Do you generally feel tired at work? Are you always hit by the 2 pm slump? Do you struggle to stay motivated, energised and engaged? You are not alone. Research now proves that that movement (or lack thereof) is directly linked to our levels of energy, engagement and efficiency throughout the day.
On average, we spend approximately 13 years and two months of our lives at work. For many of us, this is sedentary. 60% of us also do less than the recommended 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day and almost 70 percent of us can be classed as either sedentary or having low levels of physical activity.
The impact of this is contributing to over three million preventable deaths worldwide each year and is the second-highest cause of cancer in Australia, behind tobacco smoking and the fourth leading cause of death due to non-communicable diseases.
It is imperative, more so than ever, that we are becoming creative in ways to incorporate additional movement into our day to improve our health, mindset and general wellbeing.
Here are 5 creative ways to get you going:
- STAND – Reducing sedentary time can improve physical, metabolic and even mental health. Studies show that offering options for both standing and sitting at work can lower the risk of weight gain and obesity, lower blood sugar levels, lower risk of heart disease, reduce back pain, improve mood and energy levels and boost productivity.
- WALK – Incorporate walking into your breaks, talking on the phone or meetings. Exercise stimulates flow throughout the body which leads to brief periods of hyper-oxygenation in the brain which increases both energy and attentiveness.
- STRETCH – Interspersing short exercises throughout the workday can boost employee energy, engagement and efficiency, says sports scientist Jack Groppel. Stretching at the desk can activate muscles and promote blood flow as well as switching on the parasympathetic nervous system which can reduce the stress response.
- WATER – Ensuring that employees are well hydrated will improve concentration and cognition, help to balance mood and emotion and maintain memory function. It will also ensure regular trips to the bathroom to stimulate movement.
- CONNECT – According to Kim Newman, managing editor of Greater Good “Very happy people are highly social and tend to have strong relationships; kids with a richer network of connections grow up to be happier adults; and socialising is one of the most positive everyday activities”. Ensuring the company has a culture that encourages interaction and involvement will improve happiness and general wellbeing amongst co-workers. Incorporating regular Yoga classes, physical exercise or opportunities to understand each other at a personal level will drive productivity for the business.
Stephanie Johnson (@stephanie.johnson_) is a 500hr Tamara Yoga ISHTA Australian teacher who works with Australian and International businesses, schools and individuals reducing stress and improving personal wellbeing. Her programs, one-off workshops and regular yoga and meditation classes are highly sought after across Australia. She specialises in yoga psychology and mental health as well as meditation, restorative, yin yoga, vinyasa yoga and yoga nidra. For more information head to www.stephaniejohnson.com.au