After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Explain the health risks of sedentary behavior.
- Incorporate more movement into your day.
- Create a company culture that values physical activity.
Struggling to make time for physical activity? You’re not alone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four adults are not active enough. And it’s not because you don’t care.
In fact, more than half of office employees polled in Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Workplace and Health survey cited stress and being sedentary at work as their top health concerns.
If the majority of your workday is spent sitting at a desk, or if you spend too much time being sedentary, not moving at all (too much time on the couch, too much time sitting in a car, and so on), it can be harmful to your health no matter how much you exercise. Sedentary behavior like this may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and early death.
The good news is that incorporating short, frequent bouts of movement during the day can help combat these health risks. The sum of your movement is what counts. Here are some ways to get more movement during your day.
- Move at least once every hour. It’s a great excuse to grab another glass of water to keep you well hydrated throughout the day. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you.
- Try a stand-up desk, treadmill desk, or cycle desk. If you work behind a desk, these options give you the opportunity to stand or move while you work.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get those steps in!
- Walk during your lunch break or your 1:1 meetings.
- Track your movement. Hold yourself accountable by tracking your movement with your favorite fitness device or app or even a simple step counter.
- Take a stretch break at your desk. Stretching can ease the aches and pains that come with sitting for too long. Check out Camp B-Well Studio: Desk Stretching for 10-minute upper and lower body stretches you can do right at your desk.
Upper Body Stretches
These upper body stretches can be done right at your desk to help you recenter, refocus, and iron out the kinks of everyday life.
Lower Body Stretches
Lower body stretches can be done right at your desk to work out the kinks and get moving.
And for your pre- and post-work hours, weekends, and time off, here are some ways to add more movement into your life:
|Vacuum your living space
||Walk your dog
||Take flying trapeze lessons
|Clean out your closet
||Ride your bike
||Explore your neighborhood or city
|Declutter your space
||Host an active game night including games such as charades or a scavenger hunt
|Weed your garden
||Hike in the woods
||Try a new fitness class
|Wash the dishes
||Participate in an intramural sports team
||Go fruit picking
To the businesses in the Salesforce ecosystem—stress in the workplace is on the rise. The negative health effects are being compounded by inactivity. So much so that the health and wellbeing of employees are at risk. That’s why promoting physical activity and educating employees about the importance of movement is so important.
Be sure to set your team up for success.
- Share the facts by posting blogs, videos, and this module that explain the benefits of movement. Start the conversation with employees and encourage them to share tips on Chatter or another collaboration platform you use.
- Create a company-wide goal or walk for a cause. There are many organizations that facilitate group walks such as Light the Night for people to rally around.
- Lead by example by starting a weekly walking group at the office for employees to move their bodies and spend some time outdoors. Or start doing walking 1:1s with your team.
- Give employees permission to make time for physical activity. Talk with your teams to set expectations and let them know that they can take a movement break when they need to.
We live in a fast-paced world, with risks of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. The stress and harmful effects of inactivity can take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. The good news is that movement can help! Physical activity is one of the best ways to alleviate stress and promote overall health and wellbeing. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get moving!
- Physical activity World Health Organization
- The Workplace and Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Patterns of Sedentary Behavior and Mortality Annals of Internal Medicine
- Sedentary Behavior and Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality American Heart Association
- Yes, sitting too long can kill you, even if you exercise CNN
- Desk stretches to ease aches and pains British United Provident Association
- How to Move More Anytime Anywhere American Heart Association
- Workplace Stress International Labour Organization