Time to get moving but what's stopping us?

By Daniel Angelini

This blog post could have been titled something like, "We all know it's difficult to break an old habit" but admittedly, changing our behaviour can be the quickest and easiest way to start enjoying the benefits of moving more in the office and reducing our sitting time. Here are some tips on how to start approaching your day differently.

The following has been developed in collaboration with David Hall, the National Chairperson of Occupational Health for the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and Director of PHW Group; an Occupational Injury Prevention Consultancy. David is passionate about creating productive, healthy workplaces and transforming the way people work.

So... why don’t we move enough at work?

Even when we know that something is good for us, we often take our time to change or break a habit. Many people know that regular movement is a good thing and that we should move more. But we’ve asked thousands of office workers why they don’t move at work and this is what they say...

Problem #1: “It’s a desk job”

So you’ve got an office job and you have a desk to sit at, making it a “sitting job” right? Not necessarily, that’s just the norm. It used to be the norm to smoke in restaurants and on planes, but things change. Refresh your thinking about your desk job with these solutions:

  • Standing Meetings. Encourage standing meetings at work. Try taking the chairs out of the meeting space. Take the initiative and lead the way.
  • Walking Meetings. Exercise, fresh air, new ideas and new perspectives. Walk in pairs and share ideas until you get to a quiet spot and share ideas as a group.
  • Mix Sitting and Standing. The key is to vary your posture regularly like you do on the weekend. Ideally, we are alternating our postures in a natural and healthy pattern. 

Problem #2: “I’m too embarrassed”

You know some great exercises and stretches that will help keep you fit and well at work, but are you really going to do them? Thoughts such as “will it look like I’m not focused on my job?” or “will everyone look at me?” stop you from doing what's best for you. This is where we encourage you to put your health first, be brave and consider these solutions:

  • Assert Your Health Choices. Be bold and exercise or stretch in the office occasionally. If someone is doing it don’t judge, instead join them and take a time out for your health.
  • Form An Exercise Group. Build a group that can support each other to get up and embrace the embarrassment together. Give your group a name, have a bit of fun with it.
  • Get A Resistance Band. They’re bright and remind you to get up and stretch. Plus, they work muscles that can be easily neglected by long hours at the desk.

Problem #3: “I’m too tired”  

These days everyone seems to have their own ways for missing out on enough sleep, whether it’s due to kids, working late or a busy mind. Being tired can be a factor in keeping us caught in our chairs for too long. Create more energy through activity with these powerful solutions:

  • Reverse The Cycle of Fatigue. Fatigue leads to inertia, causing more fatigue. Moving regularly can feel hard at first but often reverses this vicious cycle and create more energy.
  • Get A Movement Buddy. Team up with a friend at work who can be a “get up and move” buddy with you. Accountability and peer pressure can work in your favour.
  • Create A 2-Week Program. Set yourself a 2-week goal of getting up and moving every 30 minutes. Be determined and overcome the forces of fatigue and you’ll feel energised.

Problem #4: “I’m too focused on my work”

Our body is constantly communicating with us. If we sit too long it whispers to us, “it’s time to get up”. But if we ignore that for too long, it starts to shout and express itself through pain.

Mild pain can be very helpful and healthy for us if we listen and respond to it. Pain is biologically trying to protect us. But if we ignore it, pain can become stronger. Pushing on or using painkillers can make things worse.

It’s important for us to be aware of our body without losing productivity. Consider how you are working, not just what you are working on. Standing Desks are a great way for us to change posture at the touch of a button, without altering our concentration on the task at hand.

A note to managers

If you’re in a management position, it’s really important to lead by example. Even if the thought of an active workday doesn't appeal to you, it's important that you still give your staff the freedom to incorporate activity into their day. There’s a long list of benefits such as improved productivity, engagement and reduced sick leave. Check out our blog "Why we love standing".

And always remember:

  • ANY movement is better than sitting for too long.

  • It is completely fine to keep it simple and start small.

  • It’s achievable.

  • Only ourselves and our old habits are in the way.

  • Remind yourself your health is at stake.

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Daniel & Team MOVI

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The MOVI Standing Desk is a height adjustable standing desk platform that converts your existing desk into an electric standing desk without the time and cost associated with removing and refitting existing office furniture. Simple as that.

Our adjustable stand up desks are spacious, stylish, smart, safe and stable.

A more uplifting experience - We’ve engineered (and patented) our own electric lifting system to offer you more. Safer lifting, larger productive workspace, more height settings, better ergonomics, dual monitor lifting capacity, strength and stability at all heights, digital sit-stand reminders, digital height input memory save, power-save and more.

This goes without saying that our stand up desk arrives fully assembled, with both a 5 year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee in your choice of black or white with a beautiful bamboo bench-top.

Feel the difference - be more productive and uplifted at work.