Over the past 3 years, we’ve placed a huge amount of importance and focus on Wellness and Wellbeing in the workplace. Not just from a physical sense but across all infrastructures that support a well workplace, social, career and corporate responsibility.
We’ve looked from the inside out to ensure we’re creating well buildings that house well humans and how furniture design supports a well organisation and underpins a thriving culture. We’ve explored the value of biophilia, our relationship with nature and how we can bring that into our workspace. Not just plants but good air quality and natural light.
The push for Wellness is a movement that’s here to stay and we feel a great responsibility to make it accessible to everyone. One of the biggest factors we can see that’s influencing our overall wellness is movement, or lack of.
You’re probably familiar with the trope “sitting is the new smoking”. Everything is the new smoking if you do it too long and in positions that are not ergonomic. Sitting, standing, using devices, staring, emailing, collaborating, sleep deprivation, drinking and even smoking are the new smoking.
It’s not news that physical inactivity can have serious implications on our health, especially in the area of preventable early death. It’s been proven to amplify our risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and some cancers.
In a deskbound work environment, we can spend in excess of 8 hours per day at our desk in a chair, stooped over a workstation and computer. It’s actually possible that a desk workers muscles are inactive for about 70% of the day and exercise alone is not sufficient to combat the duration of time our muscles spend in a state of inactivity.
It’s heart attack serious that we engage in healthier ways of conducting our day to day living.
Movement needs to feature as the headline act on your ‘To Do List’, without it feeling like it’s impeding your ability to be productive.
It’s as simple as forming new habits that get fresh blood flowing to all your vital organs and get you doing more work away from you desk. If you’re stuck for ideas around how to implement some changes to your day, try some of these on for size:
- Take calls standing up, take the stairs instead of a lift, drink more water, have walk and talk meetings. Get next level and bust out some “Interpretive Dance” during Skype calls, or throw down a few sets of “Burpees” during conference calls. Put your phone on mute first.
- Multitasking (at work) isn’t actually as awesome as we thought it might be, it’s probably better just to focus on one task at a time and finish it (where practicable). So close down some tabs and luxuriate in immersing yourself in one mission until it’s complete. This has really positive ramifications on your job satisfaction as well.
- Spending time hunched over technology is creating some unhealthy curves; our workplaces are becoming a sea of humans shaped like Montgomery Burns and Gollum. Take a big deep breath every now and then and look up, stand straight and uncurl yourself.
- Speaking of sleep – get some! If you’re not dreaming you’re missing out. We get into good, deep sleep states when we’re dreaming, and dreams (often the badder the better) can help us problem solve. Sorry Netflix but I aim for a dreamy 8 hours a night. Whatever the question, sleep is the answer.
- When it comes to implementing these changes, think of it as making your life “more good” instead of settling for “less bad”. It about the glass being half full, if you’re going to put the effort into making improvements, aim high, or at least medium, halfway at a push but don’t sink lower than that. You’re worth it.
- Get off your ass! An hour at the gym every day isn’t enough to combat the detrimental effects of time spent inactive during the day, and that includes standing. We need to move it, move it! Sorry for saying ass.
- It is not better to burn out than fade away, it’s better to not burn out in the first instance. Take a break, even someone trying to find the cure for cancer needs to take a break. Get some exercise, do some yoga, go outside, death roar out of your car window on the drive home, write a letter, do a crossword, whatever it is, enjoy!
- Get a sit to stand desk. They’re as cheap as thrice cooked beer battered chips and loads better for you! We can even supply some aioli on the side.
Whatever it is you decide to do, make sure it’s meaningful and you enjoy it, it’s possible that your life kind of depends on it.