Stand up for comfort

Add standing and movement to your workday

Adam Labelle, Ergonomist for Humanscale Consulting Canada, presented “Stand Up for Comfort” in our atWork London showroom. Adam told of the benefits of adding standing work tools into your workday to increase your health and work productivity.

Here are a four tips inspired by his presentation.

1) Use great work tools for health and productivity

There are many options. Consider increasingly popular height-adjustable desk tables. As well, collaborative work spaces to gather away from workstations, and multi-height surfaces such as standing meeting tables are excellent tools for incorporating dynamic movement to your workday.

2) Take time to learn how to use a new workspace

Much like simply having a treadmill in your basement does not guarantee you will lose weight, simply having tools like height-adjustable desks in your office does not guarantee you will reduce back pain-induced sick days and increase their office productivity. Knowledge is power.

Using these new office furniture items cannot feel burdensome, difficult, or time-consuming, otherwise staff acceptance and usage will be limited or non-existent. Your team needs to know that these changes are not to add to their work burden (by giving them another ‘thing to do’) but are investments in their personal health. Some team members will resist change but understanding these additions are mainly for their health will be very important to overcome doubt.

3) Change habits

Behavioural psychology tells us that it takes 21-60 days to make or break a habit. Build motivation to really commit to the change in order to give an “active workday” a chance.

Encourage the use of computer reminder apps or timers to get your staff to change their work posture, get away from their desk and move during their work every 45 minutes or so. You can also plan standing or walking meetings to take a break from sitting.

Some research indicates that the magic ratio for optimum health and productivity is 2 hours of standing or moving per 8 hour work day. Ideally, those 2 hours of movement would not come all at once, but would be spread out over the course of the day (for example, 15 minutes out of every hour of the day).

4) Experience and track personal benefits

Encourage your team to make note of how they feel physically, how much work they are able to accomplish in the day, and how their mental focus and stamina fares. Staff productivity is poorer in sedentary offices than in offices with dynamic movement options. Those who typically sit for their entire work day end up taking more frequent and longer breaks because they are sore, uncomfortable, and fatigued. Those with office spaces that allow for dynamic movement are more comfortable, more alert and more productive.

Change is coming to offices around the globe. Sitting all day just isn’t helping us be healthier nor in the end more productive. atWork is committed to help you realize healthy work environments. Connect with us today to understand how we can design your workspace for a better future for you and your team.

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