Productivity vs. Activity: It shouldn’t be a compromise
Are you concerned about what sitting all day at the office is doing to your body and health? I love my midday workouts as much as the next person, and feel completely comfortable in our open concept space here at Klipfolio, but if you’re looking at this image and laughing at the thought of you squatting and doing leg lifts in a skirt or trousers at your desk...you are definitely not alone. And this post is 100% for you. Let’s look at some less awkward alternatives to get your fitness fix shall we?
Step 1: Forget everything you were ever taught about work ethic. KIDDING!
Think back to the last time you or someone you know said “I just can’t sit still!” Where were you? Was it at your desk? In a meeting? On your lunch break? That feeling you have to get up for a walk or stretch in the middle of your workday has for a long time been, and in too many work environments still is, looked down upon. Why? Because there is a looming misconception that productivity means sitting down at your desk and focussing on the task at hand. From medium to small offices like us at Klipfolio, to multinational corporations like American Express, this misconception is being disproved by more and more offices each day.
It’s been proven through countless studies that encouraging employees to engage in a healthy active lifestyle both in and out of the office is beneficial for productivity, creativity and mental health. I’m not going to repeat those stats, you’ve already heard them! So why are you still stuck in your seat? Read on for more valuable tips to get you moving.
Who put that glue on your chair
Leah Eichler wrote an article for The Globe and Mail last month about office fitness that started off describing her kindergarten-aged daughter coming home from school complaining that her legs were tired from standing all day--and Eichler was delighted. For today’s workforce, this is nothing like our primary school experience where working meant sitting down at your desk, and gym class meant 30 minutes to release any bottled up energy; but this time was eventually removed entirely from your day as you moved up the education ladder and in time to your career.
What this means is that breaking the habit of sitting at your desk, having meetings in a boardroom and leaving your passion for cycling to weekends, will not be easy to break. Carol Toller, former Canadian Business Executive Editor was featured in an article by the magazine about what it’s like to work at a pedal desk. Toller talks about the somewhat strange transition from stationary to active working, but one of the best results of her new pedal desk was the playful taunting encouragement she received from her colleagues to keep pedaling at times when it slipped her mind. At Klipfolio we enjoy the same friendly banter before our lunchtime run-walk club twice a week, you can often hear our team jokingly tease one another saying, “Bring your running shoes today? “Forgot” them?”; but, above all Toller’s story raises a particularly important factor in successful office fitness: inclusiveness. As the only high-top desk among rows of cubicles, some may find it awkward to bring in a pedal desk, which is why it is so important that everyone has the same opportunity to adjust their setup.
There’s no “I” in TEAM. There is in fitness though, so remember it’s about your comfort level.
If pedal desks aren’t for you, try out a sit-stand desk. At Klipfolio everyone has a sit-stand desk so that no one feels uncomfortable going outside traditional office habits to improve their health while working. Ever heard sitting is the new smoking? It’s true! According to StandDesk, sitting more than 11 hours a day increases your risk of dying prematurely by 40%. That’s a pretty rattling statistic, but this post will help to counter it don’t worry. That 11 hours includes your 8 hour work day, commute and nightly “relaxation time”. Yes, we are all guilty of that few hours lost on Netflix every night. So why not mix it up? Sit-stand desks are a great way to encourage a healthy and active workforce by increasing people's heart rates and improving posture. The best part, sit-stand desks don’t impact your schedule AT ALL! They’re a great way to seamlessly improve your health.
Many offices join recreational sports leagues, at Klipfolio we have a soccer team, but organized sports teams aren’t the only way to foster teamwork: your office is a team anyway, right? When outside is not an option, some offices have fitness instructors like Julia Scodie, Founder of the award winning UK business Fitness in the City go into all sorts of workplaces to teach classes like pilates, circuits, yoga, zumba and more.
Hang·er /ˈhaNGər/ = A lethal combination of hunger and anger, the result of waiting too long to eat. Impairs your mood and judgment, can occur often if you consume foods that do not adequately satisfy your hunger.
How to avoid hanger. One of the most important things to remember is that a healthy and active office is much more than fitness. A proper diet is extremely important and unfortunately often forgotten amidst the hecticness of work and life. If it’s in your budget, some offices provide lunch for their employees to combat the temptation of store bought sandwiches and junk food. Others provide their team members with a lunch budget once a week to be put towards a healthy meal. At Klipfolio we make sure our kitchen is stocked with healthy snacks and have a well equipped kitchen to encourage everyone to pack a lunch that they can keep cool in the fridge and heat up later.
Don’t wait until your office holiday party to dance with your colleagues!
Fitness doesn’t have to be all serious--you can have a lot of fun while you get active! In 2015, Perrier and Flavorpill launched Lunch Break: a one hour mid-day party that invites office dwellers to spend their lunch time dancing to famous DJs, drinking signature cocktails (in moderation of course) and enjoying surprise guest appearances. At the end, each guest leaves with a classic bagged lunch to bring back to the office! This event series that attracted people from Wall Street to the creative industries in New York is spreading to Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia and more….hopefully Canada soon, or at least we can hope! This isn’t to say you should head to the bars at lunch hour, the InTrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Special Events Team gets active by implementing Friday Dance Parties in the office! You’re already on your computer, why not crank the music for a little?!
What do you get when you combine data nerds and fitness freaks?
As our team at Klipfolio continues to grow it’s become increasingly harder to keep up with our personal and collective fitness goals. We know that a healthy business is just as important as a healthy team, so why not keep up with both? Take a look at the Training Dashboard to learn more about how our team at Klipfolio stays active and how your office can too!
Originally published May 18, 2016, updated Mar, 23 2020