Staying active: how to get more movement in your workday
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Are you ready to discover the eye-opening statistics revealing the crucial link between physical activity and longevity?
Here it is: According to the World Health Organization, individuals who engage in inadequate physical activity face a 20% to 30% higher likelihood of mortality than those who maintain sufficient levels of physical activity.
Now, let's take a moment to consider the implications of this information in our own lives, particularly in the context of workplaces. As an employer, how can you prioritise physical activity and encourage your employees to do the same?
Explore the transformative power of an active workforce and uncover strategies to create a culture of daily movement and well-being.
This blog aims to discuss how to get more movement in your day and make your employees fit and healthier!
Tips for movement practices at the office
Encouraging employees to incorporate regular movement practices at the office not only promotes their overall well-being but also enhances productivity and job satisfaction.
To help you foster a healthier and more active workplace, we have compiled a set of valuable tips on how to move more, specifically tailored for the office setting.
You can do these ideas, too! That way, you inspire your workers to do the same!
Set reminders and schedule regular movement breaks
To combat the sedentary nature of office work, set reminders and establish a schedule for regular movement breaks. These breaks can be as simple as standing up and stretching, walking around the office, or engaging in brief physical movement.
By adding these breaks to your daily routine, you can diminish the harmful effects of sitting for long periods and keep your body active and energised throughout the workday.
Did you know prolonged sitting has harmful effects on your body? Read more about it on our blog about strategies to fight sitting diseases.
Incorporate stretching exercises to relieve muscle tension
Sitting at a desk for excessive periods can lead to muscle tension and stiffness. One effective way to alleviate these issues is by incorporating stretching exercises into your office routine.
These stretches can target specific areas like the neck, shoulders, back, and legs. Regular stretching breaks help to improve blood circulation, reduce muscle tightness, and promote flexibility, ultimately enhancing your overall well-being and productivity.
Use standing desks or adjustable workstations
Standing desks or adjustable workstations offer a fantastic solution to counteract the effects of excessive sitting. By switching between sitting and standing positions throughout the day, you engage different muscle groups and promote better posture.
Standing desks can lower the risk of sedentary-related health problems and increase energy levels, enabling you to stay focused and active during work hours.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
One of the simplest yet effective ways to incorporate movement into your office routine is by opting for the stairs instead of the elevator. If you consciously choose to climb stairs, you engage in a quick cardiovascular workout that boosts your heart rate and burns calories!
It's a small change that can make a significant difference in your physical movement levels and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
Utilise walking meetings or active breaks
Walking meetings or active breaks are innovative ways to combine work and movement. Instead of confining discussions to a meeting room, take your colleagues outdoors and engage in productive conversations while walking.
Active breaks involve short bursts of physical movement, such as a quick walk or any kind of movement, during designated break times. These strategies not only enhance your fitness but also promote creativity and productivity.
Use ergonomic equipment and accessories to encourage movement
Investing in ergonomic equipment and accessories can play a vital role in promoting movement and reducing the strain on your body. Items such as ergonomic chairs, adjustable keyboards, and monitor stands encourage proper posture and allow for a more dynamic movement throughout the day.
By optimising your workspace with ergonomic solutions, you make an environment that encourages physical activity and reduces the risk of musculoskeletal issues.
Remember that every employee is unique, so consider availing of our Individual Virtual Ergonomic Assessment. This service is designed to provide personalised recommendations to address the ergonomic risks of your employees.
Implement active commuting options, such as biking or walking to work
If feasible, consider including active commuting options in your daily routine. Instead of relying solely on cars or public transportation, try biking or walking to work. This not only helps you incorporate physical movement into your day but also reduces your carbon footprint and contributes to a greener environment.
Active commuting not only benefits your physical health but also provides an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and clear your mind before and after work. Isn't it thrilling?
Join workplace fitness challenges or initiatives
Engage in fitness challenges or initiatives to encourage employee well-being and physical activity. Take advantage of these opportunities and participate in such programs. Whether it's a step challenge, group exercise classes, or wellness programs, these initiatives provide motivation, social support, and a sense of camaraderie.
Read this blog to explore the benefits of wellness programs.
To practise more movement in your daily routine at work, start by taking small steps and gradually work your way up your daily movement.
How to move more when working from home
Many employees are searching for effective ways to move more during the day at home to counteract the sedentary nature of remote work.
Here are some tips you and your employees can follow.
Designate a dedicated workspace away from the sedentary areas of your home
When working from home, it's crucial to establish a dedicated workspace that is separate from areas associated with sedentary activities, such as the couch or bed. Creating a distinct work environment helps to mentally separate work and leisure and encourages you to be more active during work hours.
