The BBC recently wrote about how many companies across the globe have successfully implemented standing desks. Following extensive research, the idea behind this is simple. Scientists have proved that sitting down for long periods during the working day is linked to obesity, diabetes and can even increase your risk of developing cancer (see the research here.)
A growing problem (pardon the pun!)
These frightening facts reveal that as a nation, Britons need to take urgent action in order to preserve their health and protect the future generations so that they might avoid the mistakes that their predecessors made. Standing work stations are one such step that businesses are taking to reduce the risk of health issues and promote a healthier workforce. Employees who stand up to work during the day increase the blood supply to the brain and body which helps to keep them more alert and focused, plus it helps to strengthen their core and posture at the same time.
What else might help?
It’s not just about standing. Many people snack on bad stuff during the day, which is contributing to the problem. In addition to standing desks, more and more office employees are becoming increasingly aware of how good nutrition affects their performance, so much so that companies are even investing in fresh fruit and milk products to provide to their workers in a bid to promote a healthier team. The concept has taken off and now office managers around the country can follow suit thanks to fruit delivery companies like at Fruitful Office.co.uk, who have removed the need for multiple trips to the grocery store each week. Groceries get delivered to your door, employees see them and snack on them – simple.
Research has shown that good nutrition can not only help your body performance physically but also mentally too. The consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables provides your body with essential vitamin and minerals that allow your body to grow, restore and repair more efficiently, and additional intake of several types of fruits such as bananas and strawberries can improve the function and response of neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Office workers can satisfy their mid-afternoon cravings whilst improving their focus and concentration with a handful of these mood boosting fruits, and smaller hand held fruits such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries are perfect for popping in to the mouth whilst working at your desk.
The availability of fresh fruit for office employees can also encourage them to eat more healthily and not reach for the biscuits or chocolate to raise their blood sugar levels. Office staff whose employers had chosen to provide fresh fruit on a daily or weekly basis also stated that this provision made them feel more valued and appreciated, thereby increasing their likelihood of working harder or going the extra mile for their company.
Changes to consider as an employer
So how can you make a difference to the health and wellbeing of your office team? Well the first thing might be to install standing work stations for employees to try. The use of standing desks can take a bit of getting used to as your body will have to strengthen over time as you use previously unused muscle groups more often.
Making the transition from sitting to standing over the working day should be done gradually, so many offices install one or two standing desks that employees can switch between their usual cubicles to the new workstation for an hour at a time. When working at a standing desk it is important to adopt correct posture and avoid slouching, so take the time to ensure that your computer screen and keyboard are at the correct height for you.
It is also important to consider your footwear when using a standing desk as comfort is essential for long periods of standing up. Heels should be switched for flat shoes, and if you are fortunate enough to work in a more relaxed environment, then make the most of wearing cushioned soles for ultimate comfort. Ergonomic anti fatigue mats underfoot can make a big difference to employees who stand on wooden or thinly carpeted floors as they help to ease the strain of standing on a hard surface for a long period of time.
Remind your staff to run, jog, dance…
Of course, using a standing desk will not replace the benefits of maintaining a strong healthy body through diet and exercise, and if you are a manager of an office based team, now is the perfect time to encourage your team to live healthier active lifestyles in and out of work too.
Author Bio: The author enjoys researching and writing articles on a wide range of topics from business sector to health and lifestyle, and her personal passion to maintain an active lifestyle has lent itself well to this latest article brief as she discusses how to promote healthy choices in the office environment.