Despite greater and continual use of mobile technology designed to give us more time and freedom, people are spending more time glued to their desk.
The average worker sits for about 9.5 hours per day. If you own and run your own business that figure increases to over half a day of sitting every day. Add on the time you drive or travel to work, sleep and eat and you’ll soon discover how much time you spending sitting.
Why Do We Sit For So Long?
Research reveals we have become addicted to consumption of information in our quest to “get the job done”. We are constantly searching for ways to become even more productive and efficient. We have trained our mind to search on Google for the answer to every question and now we are chained to our desks and addicted to our mobile devices.
How Does Sitting Affect Health and Wealth?
There are obvious affects including weight gain, muscle loss, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol. However, sitting for long periods has been reported to have far reaching effects on our physiological and emotional state. Here are 10 affects you may want to avoid:
1. Shortens your life
2. Weakens your heart
3. Increases risk of dementia
4. Counters the effect of short burst exercise
5. Increases risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis)
6. Spikes anxiety attacks
7. Causes back, neck and spine problems
8. Leads to varicose veins
9. Increases risk of osteoporosis
10. Increases risk of certain cancers
What Can We Do?
The first thing is to notice how much you sit each day. Then, with that awareness think about how you can build more movement and walking into your day.
I conduct as many business meetings as possible whilst walking. I also do walking coaching and walking training sessions. You may suggest a walk to a colleague instead of sitting in a coffee shop or café. By making small changes to your daily routine, you’ll be more likely to keep the healthy changes in your life.
The Top 3 Business Benefits of Walking
There are so many benefits it was a challenge to limit this section to only 3. However, before I talk about the benefits let me say that any change within your organisation requires clarity and planning before the execution!
There are now a multitude of knock on effects to consider from health and safety to out of office messages. However nothing is insurmountable with a little thought and solutions come even quicker when walking!
Here are my top 3 most impactful business benefits of encouraging a walking culture:
1. Improves Employees Health
An ideal opportunity to integrate physical activity into the workday. The results include lower health care costs, lower sick days, lower attrition.
2. Elevates Mood and Inspiration
Walking improves circulation and blood flow to the brain which fosters the feel good factor which improves energy and mood which creates inspiration and more creative thoughts. The simple act of talking a walk outside could be the most effective way of improving your culture even more.
3. Increases Connection and Collaboration
Walking side by side quickly reduces the hierarchical boundaries. When these boundaries are reduced people can more quickly break down perceived biases and barriers, accomplish the required outcome of a meeting because communication is more impactful, creative and personally communicated.
Make a promise to yourself, go outside and experience the powerful healing and feel good factors provided by the great outdoors.
If you'd like to find out more about integrating walking meetings into your business, you can attend one of my events or contact me for private and tailor made solutions.