Make 2020 the year you get more active at work

Posted by Nicola Davenport on

Looking for a New Year’s resolution that you won’t abandon midway through January? How about making a general resolution to get healthier - by getting more active at work?

Researchers agree: standing more and sitting less is one of the easiest ways you can improve your health outcomes. A study of typical office workers in Australia found they spent more than 80% of their working hours seated and immobile.

Make 2020 the year you break that habit. There are numerous health reasons to do so. Dr James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and author of the book Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, is among the foremost experts in this area.

He has found that the mere act of shifting from sitting to standing produces positive effects that will make you a healthier human. For example, by getting to your feet you activate the bodily systems which process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol, boosting your metabolism and making you less likely to contract Type 2 diabetes or put on weight.

Try these four simple ways to increase your workplace activity and keep your New Year’s resolution on track:

  1. Set a timer on your phone or computer that reminds you to stand up or move around for 10 minutes every hour. This could be the time when you get up to make a cup of tea, visit the printer, consult with colleagues, or stand to read through a document. Moving around during the course of the day will help you hit the recommended 10,000 daily step count.
  2. Get yourself a standing desk. Our wide range of Yo-Yo DESK® sit-stand desks means there will certainly be one that fits your workspace, whether at home or in the office, so now you’ve decided to turbo-charge your activity levels, do anything you can to get your hands on one. Our prices are deliberately low to make active working accessible to as many people as possible. We also offer a free trial period so you can be sure you have made the right choice.
  3. Make simple changes to your workspace – home or office – that mean you absolutely have to get up from your desk on a regular basis. Do not locate your printer within reaching distance, for example, and keep useful files in a cupboard a little way from your desk.
  4. Make your commute more active. If you use public transport, choose to stand rather than racing for a seat on the bus, train or Tube. If you drive, park further away than usual, or take the long route from car to desk. Always use the stairs rather than the lift, even if it’s only for part of the way (at first!), and walk up escalators. Get off the bus a stop or two early and get some extra steps on the clock before and after work.
Do not see these reformed habits as temporary: settle into them as your new norm, and add to them during the weeks ahead. Once you become used to being a more active worker you will find your physical and mental health improve as will your work performance. You might even find colleagues start to follow your example: congratulations, you have become a healthy workplace influencer!