5 Ways To Stay Active In The Office

14th September 2015

Traditional working cultures make it difficult to stay active in the office and sitting still all day can lead to a whole host of health issues such as back ache, sore shoulders, neck strain and even heart disease.

In the office design and fit-out process, Rapport work closely with the HR and Facilities teams to help identify the utilisation and activity of workspaces. And it’s no secret that a mostly sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain and a shortened life span, so we help to rethink existing spaces or the early stages of an office design to produce a workplace that takes into account the work-style needs of teams and individuals to create a flexible, healthier and a more modern way of working.

Although a standing desk is the most obvious way to break out of your normal seated position, research has shown that standing all day isn’t much better than sitting all day. Based on the work we’ve carried out with organisations we suggest alternating between a seated and standing position throughout the day and have come up with 5 ways to stay active in the office during your working day below:

1. A standing desk or a table that you can easily adjust to different heights can prevent your body from being in the same position for hours on end (propping up your computer on some books on a regular desk or moving your laptop to a nearby counter that is a comfortable height for standing can also help.

2. Ensure your HR department carry out regular risk assessments to your working area. One common mistake made is the standard height of your working area (including seat height and eye level) needs to be adapted to the individual, taking into consideration that we are all different shapes and sizes

3. Get up and take regular breaks. Stepping away from your desk every hour or so can keep your circulation moving. Try popping over to your colleague’s desk for a chat rather than dropping them an email or picking up the phone. Face to face contact is also a great way to open the lines of communication in the office environment

4. Make sure you take your lunch break away from your desk. Not so easy if you’ve got deadlines, but heading out for some fresh air will give the legs a stretch and some vitality for the afternoon

5. Finally, if you’ve got cash to flash, you could always invest in a Treadmill or bicycle desk, which are gaining in popularity.

Most importantly staying active in the office during your day will help your work motivation and overall health.

*England and the Active Working Community Interest Company explains just how long we should be standing. The statement, published in June 2015 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that four hours of standing during each workday may be the ideal target.

For more detail on our Workspace Analysis work click here