Productivity gains and less back pain: 3 simple tips for creating a healthier office
Wednesday, February 20, 2019/
It isn’t even three months into the year but how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along?
Work, commitments, and home life can take over, leaving us little time for our health goals. But this is exactly why being productive matters now more than ever.
You may have heard the news, we are all sitting too much. Most office workers sit for at least 11 hours a day and 70% of Australian adults don’t move their bodies enough each day.
Lack of movement has been linked to a whole range of very serious health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
It also places 40% more pressure on our lower backs, restrict our lung capacities, weaken our muscles and inhibits our bodies’ circulation and metabolism.
Since working at desks are such a large contributor to the problem, why not change our workday?
Wellness in the workplace
Luckily, the global wellness movement is starting to make its way into our offices.
In Australia, Swisse and Medibank are among the companies place a larger emphasis on keeping their people stay healthy and happy.
A research study by Medibank (The health of Australia’s workforce) showed that the healthiest employees are almost three times more productive than their unhealthy colleagues.
Other studies show that better health in the office can lead to less sick leave, more engagement and regular collaboration.
This adds up and research on investing in workplace wellness shows that the costs are less than you think because of the enormous improvements in productivity and reduction in pain.
There are simple ways for the whole office to put their health first.
Make health a priority at work
Everybody knows the basic recipe for fitness: eat well and exercise. But not everyone does it.
According to the longevity expert Dr John Tickell, it’s easy to take our health for granted, especially when we don’t have time or think it’s a real priority.
“Our health isn’t our number one priority until we haven’t got it.”
But making health and fitness a higher priority often pays off for your work and other concerns.
Building a support network from within your company with your coworkers can sustain your motivation and help you avoid falling back into old habits, especially when you’re stressed.
It will also create a stronger feeling of camaraderie, strengthening your teams and lifting the office culture.
Walking meetings instead of sitting meetings
Walking meetings are one of the best ways to incorporate movement into your day.
Got a face to face meeting in the office? Perfect. Leave the meeting room and screens behind and take a few laps around the block. In 30 minutes, you can clock up 4,000 steps.
Not only will this get you up and moving, but research shows that the exposure to daylight will also improve your sleep.
Move your body regularly
There are often times when sitting is unavoidable because we’re in front of the screen. When this is the case, it’s so important to take a break and change posture.
Medical experts all agree that when we’re static, we stagnate and head for a huge range of problems. This is especially true for our postures, resulting in strained necks, sore shoulders, inflexible spine, weakened abs, shortened hips and weakened glutes.
They call it “computer posture” and recommend taking a break away from your screen or changing your posture every 20 to 40 minutes.
A standing desk makes it easy to switch between sitting and standing easily while still working and is worth the investment.
As our technology gears itself towards convenience, neurosurgeon Dr. David Oehme believes it’s becoming increasingly important to initiate movement.
“For spinal health, reducing our sitting time is important because humans weren’t built for it. Just being upright standing is better than sitting, we expend more energy and our metabolism increases simply by standing.”
“The key to exercise or any form of physical activity is to try and do it at a time which is easily incorporated into your day.”