Let’s face it – work is stressful, and you are constantly looking for a way to increase your energy fitness and focus. It can be exhausting just thinking about it. But don’t sit back in that comfy chair just yet – because now we’re being told that we need to stand-up a lot more during the day or risk getting all kinds of diseases.
‘Sitting’, according to some sources, ‘is the new smoking’ and whilst you may groan at the prospect of standing meetings; made to feel guilty when you step into the lift only to see a big sign telling you to take the stairs, and hate contests designed to get you moving; the fact is that prolonged sitting isn’t good for your health and wellbeing, and a few new habits could make a huge difference.
So we have come up with 6 of the simplest hacks we could come up with to increase your energy, fitness and focus – and motivate you to get out of your chair a bit more.
Have a think about this: on a typical day in the office, how many hours do you estimate that you sit down for?
According to studies, office workers sit an average of 10 hours each day, with 70% of that sitting time at work. We discovered this fabulous infographic from Backcare, for you to ponder over (below).
Given that our bodies have have been designed to move and be active, intuition tells you that prolonged sitting is going to impact our bodies, and there’s increasing scientific evidence to support that view, showing that excessive sitting is positively correlated with breast, prostate and lung cancer, as well as diabetes and heart disease.
1. Take the stairs
Take the stairs whenever you can, rather than a lift (Elevator), or escalator. The impact of this simple healthy habit mounts up literally. According to city.a.m, walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift at London’s deepest tube station, Hampstead, adds up to 320 steps each day. Do that 151 times and you will have reached the top of Nepal’s Mount Everest!
2. Walk and Talk
Catch-up with your boss or a colleague by going for a nice stroll together, and the benefits go beyond the physical. Walking helps relax and create more personal conversations. It also, according to research at Standford, leads to more creative thinking both whilst walking and immediately afterwards.
3. Phone and Walk
The same principle applies to phone calls. In the age of the mobile phone, you can stand up when talking or the phone, or make longer calls whilst walking.
4. Stand-up during meetings
Standing up during meetings will deliver health benefits and will also help the meetings be more effective. Typically, stand-up meetings are shorter, attendees are more alert (sleeping is harder when standing), and more engaged and productive.
5. Give yourself an excuse to get up
Put your rubbish bin in a place where you have to get up, or drink loads of water so that you need to go to the restroom regularly; walk over to co-workers rather than emailing them.
6. Get a treadmill desk – one study on the use of these found sitting decreased by 29% per day after 12 weeks (Schuna et al, 2014).
Run a business or manage staff?
Support your employees by providing adjustable desks, signs on staircases promoting their use, encouraging staff to take regular breaks during the day, buy a table tennis table, and negotiate membership of a gym or sports club. All of these interventions will add up and have a positive impact on your employees’ energy levels, productivity and performance which, from a business perspective, is no bad thing.
Want some help to set some health goals? Get the A Better Life Goal Planner when you sign up for the healthy habits ezine