Are you looking for ways to make your office more active?
Some careers encourage--rather than discourage--sedentary lifestyles. Office jobs, in particular, can involve a lot of sitting, oftentimes in cramped and uninspiring places.
Difficult careers can also tax our motivation to actually stay active. Sometimes a night at the gym is the last thing we want after a long, hard work day.
Luckily, there are ways to promote activity in the office, no matter what company you manage. Read on for insight into creating an active office for everyone!
1. Implement Standing Desks
Standing desks present one of the easiest means of counteracting sedentary tasks. Sitting in an office chair all day may not seem taxing on the surface, but sitting too much can actually lead to health problems.
Standing desks are exactly what they sound like: desks designed for work performed while standing. These desks don't require chairs and can be used as a wonderful and cost-effective means of getting your employees on their feet.
Workers who are suffering from back problems or any other chronic pain aggravated by sitting will particularly appreciate standing desks. Other employees may like the idea of switching between their regular office chairs and their standing desks.
Standing desks come in two general forms: desks that can be placed on top of existing desks and those that are their own entity. Use standing desk mats to prevent against fatigue.
Browse our collection of competitive standing desk models here!
2. Consider Active Chairs
Desks aren't the only piece of furniture that can promote an active office environment. Active chairs are excellent complements to standing desks.
Active chairs are chairs that encourage users to sit actively. They discourage slouching or collapsing, often because they are backless. Some active chairs are "wobble" chairs, meaning that they can offer an in-office core workout whenever desired.
Active chairs can also be adjusted to standing desk height, depending on the chair model.
Curious about the active chairs you can bring into your office? We've got a great selection right here.
3. Incorporate Open Concept Spaces
It can be hard to engage in activity when you're working in a cramped or stifling place. Promote activity in your office by incorporating open concept spaces.
This may involve a simple shuffling around of furniture. Abolish your cubicles, if possible, and create an open concept office desk area.
If you have the luxury of designing your own office or building from scratch, consult a designer ahead of time. Aim to build space with high ceilings, big windows, and a lot of room to move around.
If you're limited by building design, you can still embrace open concept space. Encourage employees to leave doors open, for example, get rid of clutter, or remove excess furniture spaces.
4. Offer Gym Membership Incentives
Many organizations partner with local gyms or health clubs and are able to offer discounted memberships to their employees.
Explore similar opportunities in your community. If one doesn't exist, reach out to gyms to see if they would be interested in such a partnership.
Another idea is to offer your employees incentives for purchasing a gym membership of any kind. Perhaps doing so makes them eligible for a raise, a bonus, or discounted access to company products or services.
Many office buildings have gyms in them, too. Consider encouraging your employees to take advantage of this space by offering "gym-only" hours during the workday.
5. Encourage Break Time
There is immense, proven value to taking breaks regularly throughout a workday. Breaks can even positively influence your neurology!
Some of your employees may already take their allotted lunch breaks. But it's equally crucial for workers to take breaks throughout the day, especially after long bouts of intense work.
Set the standard for active break time by encouraging employees to take a walk between meetings. Encourage gym visits, if applicable. You may even go so far as to mandate miniature breaks throughout the workday to promote outdoor engagement.
6. Ask Your Employees for Advice
Sometimes the best solutions emerge from collaboration. If you've implemented these measures and are still looking for ways to make your office more active, consult your workers themselves!
Hold a collaborative meeting in which you ask employees what would best suit their needs for working in an active office environment.
You may learn during these discussions that employees would appreciate anti-fatigue mats for their standing desks, for example. (Fatigue can occur with standing desk use, despite its anti-sedentary component.)
Your employees may make a request for other tools that can complement active working, such as keyboard trays for greater mobility.
Such a panel can also give you time to talk about breaks, gym membership incentives, and more.
7. Brighten the Space
Lighting can actually influence our desire to move. Poor lighting can even compromise vision, leading to poor productivity levels, health problems, and more inactivity.
Brighten up your office space the right way to encourage greater movement and energy levels. Invest in energy-efficient bulbs such as LEDs to deliver high-quality, bright light to work areas.
Most importantly, try to light spaces using ceiling fixtures rather than direct desk lamps.
You may also wish to provide your employees with blue-light reduction glasses to promote healthy engagement with bright computer screens.
Steps to an Active Office
Active offices, on the whole, are more productive and efficient. Employees who have to slouch in office chairs all day are less likely to contribute valuable ideas to your team.
Create an active office by tackling your furniture first. Invest in standing desk options so that employees can stand rather than sit all day if they choose. Or consider active chairs that prevent slouching and promote day-long engagement. You may also wish to investigate balance boards!
Open-concept space with bright lights is also likely to encourage an atmosphere of activity. Encourage your employees to take frequent, outdoor breaks and offer incentives if they join a local gym.
You may also wish to consult your employees to get more ideas about active office spaces.
At Uncaged Ergonomics, we believe in the power of active offices. Have a question about any of our products? We have answers!