Eat, Move and Sleep Your Way to a Healthier You

May 1, 2015

Eat Move Sleep is the new New York Times bestselling book by Tom Rath. Rath is a noted business and thought-leadership author who has previously covered topics on personal strengths and well-being. This new book is in the same genre as his previous works, but focuses more on the impact eating, activity and sleep have on our lives. His thesis revolves around the idea that a series of relatively small choices can lead to big changes that have a profound influence on our health and productivity.

Declining Health Crisis Affects Both Individuals and Business

Rath was personally motivated to write the book because of his own health struggles. For the past 20 years, he has been suffering from a rare genetic disorder that has left him battling multiple forms of cancer. His continuous research on how to manage his own health problems led him to encouraging research on how many diseases— including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity—can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes. The key to a longer, healthier life is not a magic pill, but rather hundreds of small, specific, proven actions. Rath sees society’s declining health trend as a modern crisis and one of the most important problems we face today. The ramifications of which affect not only individuals, but the overall productivity of business as well.

The book is chock-full of interesting insights:

Losing four hours of sleep is comparable to drinking a six-pack of beer. I don’t want to be in a serious meeting with a person who drank six beers or lost four hours of sleep. I don’t want my child’s teacher to be that person. I don’t want my doctor to be that person. Still, we don’t view the two scenarios as equal. In fact, our culture views a person who needs sleep, as a person with a weakness. In fact, in the business world, many professionals take pride in burning the midnight oil.

30 Days of Habit Changing Activities

Previously, Rath has included digital supplements to his books and this one is no exception. The Eat Move Sleep website allows users to create a 30-day plan of habit changing activities after taking a yes/no survey. The survey consists of questions like: “On a typical weekday, I spend an hour or more in a car.” Your plan contains different day-by-day activities based on the answers you gave. The activities vary, but they all—not shockingly—have to do with eating, moving or sleeping. The number of activities per day depends on your survey results, but when I took the survey, I received 1-2 suggestions per day. That number correspondingly increases or decreases based on how many healthy habits you already employ in daily life. Some of the suggestions were things like: “The next time you work on something that requires a great deal of learning and synthesizing, go to bed early instead of staying up late.” Each item lists the corresponding chapter in the book for further reference on the specific topic.

Tom Rath and Welbe Want Businesses to Encourage Better Employee Health

Additionally, Rath and Eat Move Sleep have partnered with the app Welbe. Welbe is free mobile app that tracks eating, moving and sleeping in real-time. The app is intended for businesses and corporations to incentivize their employees to live healthier, more active lives. It can be linked with existing fitness trackers and points, analytics, challenges and even financial rewards are given to encourage participation. It can be a useful tool for any business that is looking to improve the overall health of their employees, which can lead to better productivity.

Small Changes Can Have Big Rewards

The effects of small lifestyle changes can have profound effects on your health, happiness and productivity. Eat Move Sleep shows how those three main pillars of a healthy life are interrelated and how you can easily enact changes that can lead to a longer, healthier life. A relatively simple change that nearly everyone can start with is to limit sitting time. Rath regards sitting as “the most underrated health threat of modern times. This subtle epidemic is eroding our health. On a global level, inactivity now kills more people than smoking.” Standing more throughout the day is a small change that most of us can achieve that plays a big role in our overall health and wellness.

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