We often talk about increasingly sedentary workplaces, and the negative impact they are having on our health. Here at Posture People, we are always looking for innovative ideas to encourage better levels of activity in the workspace. Here are some of our favourite ideas for active workplace design.
Fitness centred design
The more you invest in the initial design of your office, the better it will work for your people in the long run. Fitness centred design focuses heavily on the distances between different collaborative departments, breakout spaces and even the toilets. There are specific thresholds for this. If you sit more than 80 ft away from someone, you are less likely to talk to them on a daily basis. However, creating direct visibility to relevant departments. and being able to make direct eye contact can encourage your team to make a trip over or meet at a breakout space in the middle.
Posture People use standing desks, and we are big advocates of standing at work . This will enable you to alternate between sitting and standing every 20 minutes, burn an extra 30,000 calories a year and prevent a multitude of musculoskeletal issues. A height-adjustable desk also means that you can properly adjust it for each individual employee. We recommend breaking up your sedentary workday by standing every 20 minutes with regular rest periods.
Acoustic phone booths
Having an area to take phone calls encourages people to step away from their desks, and creates privacy for those important calls. We have seen this solution work well in hot desk environments, as it also stifles a lot of office noise. You can read more about effective acoustic solutions here.
Reduce your inbox
Try and limit the amount that you email internally. Speaking directly to your colleagues avoids trails of emails, misunderstandings and results in fitter, quicker and slicker (FQS) communication. You can encourage staff to speak face to face by creating private meeting pods and flexible collaborative working areas. This way of working helps you step away from your screen, rest your eyes and get your steps up.
Walk towards incentives
Many companies now implement a walk or cycle to work scheme to encourage better health, less congestion and increased productivity. A good way to promote more activity is to ‘gamify’ walking and cycling. The Gartner Group predicted that by 2014, more than 70% of global organisations would have at least one gamified application, which can range from mastering a specific skill or improving one’s health. You could try a walking meeting to get your department top of the steps leader board or be the first company to ‘walk to the moon’. If it’s for charity or a personal prize, it’s a great way to get healthy and engaging the entire team. The British Heart Foundation has some excellent ideas to promote healthier working lives.