Three years ago, the American workforce was already facing a health crisis in the office: sitting at your desk for too long. Add the pandemic pushing more office jobs into remote jobs and that crisis has only gotten worse.
No longer do employees have the easy motivation to get up from work to go to the water cooler, to walk around a city block, or to grab a fresh cup of coffee with a coworker. Instead, more employees are multi-tasking in their home offices, potentially increasing their total sit time in one day. As their manager, in-person or remote, you can inspire healthy change that will also positively impact the entire company.
What Are The Benefits of Employee Walk Breaks?
Health Implications from Sitting Too Long
Here are just a few consequences that you or your employees may face if you don’t take walk breaks throughout the day:
- Muscles, when in the constant sitting position can stiffen and quite easily, lose their flexibility.
- Neck, shoulder, and back pain can develop or get worse from constantly sitting, especially with poor posture.
- Lack of activity can contribute to weight gain and decreased energy.
- People who are sedentary, especially because of their jobs, tend to feel more stressed, more fatigued, and less happy than those who have more activity.
Benefits of Walk Breaks at Work
Walk breaks – we’re talking short ones – can significantly reduce the health implications listed above. In fact, look at how they can create healthy change:
- Walking delivers oxygen to your muscles, conditions them, and stretches them.
- Help alleviate neck, shoulder, and back pain by focusing on good posture while you take your walk break.
- Adding small amounts of activity throughout the day adds up and can help burn calories to keep yourself at a healthy weight.
- Taking walk breaks can give an energy and productivity boost to your employees, which can also contribute to their overall workplace satisfaction.
Ways to Encourage Walk Breaks for Your Employees
A boss that tells their employees to think of themselves for a change? Yes, please! You can be a hero bossy just by valuing the well-being of your employees in this simple way. Here are a few ways you can encourage your employees to take walk breaks throughout the day.
Meeting & Presentation
Of course, most things get communicated first in a meeting. Maybe in this one, you invite everyone to find a place to stand for their meeting. Make sure your team understands the risks of sitting for too long of a time; they also need to know that you want to help them avoid any further implications. Be sure to make time in your meeting for questions and suggestions from your employees.
Competition always makes things a little more interesting, right? Well, sure. But instead of competing for the most steps walked, or something of that nature, you could do something less competitive but that yields the same enthusiasm. Ask your employees to take a selfie of themselves walking during the workday, and they can post the picture to a Slack channel or private intranet page. At the end of this kickoff period, you can draw randomly from the picture entries a winner for a fun prize.
You have so much technology at your disposal that scheduling a reminder to be sent out to your employees is a no-brainer. Choose email, Slack, or another program to send a friendly reminder to get moving for a bit.
Add Top Talent to Your Team
If you need to increase your employee team, find the right hire with the guidance of the professionals at Expert Staffing. They can help you find the best candidate for your company’s needs.