Did you know that helping your staff to be more physically active can also increase their productivity? According to new research, released as part of Heart Week (from 29 April – 6 May), Associate Professor Nicholas Gilson, from the University of Queensland, completed a pilot study, which suggests a link between activity-promoting desks and factors that influence productivity.
According to the study, more than half of participants performed better in the attention task after using a sit/stand desk, as did a third of the sit/walk (treadmill) desk users. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach that works for every role in every business, so we’ve put together some of our own ideas to keep active at work.
- Walking meetings
No one likes a long-winded meeting with too many people and not enough results. Turn those meetings into a walking meeting and you’ll find only the right people need to attend, decisions get made, plus, you have the added benefit of squeezing in some exercise!
- Pomodoro Technique
Use this productivity hack to schedule exercise into your work day. Using a timer, break your work into 25-minute intervals, separated by short breaks of around 5 minutes. Use these short breaks to move your body! After 4 intervals, take a longer break, perhaps walking to the coffee shop, for a reward and some incidental exercise.
- Lunchtime yoga
Movement and exercise at work doesn’t always have to be about standing and walking. If the workplace has a suitable area, a lunchtime yoga session is a great way to practice mindfulness, re-energise and refresh, before heading back to work. You don’t need to be a yoga guru to experience the benefits of regular, mindful movement.
- Take the stairs
Choosing options that lead to incidental exercise, such as taking the stairs, parking in a carpark further from the entry, printing to a printer further away etc. are all healthy habits which are easily adopted. Be mindful that others may see some of these things as ‘time-wasting’ so ideally, communicate with your team about your goals and everyone might get on board!
- Have a face to face conversation
Not only does having a face to face conversation often require you to get up from your seat, it’s also great for creating positive relationships with your colleagues. Good mental health can come from having good relationships, so getting up and having a conversation is positive on multiple levels!
What else would you add to this list? You can find additional free resources on Workplace Wellness for download on our website.
Thanks to the Heart Foundation for sharing the research details quoted above. You can learn more on this research here.