6 Strategies for reducing the risk of prolonged sitting at work
It’s widely accepted that sitting for prolonged periods of the day carries a number of risks to your health, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, muscle and joint problems. Research has found that by allowing people to sit or stand as they wish throughout the day can boost productivity by up to 46% when compared to just a seated desk (Garret et Al, 2016). Yet experts estimate the average worker sits for up to 10 hours a day, resulting in lower levels of efficiency, productivity and ultimately profit.
Not all of your employees are likely to be aware of the risks related to remaining seated for extensive periods of time. As employers it’s worth investing time into ensuring staff are aware of these and offering solutions to encourage them to be more active. Experts recommend that we should be standing for a minimum of at least two hours of every working day with an ideal goal of spending half of your working day standing. As a guide, if you’re sitting for most of the day, try to mix in at least 15 minutes of standing every hour.
Here are some strategies that can easily be implemented and embedded into your work culture. When used regularly over time they will make a difference:
Organise walking meetings:Meetings are traditionally held sitting in a meeting room but that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. If there are a small number of people in your meeting then going for a walk can be an effective way to combine an exchange of ideas with gentle exercise and fresh air.
Encourage a standing-friendly culture:Encourage staff to stand where possible, whether they are at their computer, on the phone or during meetings.
Cut back on emails in favour of face-to-face conversations:All too often people rely on email to communicate, even when colleagues are sitting in the same room. Try encouraging staff to walk over to their colleagues when an email isn’t necessary – not only will it encourage them to be more active, it’s also a good way to strengthen relationships.
Choose the stairs:Where employees have the option of using a lift, encourage them to take the stairs instead.
Introduce health initiatives:As part of their bid to get workers more fit and active and to be kinder to the environment, more organisations are using initiatives to keep their staff active. Cycle to work schemes and subsidised gym memberships are all great ways to promote a more active, healthier workforce.
Use sit-stand desks:The tips above can all play an important part of how physical activity can be incorporated into the working culture. However, where employees need to remain at their desks for the majority of the day, working from sit-stand workstations can be hugely beneficial, improving health, productivity and well-being.
Adapt’s sit-stand desks are available in a range of widths, finishes and styles that can be tailored to the needs of your business. We also offer many other ergonomic solutions that can be used alongside our desks to help improve employee well-being and productivity.
In summary, there’s a lot you could be doing to promote a healthier, more mobile workforce. By embedding these strategies into your working culture your business will enjoy higher levels of well-being, fewer absences and a more productive workforce.
If you’d like to find out more about how our ergonomic furniture solutions could improve productivity in your workplace, we’d love to help. Please complete the form below and a member of the Adapt team will be in touch. And, if you found this article helpful please feel free to share it with your social networks!