Twelve months ago our boss had a big wake up call. He attended a free health check up and was told that he should go and see his doctor – ASAP.
The diagnosis was high blood pressure and cholesterol.
So the boss started a ‘get healthy’ journey and took our workplace with him.
- We were offered a group discount price on membership to a local gym.
- Fresh fruit and nuts were on offer for special morning teas.
- We donated under utilised home gym equipment to create our own little gym in the office for lunch time work outs.
Different staff members took on different activities with varying amounts of success that were in direct correlation to the amount of effort put in.
Here are our results:
- One quarter of our staff are regular gym attendees.
- A couple of the staff members are doing 10 minutes of Tai Chi most days.
- Various staff members have also taken to riding mountain bikes down steep bush tracks (with only minimal damage, to the rider not the bike), climbed Mount Coolum on several occasions (with kids in tow) and taken up Golden Oldies Football.
- The boss is several kgs lighter and his BP and cholesterol are within normal ranges (most of the time).
But the most successful health initiative has undoubtedly been the addition of adjustable stand up desks. Most of us now have one and divide our work day into periods of sitting and standing. This has meant that even the most lethargic of us are moving more each day. And this is one of the keys to better health.
Simply standing up can increase your energy and burn up to three times as many kilojoules/calories as slumping in a chair. Of course it is important to stand correctly, just as it is to sit correctly at your desk.
- Eye level even with the top of the computer monitor
- Viewing distance 40-75cm
- Elbow angle at 90° and close to the body
- Wrists straight
- Consider using a gel or anti-fatigue mat to support your feet and lessen the pressure on your body.
As debate continues about the pros and cons of standing desks, all we can report on is the effect that our desks have had on our workplace. Pertrain Pen can confirm that our employees have commented on:
- Feeling less fatigued
- Feeling happier that they are doing something for their health
- Feeling more energetic
- Sleeping better.
Watch this space for more information on workplace health and fitness and being fit for work.
1. Aung-Thwin, C, What I learned from using a standing desk, http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/what-i-learned-from-using-a-standing-desk/story-fnkgbb6w-1227350658977
2. Lee, T, 2014, Health benefits of standing desks: separating hype from reality, https://www.techinasia.com/health-benefits-standing-desks-separating-hype-reality/
4. Vlahos, J, 2011, Is sitting a lethal activity, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17sitting-t.html?_r=1&