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Why Every Manager Needs to Help Employees Get Up and Move

A growing body of research tells us that movement at work is crucial to employee health. Simple changes in how employees sit, how long they sit, and even where they sit can minimize stress, lower costs, and improve productivity.

But encouraging movement doesn’t mean enforcing movement, so don’t spend less on work chairs because you want employees to stand. Besides, standing by itself is not movement. Encouraging employees to move involves motivating and educating them on the importance of alternating between standing and sitting, plus allowing them (and encouraging them) to take a break or two for a short walk.

Keep reading to learn more about the importance of movement in the workplace and find out how height adjustable tables and other tools can help improve employee health.

How Movement Affects Employee Health

Sitting or Standing for Too Long Can Cause Harm

Sitting for long periods can leave employees feeling achy and tired, and it can also lead to health issues like back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Various health organizations and studies have linked sitting for long hours to increased risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety

Even if your employees work out frequently, sitting for hours at a time can undermine and even cancel out the benefits of regular exercise.

To solve the sitting problem, many workplaces have tried to introduce standing desks. However, standing for too long can come with its own problems, like fatigue and foot pain. This is where the concept of encouraging true movement at work comes in.

When Employees Alternate Working Positions, Their Health Improves — and so Does Company Productivity

Employees need to alternate between sitting, standing, and moving to find the sweet spot for their health. Variations in position and activity shift the weight of the body to different muscle groups, which limits the strain on any one group.

Besides decreasing the risk for health issues, moving while working can improve employees’:

  • Moods
  • Energy levels
  • Mental focus
  • Productivity
  • Executive function
  • Working memory
  • Concentration

In turn, healthier employees become more productive employees who can work free from fatigue. And when employees work more efficiently, that helps your company’s bottom line.

What Does Movement at Work Look Like?

Alternating between standing and sitting is better than just sitting, but it’s only the first step (pun intended). You also need to encourage your employees to move, whether it’s taking a short walk outside or even a lap around the office.

Additionally, newer at-desk exercise options pair perfectly with height adjustable tables (HATs). The HAT allows the user to adjust the desk to the perfect height so they can keep working while walking or pedaling.

Related Product: Universal – Freestanding Height Adjustable Tables

Tools for Fostering Healthy Movement Habits in the Office

  • Height adjustable tables: Combine height adjustable tables with any chair or station to meet the user’s movement needs. HATs come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit any workstation.
  • Active workstations: The two most common types of active workstations are treadmill walking desks and bike pedaling desks. Both are available as standalone solutions or as add-ons that pair with height adjustable tables.
  • Standing collaborative areas: Standing-height or adjustable-height collaborative areas provide employees with a place to stretch their legs when they gather for casual meetings or brainstorming sessions.

Related Product: Zen Lounge – Adjustable Collaborative Tables

Educate Your Employees on When to Sit, When to Stand, and When to Walk

The general consensus from health and productivity experts is that employees should spend at least 60 minutes per workday standing or moving. Design analytics specialist Alan Hedge suggests a more detailed 20:8:2 model based on his research and observations.

Under the 20:8:2 approach, employees spend every half hour sitting for 20 minutes, standing for 8 minutes, and actively moving for 2 minutes. Moving could mean walking over to a coworker’s desk to chat instead of sending an email, or it could mean just carving out time for a quick walk.

Hedge’s model exceeds the 60-minute goal suggested by many experts; under Hedge’s approach, a typical employee would spend 160 minutes per day standing or moving. As a bonus, Hedge’s model gives employees a break from staring at their screens, which may help employees avoid eye strain and fatigue.

ZGO Solutions Can Help Your Office Encourage Movement and Foster Health

ZGO Solutions provides height adjustable desk solutions for any office configuration. From single-user freestanding desks to multi-user clusters, all our office table frames can adjust to the needs of each user. Our frames are also compatible with select active workstations, which lets you provide employees with active stations that perfectly match the design of the regular sit-stand stations.

For optimal results, combine our height adjustable tables with other ergonomic amenities such as chairs, monitor arms, and standing mats.

Want to learn more about how ZGO Solutions can help you foster movement in the workplace? Contact us today!



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