Get Your Team On Their Feet More Often

We face a crisis: sitting. And it’s endangering employee health. SafeWork Australia warns, even physically active people aren’t safe. Despite if a worker gets up to 5 hours of moderate intensity activity a week, too much sitting-time makes them sedentary and at risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even poor mental health.

Since regular exercise doesn’t negate the ill effects, there’s just one conclusion: employees must sit less. More than showing you care, it boosts performance. As a study found, employees who spent 35 per cent of their day not sitting, reported feeling more positive and more productive at work.

True, a small investment in reducing sitting-time at work could reap substantial engagement results. Research has found a significant decrease in presenteeism and productivity loss among workers who were prompted to sit less at work.

It’s a win-win for wellbeing and employee engagement. And let’s not forget, healthy and engaged workers equal better business performance.

So, here are three ways to get your people on their feet at work:

Provide standing or sit-stand desk

Increasingly, companies are turning to standing and sit-stand desks to encourage less sitting time. Many report it works. The National Heart Foundation of Australia, for instance, conducted a study and found sitting time decreased by nearly 20 per cent after introducing sit-stand desks.

It need not be expensive either. As one inventive group proved, all you need is creativity, the right measurements and a trip to Ikea. Take it even further and assemble the desks as a team-building activity! A great way to get your team moving.

Conduct walking and standing meetings

Drive this from the top. Since leaders are mostly responsible for organising meetings, you’re in prime position to make a difference. Instead of sit-down one-on-ones, try walking to a coffee shop or nearby park.

Set the right mood too. Have spaces around your office where people can conduct standing meetings. Why not install tall benches and leave out the chairs in some of your meeting rooms?

Create prompts to get up

We all want to look after our bodies. So, a little nudge helps. Create those nudges throughout your workers’ day. Have a chat with your IT department about screen prompts every 20-30 minutes. Alternate the reminders to either encourage standing (or moving to a standing desk), walking or taking a quick break from the chair. Another way is to move paper bins away from desks to encourage people to get up. Try introducing a ‘stairs only’ or ‘visit a colleague on another floor’ day to promote more movement and add a bit of fun.

Stand up against a sedentary workplace. Avert the crisis before it hits hard on employee wellbeing and engagement and ultimately your business results