Sit down on your chair and keep on working. That’s what we are taught at school from early on. However, recent research has proved that all that sitting down isn’t good for us. It’s bad for our health but also for our concentration.
When you sit down for too long, your ‘bodywork’ starts to block. When you sit, your muscles adapt to your seating position after twenty minutes: some muscles stretch, others will shorten. In combination with a more difficult blood flow and muscle tensions, this quickly causes problems to the back, the neck and the muscles. The good news? You can already work wonders by simply getting up every half hour. You can also do some stretching, or power and circulation exercises.
Not only employees can limit sitting down, you can also make a considerable impact as a company leader or a team manager:
Does a meeting take longer than half an hour? Stand up for a while and stretch your legs. Lunch hour? Have lunch while standing up at the standing tables. Catching up with colleagues or a phone call to a customer? That’s possible during a short walk.
Standing up more often is just a matter of minor adjustments. But if they aren’t established in your company, then it’s not obvious to be the first one to start get this started.
Therefore it’s important to break the sitting culture in your company. That can be done by offering some attributes that are necessary to work when standing up and that make it easier to take a break: for example, you can put a high table in the canteen, just like you can put high desks or high tables on the work floor. But that’s not the end of it because much more important than the material preparation is the mental switch. Make sure that people are willing to stand up. Make sure that they know what it does to their body and why it’s healthier to stand up more often. Organise a workshop on working while standing up, let an inspiring speaker give a keynote or start a big campaign in the company
on less sitting down.