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Action Stations

What's the first thing you do in the morning when you step outside your front door and head to work? (...just after that keys/phone moment!) You most likely move physically and in a specific direction. Your intention of getting to work requires orientation, exertion and other directed activity. Whatever means of transportation you use next. So what’s significant about this? (...other than perhaps the opportunity for a more active commute!?)

When we absolutely need to do something - there is usually a highly physical process involved. Both mind and body engaged together in achieving a desired result ~ You go to work. And although typing on a keyboard is clearly a physical act, so many of us essentially STOP our tracks... once we finally arrive at our desks. Sitting down to begin the activity of work; when this involves using a computer.

But it's no coincidence that phrases used to describe being productive run along these sort of lines ~ 'Putting plans into action... Moving towards your goal ...moving in the right direction.' They suggest achievement through dynamic activity. 'Now we're getting somewhere...'

Agility, dexterity, migration, communication ~ Movement has always been central to, and crucial for, human development. Right now many of us work in offices but there's really very little stopping us benefiting from our true nature.

Think about how you feel when a project or creative endeavour really starts taking off. That buzz of excitement that gets you UP! Right out of your seat. Or perhaps you have your most brilliant ideas when you're on the move? Again it's no coincidence ~ Our bodies are profoundly involved in the act of doing, creating and achieving. It's how we've most often made serious progress. Thinking dynamically. Building on success. It might seem distracting to walk away from your desk; but what's really important is that wonderful engagement of body and mind. Motivation in doing your best.

By now you’ll be aware of the growing research and evidence that points out the problems of sitting for hours at work. Largely in terms of health and wellbeing; and therefore productivity, motivation, job satisfaction... All these things (and more) can be compromised by a lack of physical activity during the working day. Equally, they can be improved with better movement strategies.

Parking the body in a chair at work is fine - For a little while (about 20 minutes at a time is about right) and it can't be emphasised enough, how important it is to regularly change position; take screen breaks; move and walk every hour.

For sit Stand move working, we favour the 20 ~ 8 ~ 2 routine in general. That is: After sitting for about 20 minutes, continue to work standing up for about 8 minutes (when that's available to you). Then go for a couple of minutes walk around or try some movements at your desk. Alternatively go for a longer 5 minute walking break every hour. Outside in the fresh air is best!

There's a whole lot more to effectively adopting Active Workplace initiatives but the key principles are fairly obvious perhaps - when you come to think of it.

Right ~ Time for that wee jog up and down the stairs!

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