Set up a standing desk or utilise height-adjustable surfaces
Consider setting up a standing desk or utilising height-adjustable surfaces while working from home. These ergonomic solutions allow you to alternate between sitting and standing positions, promoting better posture and increased movement throughout the day.
Standing desks can be beneficial in reducing the negative impact of prolonged sitting and encourage a more dynamic work routine.
Schedule short movement breaks throughout the day
Just like when you're at the office, integrate short movement breaks into your daily schedule when working from home. Set reminders to take regular breaks, and during these intervals, engage in activities that get you up and moving.
It could be as simple as stretching, walking around the house, or performing quick movements to invigorate your body and break up prolonged periods of sitting.
Engage in quick workouts or exercises during breaks
Take advantage of work-from-home exercise breaks. There are plenty of resources available online that offer short, high-intensity workouts or targeted exercises that can be done in limited spaces.
Including these activities during your breaks not only boosts your physical fitness but also refreshes your mind and enhances productivity when you return to work.
Take advantage of online fitness classes
Explore online fitness classes or workout videos that cater to various interests and fitness levels, allowing you to stay active and maintain a consistent movement routine from the comfort of your home.
Incorporate household chores or active tasks into your work routine
We know doing the chores doesn't sound good, but you can consider them as opportunities for movement during your work-from-home days.
Whether it's vacuuming, gardening, or doing laundry, these activities can be incorporated strategically into your work routine. Take short breaks to tackle these tasks, which not only keeps you active but also helps maintain a clean and organised living space.
Make use of active transportation methods for errands or breaks
When running errands or taking breaks from work, consider opting for active transportation methods, such as walking or cycling. Again, instead of relying solely on cars or public transportation, leverage these opportunities to engage in physical activity. Not only will this increase your daily movement, but it will also contribute to a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.
Create a daily routine that includes physical activities before or after work
Craft a daily routine that incorporates physical activities before or after your work-from-home hours. Whether it's a morning jog, yoga session, or an evening walk, structuring your day to include dedicated time for exercise ensures that movement becomes an integral part of your daily life. Well, it also helps establish a clear boundary between work and personal time!
Benefits of incorporating movements in your workday
- Improved physical health and fitness: Regular movement at work contributes to better physical health and fitness by promoting exercise and preventing a sedentary lifestyle.
- Increased energy and productivity levels: Engaging in movement throughout the workday helps boost energy levels and enhances overall productivity.
- Enhanced focus and mental clarity: Incorporating movement promotes better blood circulation and oxygen flow to the brain, resulting in improved focus and mental clarity.
- Reduced risk of sedentary-related health issues (e.g., obesity and heart disease): By breaking up prolonged sitting with movement, the risk of health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle, including obesity and heart disease, can be reduced.
- Improved posture and reduced muscle tension: Regular movement at work help improve posture and relieve muscle tension caused by prolonged sitting, leading to better overall musculoskeletal health.
- Boosted mood and reduced stress levels: Physical activity releases endorphins, which contribute to a positive mood and reduced stress levels, ultimately enhancing well-being and work satisfaction.
- Increased creativity and problem-solving abilities: Incorporating movement stimulates brain activity and can enhance creativity and problem-solving skills, leading to improved performance at work.
- Enhanced teamwork and collaboration through active meetings: Active meetings that involve movement can foster better teamwork, collaboration, and engagement among team members, promoting a more dynamic and productive work environment.
- Improved overall work-life balance and well-being: By getting movement at work, employees can achieve a better work-life balance and enhance their overall well-being by prioritising physical activity.
- Increased job satisfaction and employee engagement: Encouraging movement at work can contribute to increased job satisfaction and employee engagement, as employees feel supported in their physical well-being and recognise the importance their organisation places on their health.
Enhancing your well-being in the workday through movement
Whether in a traditional office setting or when working from home, prolonged periods of sitting can have detrimental effects on you and your employees' physical and mental well-being. That's why practising movement breaks throughout the day is crucial to counteract the sedentary nature of our work. By doing so, you and your employees can improve your physical health, increase energy levels, enhance productivity and focus, and decrease the risk of sedentary-related health issues.
A sedentary lifestyle can have harmful effects on your organisation, impacting both your employees and healthcare costs. When they engage in prolonged sitting and lack physical activity, it can lead to increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, and reduced employee morale.
What's worse is these health issues can result in higher healthcare costs for your company, including medical expenses, insurance premiums, and employee absenteeism due to health-related reasons.
Avoid the negative impact of an inactive lifestyle. Now's the time for us to develop, organise, and host wellness activities for your employees! Ask about our Wellness Event Organisation today!