Moving More and Sitting Less at Work: Making Every Minute Count

Posted: Fri, 01 Dec 2017 14:29

With the average UK worker spending more than 8 hours a day sitting down, being active at work is more important than ever. By adding small chunks of activity in and around the working day, employees can reduce time spent sitting which in turn can reduce the risk of over 20 chronic diseases. Regularly engaging in 10 minute bouts of activity during the working day can provide a range of benefits including improved mood, boost in concentration and increased team morale.

The message is simple: every minute counts

To make every minute count, you can take part in the 2018 Active Workplace Challenge, an 8-week national activity logging challenge from 8th January to 4th March 2018. By signing up to the 2018 Challenge you can:

  • Get active by discovering great activities taking place in your local area
  • Host your own activities and events in your workplace
  • Log your activity via the Workplace Challenge online tool
  • Automatically track your activity with the Workplace Challenge app
  • Connect to Fitbit to earn activity points for your own profile and for your workplace
  • Watch yourself and your workplace compete against organisations from across the country
  • Be in with a chance to win some fantastic prizes

For more information, please visit Workplace Challenge 2018 under:

To support organisations in making every minute count, here are a range multiple-level strategies that can be used for achieving bite-sized chunks of activity throughout the working day:

Organisational Level

1. Suggest, allow and encourage feasible strategies to move more and sit less

For example:

  • Encourage employees to stand and move throughout the day
  • Promote standing and movement at the desk
  • Allow employees to generate innovative strategies to move more and sit less
  • Encourage the use of centralised printers and copiers

2. Promote and encourage standing meetings as part of normal practice

Research has shown that standing meetings:

  • Enhance collaboration
  • Promote creativity between workers
  • Improve the flow of ideas

3. Promote and encourage walking meetings as part of normal practice

Research has shown that walking meetings:

  • Increase creative thinking
  • Optimise employee exchange
  • Boost productivity

4. Promote and encourage the use of stairs

For example:

  • Signage
  • Prompts
  • Messages at lifts and escalators
  • Promotion within internal communication channels
  • Screen savers
  • E-mails

Individual Level

  1. Walk over and talk to colleagues to deliver the message in person
  2. Move your rubbish bin away from your desk
  3. Stand to greet a visitor or when conversing with a colleague
  4. Stand up while talking on the telephone or mobile phone
  5. Stand while sorting and filing paperwork

Environmental Level

  1. Sit-stand height-adjustable workstations or desks
  2. Standing tables in communal areas, canteens and meeting rooms
  3. Indoor and outdoor walking paths or trails
  4. Central water stations, printers and bins
  5. Footsteps directing towards the stairs

Social Level

  1. Establish a lunchtime walking group
  2. Take part in local team based activities and events
  3. Social networking for sharing experiences and ideas on moving more and sitting less

Policy Level

  1. Establish standing and walking meetings as a part of workplace policy
  2. Place office equipment and supplies further away as a part of workplace policy
  3. Move printers and bins to a more central location as a part of workplace policy
  4. Empower employees to move more in and around the working day with a flexible working policy

To conclude, the following tips can support your organisation in making every minute count:

  • Identify representatives to support employees in moving more and sitting less
  • Those in managerial positions should lead by example by engaging in numerous strategies
  • Employees could also approach management to discuss the acceptability and feasibility of implementing numerous strategies to move more and sit less
  • Be creative and think about innovative strategies that could be achievable, effective and sustainable in your workplace

About the author: Lee Goodwin is a research associate working at the Department of Sport Science and Sport (DSS), Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. As an expert in workplace health promotion, Lee has been collaborating with the CSPN Workplace Challenge to support UK organisations in moving more and sitting less.

To view Lee's research on strategies to move more and sit less at work, please visit the Friedrich-Alexander University Library OPUS under:

Tags: Strategies, move more, sit less, Lee Goodwin, Challenge