Sitting is the New Smoking – Haven’t You Heard?

October 8, 2014

More reports are coming out daily, filling us in on just how bad sitting is for us. So far, it has been discovered that sitting can raise the risk of disability and cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. If you haven't heard the phrase "sitting is the new smoking," you are behind the times.

These recent discoveries have led to a movement…literally. People across the globe are finding ways to be more active in the workplace. After all, it is obvious that the real culprit here is the corporate office, which, by nature, is causing us to spend at least eight hours a day at a desk – sitting and staring at our computers, or sitting in meeting after meeting. I know what you're thinking: your boss won't spring for that standing desk you've been asking for, so you have given up hope that you can avoid sitting for most of your work day – but don't lose hope just yet!

I recently attended a Wellness Seminar hosted by 101 Best and Brightest, where a panel spoke about best practices in wellness. The members of the panel gave lots of great ideas on how to get everyone in your company up and moving. Here are five of my favorite best practices:

  • Coordinate 2, 15 minute companywide breaks in which everyone is required to get away from their desks. During this time, employees are encouraged to stretch their legs, go get a healthy snack or a bottle of water, or even take a lap around the building with coworkers. No excuses; no man or woman left behind!
  • Dedicate a space for yoga and meditation, which are both known to reduce stress. Setting aside a place where employees can gather their thoughts, stretch and, in some cases, calm down, can do wonders for productivity. Employees can utilize this room on their lunches or during their morning and afternoon breaks.
  • Email your team members or nearby coworkers to remind them to get up and stretch! Send out this list of exercises and stretches to the team, which you can do together or at your own pace. However, the important thing here is to hold people accountable. Make sure everyone gets up for a few minutes, no matter how important the project they are in the middle of may be.
  • Start a walking group during your lunch instead of sitting the entire time in the break room. Eat your lunch, then go outside and take a walk around the building or headquarters with some of your team members. This is a great way to get to know other coworkers, increase engagement, and avoid the crash you feel after lunch. Walking after eating also helps digest your food more quickly and increases your metabolism – I'll cheers…er, I mean walk to that.
  • Mobilize your meetings. OK, I know sometimes, these just aren't feasible: you may need the computer to show fancy charts indicating your company's performance or need to take important notes. However, you can at least incorporate these walking meetings during your weekly one-on-one or coaching session. You will come back from your meeting feeling refreshed and ready to work! 

There are many benefits to being more active at work, including increased productivity, reduced risk of obesity, and increased overall lifespan. Do you really need any more reasons enough to get out of your seat and start moving? Join the "movement at work" movement today – and if you have any success stories, please share them with us on Facebook!


Krista is the 'ville's Web Marketing Coordinator. She came to us in 2012 as part of our stellar Sales team. Using her experience with Baudville customers, she helps create an online experience we're sure you will enjoy! Being the chatterbox she is, she truly misses talking with all of you so don't be shy and drop her a line!

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