Sharing Ideas, Inspiring Changes

Move away from the silent killer

silent killer

Sounding dramatic as possible, sitting is the new smoking. As we tend to get through our busy lives with the convenience of science and technology, what we do not realise is the limitation of our muscle movement that affects our entire body with time. The average 9 hour working day has been prevailing for a long time where one is stationed all day long with a continuous work load. If so why is it now that one identifies it as the new smoking? We may have gym routines and all type of exercises present in our daily itinerary but still this would not be productive. What’s needed is movement in our muscle from time to time that was interwoven into our lives a decade or two ago: Walk to the post office. Walk down the hall to confer with a coworker. Walk to the market and walk back with the groceries. These days? Not so much. Technology allows us to do almost everything from the comfort of a chair.

A random jog mid work is not something that is being asked to do, what’s necessary is a few basic activities to be added to your daily work schedule. Try recommending the following to your employees for a healthy and active workforce.

Go mobile

The main purpose of mobile devices is to be used on the go. We sit at a desk while chatting on our cell phone or working away on a laptop. Whenever you're on the phone, take it as an opportunity to walk or at least stand. Most people feel and sound more engaged when they're on their feet, so you'll make a better impression on the phone if you're up and about anyway. As organisations transform into more modern facilities, it is important that the ergonomics facilitate such a lifestyle providing the opportunity to work at multiple locations in order to change positions on the go whenever possible.

Mini workouts

This would ideally be cutting down on the convenient basics. Grab the first parking spot you see in the lot (the further away from the door, the better) rather than circling for 10 minutes looking for the perfect one. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Walk whenever there is a choice. This may seem like novice advice, but it can make a huge difference in the number of calories you burn in a given day. As a culture, we conduct most of our business and social affairs from a seated position. Finding ways to turn these into walking meetings especially when you're meeting one-on-one as it makes you eat less, move more, and probably even think better as walking can help your ideas flow. If you use public transportation, try getting off a stop before or a stop after the one most convenient to your destination. You'll be able to squeeze in 10 or 15 minutes of pleasant walking.

Changing efficiency according to your convenience

The typical workplace scenario would be increasing your convenience in order to increase ones efficiency. Having all what you need within your reach may make you feel more efficient and fast moving but whereas makes you ineffective in the long run. One novel solution is to get a little inefficient on purpose. This would be to set up your work station so you have to reach for things rather than keeping them within an arm's reach. Put the file cabinet and bin away so you have to walk over to them or at least practice your free throw. Reaching, stretching, extending, and of course, walking feels great especially when you've been stuck in the chair all morning.

Take a break

This is something we have constantly heard, but if practiced can do wonders to an individual. Sitting at your desk over a long period of time is one of the greatest contributors to bad posture and back aches. Unfortunately, taking a break usually is mistaken and misused by many turning these mini breaks into long extended ones. What exactly is needed is 1- to 5-minute breaks for every 20 minutes you're at work: Stretch, breathe, focus your eyes on a distant object. You'll come back to work refreshed and recommitted. This is also a good opportunity to go meet your coworkers if you need something and create interactions rather than sending an email or text even though it’s convenient.