Encouraging an Active Office by Putting a Stop to Sitting
An Active Office is a Happy Office
Over the past few decades, working culture has made a huge shift from manual labor to office labor. Instead of standing on a factory floor for 8 hours a day with sitting breaks, the American worker now sits an average of 5 hours and 41 minutes per day. From the time we get in our car to commute to work, to the time we sit down to relax at the end of a long day, Americans are spending less and less time on our feet, and this has negative consequences for our health, productivity, and even life expectancy.
Long Term Affects of Constantly Sitting
As a result of extended periods of sitting, office employees suffer poor posture and slumped shoulders, which leads to lower back pain. Slumping over a desk also collapses the diaphragm, meaning it is harder to breathe, and employees are taking in less oxygen, which negatively affects concentration.
Long term effects of a sedentary lifestyle in the office are life threatening, as our decreased physical activity leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and obesity. Sitting at a desk may seem like a passive activity with little negative outcomes, but over a long, slow moving period of time, it is wreaking havoc on our bodies and our minds.
Changing Your Environment
Working in an active office, where employees are encouraged to get up and move around as much as possible can increase focus, drive and also create a more positive and affirming workplace. Exercise decreases discomfort caused by sitting for extended periods and increases oxygen in the blood. It also releases endorphin, or happy hormones, which get people feeling good about themselves and their work!
The ideal solution is of course to encourage as much activity as possible in the workplace or office. Encouraging an active office can be tricky, but it will have long, lasting benefits to your workplace. While it may not be realistic to make sudden, drastic changes, such as implementing standing desks, small, incremental changes to promote an active office can make a huge difference in your employees and coworkers. Simple solutions such as using lumbar supporting chairs to encourage good posture, or setting reminders to get up and move around are a great start.
Simple Step to Create an Active Environment in the Workplace
Encourage your employees to conduct conversations face-to-face, rather than via email. Not only does this get people up and moving to different rooms of the building, but face-to-face communication is much faster and more effective than online communication in the first place. Consider implementing walking meetings, where instead of sitting down in a conference room, meetings take place during a brief walk around the neighborhood, or in bad weather, even inside your office! You will be amazed at how much information can be shared and retained, and how much focus and drive will improve with just a little bit of physical exertion.
Make your goals for an active office well known, and provide employees and coworkers with plenty of simple options to choose from. Before long, you may be surprised to find your workplace is more active than you thought possible! If you are looking for other ways to make your office more active, consider changing out those standard desks with a standing desks!