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When entrepreneurs and small business owners consider productivity, a number of factors come to mind: production output, employee efficiency, etc. However, few consider a hidden but important factor: how much they and their team are sitting, and the negative impact too much sitting can have on their productivity.

Many of us sit at our desks for 40 hours a week without putting much thought into it. After all, computer time is essential for any tech company or other small business. But according to the Mayo Clinic, those who sit for eight or more hours each day with no physical activity have similar health risks to people who are obese and are smokers.

Yes, you read that right. Being sedentary is as detrimental as gaining weight and using tobacco.

This research gives us pause. Are our desk jobs causing us to be unhealthy? Not only do you not want your employees or yourself to be sick, but illness causes a serious impact on productivity, profitability, and the health of the company itself.

The Good News for Employers

Everyone wants to be healthy. Most of us know the basics: diet and exercise are two key components. Staying active during the workday may be easier, though, than you’d think.

There are numerous ways to stay active at your desk. Some of our favorites include:

1. Desk yoga.

You don’t need to be extra flexible to do yoga, especially at your desk. There are many subtle stretches that won’t make you into an office spectacle. Taking a 30-second stretch break a few times a day can lower your stress levels, improve your mood, and keep your mind fresh.

2. Stand up while you’re on the phone.

Many of us have to make several phone calls throughout the day. If you make it a habit to stand up while you’re chatting, you’ll find yourself taking significantly more steps throughout the day. Additionally, some research has shown that standing during a call increases your confidence.

3. Remix your workspace.

There are a variety of adjustments you can make to your desk to encourage more movement. Some employees opt for a standing desk, where they don’t have to sit at all. If your space allows it, you can even make this standing desk a mobile workstation so that any employee can take advantage of it. Other options include using an exercise ball as a chair. If you’re really committed, you can try out this foot board based on surfing ergonomics or the Back App chair, which will keep your stomach muscles active throughout the day.

4. Propose a walking meeting.

Some meetings require a traditional setup with a whiteboard or a projector. Other meetings or check-ins are a more informal conversation. If the weather is nice, suggest that your colleague and you take a walk as you meet. This is a great way to break up the day, get your creative juices flowing, and stay active.

5. Set a timer.

Studies have shown that in some ways, it doesn’t matter much what kind of exercise you do: moving often is the most important thing. Whether you are making a commitment to stretch three times a day or just want to stand up more often to fill up your bottle of water, setting a timer can help you keep on track. Pedometers that track how many steps you take each day can also help you reach your fitness goals. Although you’ll be taking more “breaks,” your productivity will increase with more physical movement.

Wellness and Your Company

The wellbeing of you, your company, and your employees is important to us. We work with small businesses like yours to provide quality employee benefits and helpful advice to help your company succeed. Contact us today to talk more about your unique business goals and needs!