Business taking steps towards a more active workforce

Staff at the Sit-Stand.com standing desk company are contractually obliged to take a 15-minute walk during office hours every working day.

It costs the company precisely nothing, but it is a healthy workplaces commitment to the principles of a business run by the founder of Active Working: to reduce the amount of time we spend sitting down at work.

And as CEO Gavin Bradley points out, once you’ve started your 15-minute walk-out, it will probably turn into more. Activity logged: job done.

Evidence is constantly growing that staff who spend most of their working day seated are both less productive and more inclined to suffer health problems. Office workers sit on average 10 hours each day, and 70% of this sitting time is at work. The solution is simple: stand up and move around more. It’s not complicated, it’s not expensive, just good business sense.

No surprise, then, that during a 90-minute meeting with Sit-Stand.com‘s director Gavin Bradley, we were on our feet the whole time. A standing meeting with the offer of a freshly-blitzed smoothie: I love a company that practises what it preaches, and this one certainly does.

It’s all part of a growing recognition of the fact that employers who take measures to enhance the health of staff benefit from people who are more motivated and productive, less likely to suffer stress and absenteeism and act as positive advocates for the business.

So why don’t more bosses take simple steps such as encouraging staff to move around more, step away from their work stations at regular intervals and pay more attention to their personal health outcomes?

It’s a business culture issue, but one that is certainly starting to change, as is evidenced by the increasing number of companies I work with who are recognising that supporting their workforce in making healthy choices does not have to be costly or time-consuming.

Workplace health-boosting measures can include steps as simple as moving bins away from desks so that staff are forced to stand and walk a short distance to dispose of rubbish, or encouraging greater use of stairs by posting inspirational Step Jockey style stickers beside the lifts.

Installing adjustable standing desks is becoming popular among employees, and is another relatively low-cost investment, with the entry level Sit-Stand.com Yo-Yo workstation costing well below £200.

In Denmark, 90% of employees have an adjustable standing desk. Health and wellbeing at work evangelist Gavin Bradley would love to see similar in the UK, and with his value range of adjustable sit-stand desks, PLUS his Active Working and Get Britain Standing campaigns, he is taking massive steps in helping move the world’s workforce towards a more active future. I’m in.

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