Most professionals spend the majority of their time sitting in one position while at work. This can lead to decreased energy levels, possible impaired blood circulation, and a decrease in metabolism, according to the “Organizations in MOTION” experiment conducted by Wellness & Prevention, Inc., according to SHRM Online staff. According to the article, the side effects of sitting for too long include pessimism, disengagement, decreased alertness, irritability, lower productivity, a negative impact on the employees health, and ultimately a negative effect on the bottom line of the company.
The experiment conducted by Wellness & Prevention, Inc. included a pre- and post survey for approximately 750 employee to assess energy levels pre- and post-experiment. The experiment incorporated strategic movements throughout the day at work, including a program toolkit, daily e-mail tips, biweekly rally calls, and volunteers that encouraged employees to get up from their desks and move. According to the article, after three months an overall increase in energy levels, focus, and engagement was reported.
Here are some tips provided by the article to keep employees in motion, energized, and focused throughout the day:
- Encourage leadership from the top down – put top- and line-level leadership in place to support initiatives.
- Encourage frequency – employees should never go more than 30 minutes without moving. Ask employees to set half-hour alarms at their desks and rally colleagues to participate.
- Eliminate “permission” to move – when in meetings, encourage employees to get up, stretch and move around the room while staying connected to the meeting at hand.
When in meetings:
- For an hour long meeting – call for a one- to two-minute movement exercise at the half hour.
- Call “walking meetings” – with two to four people.
For employees working at desks:
- Provide a standing desk – or balance ball chairs so employees can move up and down.
- Provide wireless headsets – so employees can walk while on the phone.
- Encourage personal contact – rather than e-mails.
- Every 90 minutes – encourage employees to disengage from what they have been doing.
- Walk two or three flights of stairs – go to the washroom on a different floor.
- Go outside – walk briskly.
Do you have other ideas to add to this list? What are they?