As a member of the HNI Healthworks team, I spend time with other members within the company working to encourage healthy habits in the workplace. Workplace wellness continues to be a hot topic, both inside and outside the world of office furniture. Moreover, working for an office furniture manufacturer provides a very unique insight into this issue.
On one hand, as a HON member, I like knowing that people can put our seating products to good use. We offer a large variety of styles, functions, and features—executive chairs, modern chairs, chairs with more adjustments than I ever knew possible, and even reception area chairs. When designing our products, we make sure that it not only passes testing standards for safety, but we want it to be comfortable as well. One perk of working at HON is that our members are given the chance to test out new products and provide feedback to the designers and engineers before anyone else.
On the other hand, as someone who is fairly active, I also know how physically taxing it can be to remain at your desk for eight or more hours. I know, I know—sitting is hard?! It may sound crazy, but studies have shown that there can be negative side effects to remaining seated for too long without any movement. Sitting is necessary for me to accomplish my work, and as much as I like my HON chair, I sometimes need a little break from sitting.
So what can you do? Here are a couple of helpful tips that I’ve been able to implement into my daily routine:
1. Take a walk! Everyone needs to take a break from work for a few moments during the workday, and I like to spend mine walking. My coworkers can attest to the fact that I can be spotted making a loop through our building, or even walking a lap in the parking lot during my breaks or over lunch.
2. Want a few extra steps? Choose a parking spot that’s further away from the entrance to the building.
3. Take the long route when heading to the restroom, meeting room, break room, etc.
4. Skip the elevator (as your health allows) and take the stairs instead.
5. Eat your lunch away from your desk. Even if you just go to the break room or cafeteria, getting away from your desk not only gives you a chance to get some steps in, but it’s also a great way to “reset” yourself mentally.
6. If you have standing-height tables available for meetings or breaks, use them! You might not be moving, but standing for a meeting can be beneficial for your overall mobility.
7. Drink water—staying hydrated is important for your health, and the more you get up to grab a refill, the more steps you take.
These are just a handful of ways that I incorporate movement and activity into my day. Share your workplace wellness tips below!