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Increased creativity and productivity with the right amount of exercise at the workplace

Increased creativity and productivity with the right amount of exercise at the workplace

, by Joris Lans, 3 min reading time

More exercise at the workplace

We should all get moving at the workplace. It beats sitting around all day and enhances our creativity and productivity. In this blog we want to make you aware of the health risks of sitting all day without exercise and provide you with tips and tricks to get off your lazy chair and on the move.

"Most employees rely on their intelligence and creativity. Breaking this pattern once in a while will only have a positive outcome" - Peter Mol, consultant at the 'Kenniscentrum Sport en Bewegen in the Netherlands.

A sedentary lifestyle is ingrained in our lives. We spend most of our lives sitting around, at school, at home and at work. There's mounting evidence this sedentary lifestyle is a risk to our health. In the long run it can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovasculair disease. According to Peter Mol it's very important to get employees to exercise at the workplace.

"Employers shouldn't fear proper exercise at the workplace will affect the productivity of their employees. Exercising will make them all the more productive and creative. Breaking their working pattern also improves their mental capacity. The brain needs oxygen which is generated by muscle tension from standing up and moving around occasionally. This stimulates the blood flow.

Creating exercise at the workplace 

The Kenniscentrum Sport en Bewegen has developed a special questionnaire to measure your movement. It also helps you to get more exercise at work. People who are sitting for over half an hour in a row during their working day are advised to take active breaks. It's strongly recommended to alternate between sitting, standing and exercising at a regular basis. Preferably after every hour of sedentary activity. Here's some tips and tricks to get more exercise during your working day.

- Standing while you're on the phone
- Seeing a colleague instead of sending him or her an e-mail
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Having a standing or walking lunchbreak
- Standing up while you're being visited by a colleague for a brief consultation

Changing the corporate culture 

Changing the corporate culture isn't always an easy thing to do. Old habits die hard. HR-professionals and management can stimulate this new and healthier way of living. There are a few easy ways to stimulate exercising at the workplace, leading to healthier and happier employees. Here they are:

- Breaking the habit

Most workplaces only provide seated places of work so you have to, surprise surprise sit down for work. Employers should stimulate employees to get more exercise by showing them sitting around is 'not done'. Creating lunchrooms and meeting rooms where employers have to stand up most of the time helps a lot in this respect. Employers should also stimulate their employees to set an example to others and get them on the move as well.

- Making people aware of the (health) benefits of enough exercise

By showing your employees the (health) benefits of exercising they'll be stimulated to get out their chair and start exercising immediately.

- Changing the sedentary workplace into an active workplace

Provide your employees with ways to exercise at the workplace. The workplace needs to be inviting enough for them to start moving. Replace chairs with exercise balls or put in some standing desks. Besides the standing desk there's also other great options, such as desk bikes and under desk treadmills. An active workplace with healthy and happy employees is now closer than it has even been before.


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