Stand Up for Wellbeing and Productivity

How long do you sit at your desk for during the day? Perhaps it is 6 or 7 hours or even more. Then add to that the time you sit while commuting, in meetings, while eating and while watching television in the evening or playing computer games.

You may have seen recent reports in the media such as this one on the BBC website – Office workers ‘too sedentary’ or this short TED talk which is telling us that sitting is the new smoking.

Sitting down for too long is creating many health risks as well as affecting our mental concentration and emotional health. You can find more information about this on the Get Britain Standing website.

To highlight this, the 24th April 2015 has been designated ‘On Your Feet Britain’ day. As you know, I am all for the benefits of getting people moving more at work and specifically through our walking workshops.

We need to change our mindset away from thinking that it’s best to be sat at our desks for as long as possible and that walking around is a waste of time and move towards thinking that, to be more productive, efficient and improve our health and fitness, it is good to take regular breaks and to get up and walk around.

At the same time, standing all day can also bring with it some health problems such as poor circulation, swelling in the legs and feet and varicose veins.

So what can you do about it? An ideal solution is to acquire a sit-stand desk which you can raise when you want to work standing up and lower when you want to sit down. These desks are very popular in Scandinavia countries.

If this is not an option for you, how about increasing the amount of time that you are standing and moving gradually? How about aiming to stand for an additional 1 or 2 hours per day initially.

Here are a few of my ideas for doing that:

  1.  Stand up when on the telephone
  2. Take regular breaks – go to the toilet, make a drink, walk to the printer
  3. Go and talk to colleagues rather than sending an email or calling them
  4. Go for a walk at lunchtime
  5. Eat your lunch away from your desk
  6. When talking to colleagues, stand up
  7. Use the stairs rather than the lift
  8. Hold standing or walking meetings
  9. What other ideas do you have?

Remember that there is a direct link between healthy employees and productivity so whether you are concerned about your own health and efficiency or that of your employees, start by seeing what you can do on the 24th April.

If you would like to explore how you can make some changes to the working practices in your businesses, please contact us at Breath of Fresh Air..

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