Today’s workplace is very different from how things were just a few years ago. The digital age has brought about many changes in how we operate daily, and it’s not always easy for employees to stay active during their working day. Workers spend most of their time sitting at a desk, hunched over screens and computer monitors, with little opportunity to get up and move around. And now we know that being sedentary is not good for our health. Desk jobs can be extremely harmful to our bodies if they take up most of our time throughout the working week. So how can you encourage your staff members to be physically active during working hours?
Holding morning meetings standing up can help to improve your energy levels during the working day by giving your body a jump-start to start the metabolic process. Standing up also encourages blood flow to the brain, which can improve alertness and help you to focus on the task at hand rather than becoming easily distracted by noises around you. Holding your meetings standing up may feel a little strange at first, but it’s worth trying to see if it has any benefits for you and your team.
If you work in an office with a communal area (coffee shop, meeting room, etc.), you could try to persuade your manager to install some equipment for physical activity in the area – such as a climbing wall, or a treadmill, or even a mini trampoline. If you work in a smaller office or don’t have access to communal areas, you could look into purchasing some equipment that you can keep in your office – such as a mini trampoline, a set of resistance bands, or even a mini stepper that could be hidden under your desk.
You can also try installing equipment that encourages physical activity before and after work. For example, installing bike racks could encourage employees to ride bikes to and from work instead of driving cars. It could also encourage them to ride a bike during lunch breaks. Adding bikes to the racks could also encourage staff to use bikes to run short company errands.
You might want to consider creating walking areas in your building. Some companies have even gone as far as to add staircases in their office spaces to encourage walking, but this isn’t always possible for every company. If you can’t add stairs to your building, you could try installing walking areas in your office so that employees can get their daily walking in during work hours.
If you work in a large office building, your company may already use walking areas. But if they’re not, now is a great time to start campaigning to get them introduced. Talk to your manager and your HR department to see if they’ll be receptive to the idea. If they are, you could even form a walking group that meets at a set time every day to walk together.
A treadmill desk is a piece of equipment installed under a computer desk, allowing you to walk and work simultaneously. There are many health benefits associated with treadmill desks, including improved blood flow and a reduction in fatigue at the end of the day, as well as an improvement in the quality of your sleep at night. These are great pieces of equipment, but they can be very expensive. You could try to get your company to buy them for the whole office, or you could try to persuade your manager to let you purchase one. If you don’t have the budget to do so, however, you can still get many benefits of walking at your desk by taking short walking breaks throughout the day.
Statistics show that the average person spends around 9 hours of their day sitting down. However, this can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, it’s easy to encourage your employees to be more physically active during the day by holding meetings standing up, installing equipment for physical activity, creating designated walking areas in your office, and installing a treadmill desk.
Bio: Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.