Even before "sitting disease" became such a hot topic, people looked for ways to offset the long hours spent in front of their computer. Some highly motivated folks visited the gym before or after their work day. Others took a walk during their lunch hour. Most commonly though, people just worked out the kinks on their way to the break room to refill their coffee cup.
Work styles are evolving as people and companies learn more about the benefits of moving. And companies are taking advantage of this mind shift. Anthro Corporation, whose reputation is based on making desks that fit the way people work and exceed customer's expectations, is excited about the changes in the workplace.
"Humans were not designed to sit all day. The body is meant to move," says Shoaib Tareen, president and co-founder of Anthro. Anthro's been designing sit/stand desk for decades based on this theory. They have an entire collection of electric height-adjustable desks from the new Elevate® II to the award-winning Steve's Station® that encourage a healthy balance of sitting and standing.
"Incorporating movement into day-to-day tasks has been a part of Anthro's corporate culture for many years. We call it MoveMore™," comments Cathy Filgas, vice-president and Anthro co-founder. "MoveMore encompasses more than just height-adjustable desks. It's about creating a work culture that encourages movement."
One of the perks of working at Anthro is gaining firsthand experience of company products. New employees get to choose a sit/stand desk. "I remember when I saw a new employee hunched over their work. I showed them that they just need to push a button to raise their desk to a comfortable sitting position. Then they discovered the desk went all the way up to standing height. They were so pleased! " recalls Cathy.
Consciously taking time to move about during the work day seems contrary to productivity. Yet standing periodically to work on the computer, taking short breaks to stretch, and changing positions has been proven to boost alertness and be part of a healthy lifestyle.
Other ways to add more movement into your daily routine include:
Don't save yourself a trip. Rather than filling up your water bottle and coffee mug at the same time, choose one. Then refill the other in an hour or two which gives you the opportunity to get up and walk a little.
Set reminders. Sign up for an online tool to be reminded throughout the work day to move and stretch. Applications such as FitBolt are free and include instructions and pictures for each exercise.
Walk the talk. Rather than gathering in a conference room for a meeting, take the discussion outside and get some fresh air while stretching those muscles. Or simply schedule a "huddle" meeting where everyone remains standing.
And most importantly, swap a fixed-height desk for an adjustable version. With the ability to raise and lower your work surface a person is more likely to incorporate ergonomic principles and adjust their posture throughout the workday.