By Deanna C. White
It's safe to say that when most accountants dragged themselves across this year's April 17 tax filing finish line, they found themselves both physically and emotionally depleted by the grueling hours and unrelenting stress of tax season.
But not Jamie Newbrough, CPA, and two of her colleagues at Rucki, Marshall & Newbrough CPAs, P.C. in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Newbrough said they finished strong – physically refreshed, mentally focused, and relatively less stressed than in prior tax seasons – thanks to twice-daily workouts inspired by AccountingWEB's Daily Dose of Workplace Fitness newsletter.
"Once I started doing the Daily Dose workouts, I just started feeling better, feeling stronger," Newbrough said. "The Daily Dose workouts provide a nice feeling of accomplishment and they definitely help alleviate stress. Now if I can't fit in a quick workout I miss it."
Newbrough said she signed up for AccountingWEB's Daily Dose newsletter prior to tax season, and it didn't take long to get hooked on the wellness reminders that began arriving every day in her e-mail inbox.
"I just thought it was the coolest thing ever, so I started e-mailing them to my coworkers," Newbrough said.
Soon, two of her colleagues in the small, ten-person, Main Street America (literally) tax firm joined Newbrough on her fitness quest. Each day they carved out enough time do two exercises from their Daily Dose e-mails – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
They were soon fully enmeshed in their twice-daily mini-workouts, practicing an ever-rotating series of exercises, such as desk push-ups, stretches, and triceps dips.
"We'd do it on the fly. We'd get down on the floor in business attire to do ten or fifteen minutes of exercise," Newbrough said. "Of course, we did it when we knew clients weren't around. Nobody wants a client to walk by and see you fall on the floor in your business suit."
Newbrough says the wall sits and wrist stretches are her favorite exercises, but believes the greatest benefit of the program is the fact the Daily Dose e-mails simply nudged her to take a personal well-being break.
"The e-mails come in at one or two in the afternoon and they are a reminder to just step away for a minute or two to focus on your health, even if it's just resting your eyes from staring at the computer screen all day long," Newbrough said.
Besides feeling physically strong and alleviating stress, Newbrough also believes the workouts helped her office fitness team feel more mentally focused and increased their productivity.
Newbrough said, "Sometimes it just helps to get up and move around. It helps the brain think better. When you move you start to see problems from a new angle."
Newbrough said she and her colleagues plan to continue their Daily Dose routines long into the future, and she's also casting the fitness net wider by sharing Daily Dose with friends and business acquaintances via social media.
She urges anyone who'd like to initiate a similar wellness program at their workplace to begin with baby steps.
"You don't have to start with big stuff, or a comprehensive plan, just start with little things, tiny things," Newbrough said. "It will snowball from there."
To sign up for AccountingWEB's Daily Dose of Workplace Fitness newsletter visit www.accountingweb.com. Next year's Daily Dose will begin January 31 and run through the last day of tax season.
See all our 2012 Daily Workplace Fitness exercises if you'd like to get started now.
Apr 30th 2012