from One Location

This is a fantastic app that I think everyone could use these days. Nwsty is an app that puts together the biggest headlines of the day and places them all in one location. With this app, you won’t have to go from one news outlet to the next. It’s all just right there, conveniently curated for your interests.

Not only does this make keeping up with current events easier, but it drastically reduces the amount of time that you use for browsing media content. As a news junkie myself, I know all too well how easy it is to get sucked into different news stories – this app keeps me informed, but in a way that doesn’t require a huge time commitment.

My Fitness Pal – Easy Nutritional Guide

This is an app that anyone into healthy lifestyles will enjoy. It’s a combination of a calorie tracker and a nutrition guide. The app comes with a library of nutritional information that stores and tracks your diet – giving you a complete view of how many calories you’ve consumed while also giving you the nutritional breakdown as well.

One of the neatest things about this app is the ability to scan barcodes, which retrieves information directly from their library and places it into your phone. This is a great app for anyone looking to mind their calories or anyone interested in learning about their nutritional habits.

Mint – Automated Finances

This app was recommended to me as a way to keep track of personal finances without having to spend too much time managing budgets. Most people sit down at the end of the month to gauge their spending and income; however, that can be a pain and very time consuming depending on how disorganized the month has been.

With Mint, the user simply syncs their accounts with their bank, and it will automatically keep track of everything for you. Mint automatically groups purchases and incomes into various categories and allows you to view how you are handling your finances. The only thing that is required on your part is to establish your budget and occasionally assign a category to a purchase here and there.

The creators of this app are the same people who made Quicken, so they are trustworthy and are sure to protect your information. The app also allows you to check your credit in real time and offers interesting charts and graphs to give you a visual level of your budget.

Venmo

Keeping in the same area of finance – Venmo is an app that you’ve always wanted but might not have heard about. It allows you to set up an account, link it with your bank information and then send/receive funds to and from other users. In an increasingly cashless society, it’s the digital equivalent of borrowing a dollar from a friend.

This app is a good tool to have in case you need to transfer funds to someone, but in a much faster and easier way than a wire transfer. You can even pay rent and utilities with the platform. You’ll be surprised at how often you’ll use this app.

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Hopefully you found these apps interesting and maybe they will help make your life just a little bit easier. Do you have any that you recommend? If so – let me know in the comments.

Talk again soon,

~ Scott Asner Kansas City, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG)

How to Make 2020 a Great Year

Hi folks –

At the start of every year, millions of us take the time to come up with New Year’s resolutions and think of ways to maximize the year ahead of us.

Now, it is very likely that these resolutions fall by the wayside early within the new year – in fact, it is estimated that around 80% of set resolutions fail. The simple reality is that it can be very difficult to make definite changes or accomplish specific goals in your life just by basing them on an arbitrary date.

So this year, how about just resolving to make it a GREAT year in general? I thought I would take today to share a few ways that you can make 2020 a great year – by taking a different approach.

Trying for Too Much, Too Quickly

When most people think about what they would like to achieve at the beginning of each year, they tend to set large, sweeping goals in many different categories. Filled with the motivation and cheer leftover by the holiday spirit, they might say things like, “I’d like to get healthier, make more money, spend more time with my family and learn a new language.”  And while these are great intentions to set, it may not be the best strategy to target so many different aspects of our lives at once and expect to make significant improvements by the end of a 365-day period.

By taking on too many goals and expecting too many results at the end of the year – you spread your focus too thin. It would be much more productive to set smaller goals in specific categories, then move on according to need.

Recognize that January 1st is just a date and focus on the single most critical category of your life that you would like to see changes in. Try breaking your life down into groups: health, finances, relationships, spirituality, etc. Then, take a step back to gauge which area you would like to improve most, and commit to tackling that aspect first.

Get a Hobby, Get a Life

It doesn’t matter who you are, or what kind of improvements you would like to make in your life – one sure way to making this coming year great is to get involved in a hobby. Hobbies are activities that you pursue simply out of curiosity and enjoyment, not because you want to “accomplish” something.

In many ways, finding a hobby can introduce a new, exciting and fulfilling aspect to your life. This is especially helpful to someone who may be living well and doesn’t feel a strong need to jump on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon. Even if you do stillwant to get a sense of making improvements to your life – you can use your hobbies as a tool for doing so.

For instance, you may wish to take up hiking, which is both a great way to explore and appreciate the natural world around you, while also giving you health benefits of exercise. Of course, there are other healthy hobbies to pursue, such as: picking up a sport, diving into culinary arts, or even taking dance lessons.

The great thing about hobbies is that they allow you to focus your attention and energy onto an activity that is both fun and productive. They’re a sure-fire way to enhance your life and make the year one to remember.

Practice Gratitude

Developing a strong sense of gratitude may be one of the most effective and easiest ways to make this a phenomenal year. Gratitude is a powerful way to instill a strong sense of appreciation for all aspects of our lives. It realigns our perspective to focus on the good things that we already have and enjoy.

