At OPERS, we are consumed with numbers – years of service, benefit payments and investment performance are just a few of the figures we monitor on a daily basis. Just as our goal is to maintain a healthy retirement system, the numbers below can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Water is the body’s principal chemical component, making up about 50-65% of your body weight. Dehydration can drain your energy and impair the body’s ability to carry out normal functions. Individual water intake needs vary widely based in part on level of physical activity and exposure to heat stress. There is no formal recommendation on water consumption, but you should try to drink roughly half an ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 ounces of water a day.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables, which is roughly two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables each day. Meeting these recommendations can help reduce the risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers and high blood pressure. Countless tips and recipes may be found online. Also, consider trying something new in the produce section. For more information, visit


Sleep is a basic survival need, as well as a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. Sleep quality is also extremely important. Stimulants like caffeinated beverages, alarm clocks and external lights – like those from electronic devices – interfere with our natural sleep cycles. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults age 18 and over should get at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep per night.


Our many devices, social media platforms, and the seemingly bottomless internet have created a new time drain. According to a 2015 Nielsen report, American adults average 11 hours of screen time per day–11 hours! Of course some of this time is work-related, but just think of all we could accomplish by reclaiming some of this lost recreational time. Consider making small changes like occasionally calling a friend instead of texting, not bringing gadgets into certain rooms, or committing to spending less than two hours per day looking at a screen.


Weight control, disease prevention, mood improvement, better sleep and energy boosts are just a few benefits of regular physical activity. Haven’t exercised in a while? Start slow and build momentum. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Don’t have a free hour? Move 10 minutes here and five minutes there. Every step is a move in the right direction!


That morning latte, super-sized soda at lunch, or afternoon trip to the vending machine is taking a toll on your health. Commit to eliminating all sugary drinks from your diet. If stopping cold turkey doesn’t seem reasonable, try replacing one drink with a glass of water or freshly brewed herbal tea. Try that for a few days and then replace another drink. Eventually, you’ll reach your goal and feel the positive effects of less sugar.

This article was first published in the Summer 2016 edition of the Retiring Right newsletter. Click here to view other newsletters. Not receiving your newsletter, update your address by completing the Change of Address form.

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