Mindfulness has become a popular practice among Americans over the past decade. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that activities like yoga and meditation have increased among working adults between 2002 and 2012.
If your team has already begun to incorporate physical activity into their workday, you’ve probably seen the benefits. Active employees are more focused, confident and productive. Whether your team is made up of exercise gurus or hasn’t yet caught onto the trend, a little encouragement could go a long way.
Desk Chair Exercises
A comfortable and ergonomic desk chair is ideal for individuals in an office setting. But did you know your team’s chairs can be used in more than one way throughout the day?
Greatest.com, a website focused on healthy living, points out that there are plenty of exercises you can teach your team to do using just their chairs for equipment. For example, if you have a swivel chair, lift your feet off the ground and hold onto your desk with your thumbs and forefingers. Turn yourself about 90 degrees to the left, then back to center. Repeat on the right side.
Or, use a non-rolling chair as a prop for triceps dips. Stand in front of the chair, facing away, with both hands on the edge of the seat. Position your feet a few steps in front of the chair. Lower yourself until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Lift your body back up until your arms are straight, then repeat.
Stand Up With Height-adjustable Desks
Standing around generally isn’t considered exercise. It is, however, better than sitting around. Encourage your employees to get out of their chair throughout the day by investing in height-adjustable desks. One study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine showed that upper back and neck pain was reduced 54 percent after seven weeks of using a sit-stand desk rather than solely a sitting desk. It also improved mood among survey participants. Further, the pain returned shortly after going back to a sitting desk, pointing to the fact that the sit-stand desk was a primary factor in easing back pain.
Make Room For Activities
Your team will be more likely to get active during the day if there’s a visible push for it within the office culture. Provide a space for individuals to practice yoga, meditation or another activity that will help them focus during the day. Provide them with some basic equipment like yoga mats, blocks, and balance balls.
Ask around to find out if anyone on your team practices yoga or meditation in his or her personal life. If someone feels comfortable leading a yoga group, embrace this. Benefits to regular group exercise hours include:
- Team bonding
- Wellness and health promotion
- A more driven team and increased productivity
- Reduced stress, anxiety and burnout
- Lower absenteeism
Motivating your team to get active before, during or after work has numerous benefits for both your workers and your company. For help designing an office that encourages physical activity, consult Office Designs.