The Importance of Movement on the Clock
Research shows sitting for long periods of time can cause the brain to fall into a slumbering state and diminish one’s ability to comprehend and learn, which can have a negative impact on our workday. On the other hand, movement during the workday maximizes energy and performance, and may reduce significant health risks associated with sitting for several hours at a time (e.g. heart disease, metabolic syndrome). Although we know how important it is to incorporate physical activity into our everyday lives, finding the time to do so at work (where we spend most of our day) may be a struggle.
Whether returning to the office or working from home, there are many opportunities for movement to consider. The latest research shows that sitting “smart” (i.e. good posture with shoulders back), standing, and giving yourself some walking options can have a significant impact on productivity and wellness at work. Consider other small changes such as taking a brisk walk outside during lunch hour or performing desk-friendly exercises and gentle stretches (check out this link for examples: https://snacknation.com/blog/office-exercises/). If working from home, try a quick at-home workout/yoga video during your break. If working from the office, consider walking to talk to a colleague instead of emailing or calling them, and walking or biking to work when possible.
MEDUCOM has invested in standing desks to combat the consequences of too much time spent sitting and has found the change to be energizing. Some companies, such as Google and Microsoft, have even taken a step further and incorporated treadmill desks into the workplace! Maybe one day we will all get there too.