If you’re up to speed on the latest wellbeing trends, you might find your typical work day looks a little like this; sled pushes and battle ropes before work, meditation during your lunch break and maybe some flotation therapy or cryotherapy before dinner. Wellbeing is a lifestyle, not just a routine, yet ironically, these positive activities simply aren’t enough to sustain wellness if we adopt unhealthy practices at work. The effects of sedentary work are well documented (and mostly over-hyped), but the fact remains that if we don’t move regularly throughout the day, our health and productivity are adversely affected.
The evolution of workplace design and particularly Activity Based Working, has aimed to combat this static style of working, by offering staff a suite or ecosystem of spaces to get work done. These can consist of lounge settings, high tables, informal and formal meeting space and height adjustable desks. These measures are all valid and absolutely crucial to improve productivity and collaboration, but we must also take a broader view, with ownership of our personal wellbeing regardless of work environment.
A healthy work day should find a balance between sitting, standing and walking. Human bodies are meant to be dynamic and suffer if we stay in one posture too long. Standing desks and even treadmill desks have been popularised as an antidote to sitting at a desk all day, however any posture, when held for too long, will lead to problems.
Here are three simple posture tips to incorporate into your day;
- Active Sitting
Active sitting can mean moving between a range of healthy seated postures. For example, reclining or (gasp!) putting your feet up. Make sure your chair adequately supports your body and neck so you are not straining or compressing your body. Armrests are also useful for supporting your arm if you’re using a tablet or smartphone.
Standing can have a revitalising effect on the body and is particularly comfortable post-lunch when you might not feel like slumping in a chair. Standing also increases calorie burn, fires up the metabolism and increases blood flow which can positively impact your brain’s performance.
We’re slowly getting on board with the idea and benefits of standing meetings. Why not try a walking meeting? The increased blood flow to your brain and muscles can provide cognitive benefits and walking gently alleviates muscle strain from sitting or standing too long. The development of more flexible, informal and inspiring work spaces means collaboration, work and meetings don’t always have to take place in a ‘dining’ posture setting. Grab your colleagues and step it out!
While furniture solutions have improved exponentially in the last few years, the bottom line is to ensure you are regularly changing postures and balancing sitting, standing and walking. Try to achieve a minimum of five minutes of movement per hour. We guarantee you’ll feel more alert, engaged and inspired.
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