Of course, striving for improvement is a natural instinct and reaching higher levels of success should be celebrated – but gratitude reminds us that we already have so many things to be thankful for and to celebrate.

By cultivating gratitude, you will find yourself happier, more optimistic, more inspired to tackle new challenges and with a stronger appreciation for friends and family. The simplest way to do this is by starting a gratitude journal and begin every morning by jotting down a few things that you are thankful for. Over time, you will begin to notice just how much you already have going for you, and it doesn’t cost anything other than a few moments every day.

Wishing you the best,

~ Scott Asner Kansas City, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG)

Simple Ways to Stay Healthy Throughout the Workweek

Staying healthy and active all day in the office is a big challenge for all employees. Especially considering that most of our modern workday is comprised of sitting for eight hours in front of the computer.

And while this is the reality that we live in, it is absolutely terrible for your overall health. Everything from your posture, to eye strain, to neck tension – all of these problems can affect your health.

By following a few essential tips, you can stay healthy and active during your working hours. This will improve your productivity long-term and maintain your focus on important work tasks.

Here are some simple ways that help you to stay healthy throughout your workday.

Pack Your Lunch

The brain needs nourishment to perform well, especially if you are working longer hours. One of the healthiest things you can do to ensure you’re getting that vital nutrition is to bring your lunch from home.

Food prepared from home allows you to stay in control of what you’re eating and can give you the edge you need to get through the day. And however tempted a resident of Kansas City may be to visit one of our fine restaurants, packing your lunch helps you avoid the highly processed foods, and it also gives you the choice to pick your favorite foods throughout the day.

Just the act of planning and selecting your groceries with the workweek in mind will prompt you to make healthier choices about what you want to consume. This effect can then snowball into a routine that adds massive benefit to your life and overall health.

This is also a great tip for anyone minding their budget, as you will save a pile of money over time.

Get Up and Move

The act of sitting in a chair all day and staring at a computer screen is a slow killer. Some experts even compare the cumulative hours of sedentary life as being on par with smoking as a negative impact on your health.

It also makes you sluggish and dull.

To combat this and help keep yourself active and healthy, you must spend some time away from your desk or chair. It is essential to take small breaks and leave your chair or desk for a walk just to refresh your mind.

A mere 5-minute break could make a make a difference in your overall health. You can also couple your breaks away from your screen with other tasks that have to be completed – like running that report over to sales or attending that meeting in-person.

You could even incorporate little fitness breaks into your day. Stand up and stretch, look away from the screen, practice proper posture, meditate. Anything to break the habit of sitting in the same position for hours on end.

Keep in mind how much time you actually spend sitting down at your desk. You would be surprised how quickly those hours add up.

Watch Out for Snacks

Tying into nutrition, it is essential to mind how much convenient snacking that you are doing throughout the day. It can be very tempting to leave a bag of chips at your desk, but if you’re not careful, you will find yourself devouring the whole bag before the day is over.

And it’s not just chips that are common in the workplace. Candy bars, sodas from the vending machine, birthday cakes, and more are all normal snack foods that people bring to their desk.

Avoid doing this at all cost because the calories add up quickly and you may not even be aware of it. Combine snacking with the sedentary sitting of the average workday and you have yourself a recipe for terrible health.

One way to avoid unhealthy snacking is by replacing the normal junk food with fruits and calorie-light vegetables like carrots or celery sticks. This way, you still get to enjoy food at your desk, but you are using healthy options instead.

Control Your Caffeine Intake

Also be mindful of is just how much caffeine you consume on a daily basis. It is extremely common for people to begin every day with a cup or two of coffee. On top of the sheer amount of caffeine, there is also the cream and sugars that go into our favorite morning drink. I am also guilty of this, but it does not have to be a bad thing.

A cup of coffee is perfectly fine, but you should try to limit it to just one. You do not want to become reliant on caffeine to function at your best. And for those of you who cannot stand caffeine-free coffee – there are alternative options that you might enjoy.

Hot tea is a popular option, but so is plain old H2O. Our bodies are mostly made of water and most people do not get enough of it. In fact, once you start to feel the sensation of thirst, you are already hydrated to a certain extent. It is recommended that you get 6-8 glasses of water per day.

This is a good rule of thumb, as it will keep you hydrated, prevent afternoon caffeine crashes, and will prevent you from overeating throughout the day.

Conclusion

Your health is essential if you want to work efficiently and if you want to live an enjoyable life. Since we spend nearly a quarter of our lives at work, we have to find ways to use that time to improve or at least maintain our health.

These tips are not an excuse for avoiding rigorous exercise before/after work – but hopefully they give you starting point for how to incorporate healthy habits into your workweek.

~ Scott Asner Kansas City, Missouri