The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) are urging employees and employers to take necessary steps to improve their general health and wellbeing whilst at work this year.
The chair of the APA Occupational Health Group, Dave Hall, has outline 11 easy steps to take to be more active at work. These steps are also important to help physical and mental wellbeing, and improve working productivity:
1. Get up and move! The simple act of just standing up every half hour and having a five second stretch can make an immense difference.
2. Take phone calls standing. In fact, use phone calls as a trigger to stand and talk.
3. Drink plenty of water. Better hydration means more frequent need to go to the bathroom, as well as the need to fill up the water glass (i.e. plenty of short burst walking).
4. Build a coffee / tea break routine into your day, e.g. coffee 10am, tea at 3pm. The body likes routine and after a while you will crave these breaks, which means they in turn will become an integral part of your work day.
5. Walk over to talk to a colleague rather than sending an email.
6. Form a group to conduct some general exercise; from a yoga class to a quick 15 minute walk. Anything is better than nothing, especially when you’re just starting out.
7. Move the bin and printer away from work station areas so you need to walk to them when required.
8. Make your meetings standing or walking ones. If notetaking is required, allocate this to someone with a small mobile device or tablet which is easily carried, meaning no one needs to be anchored to the spot just to take minutes.
9. Walk to and from work or the train / bus stop, or park further away from the office.
10. Embark on a team building event such as an obstacle race or ‘steps-per-day’ challenge – aim for 10000!
11. If you’re an employer, create an office geared towards movement. This may include meeting pods where people stand, more collaborative meeting areas, flexible work stations that permit more standing and movement, for example.
These little tips help promote active living and general wellbeing, whilst also reducing sedentary behaviour, a major risk factor of obesity.
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The festive season is over, and with the end of the holidays many Australians will be returning to sitting at a desk for extended periods of time, which research has shown to have a serious impact on well-being. The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) is urging employees and employers alike to ensure their health – and the health of their staff – isn’t compromised in the post-Christmas return to the office.