10 Bad Habits that Should Be Banned from the Workplace

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Stand Up

Don't assume that sitting is the only way to work. It's not.

You've likely read the news and have heard that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health. The issue isn't that we sit, the issue is that many of us sit and work without standing or walking for many hours at a time. Walking on a treadmill desk for eight hours a day is not the answer either (at least for most of us).

Instead:

  • Stand up every 30 minutes and walk around every hour and a half, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  • Find surfaces around your workplace that are bar-height and stand and work for a few minutes each day.
  • Take phone calls, watch presentations, read or perform other activities while standing up or even walking if it makes sense for the task at hand.

Why?

This will not only improve cardio metabolic health but it will also prevent conditions like deep vein thrombosis. According to a recent study, reactive thinking improves during walking and creativity levels are consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to those sitting. Walking has also been shown to help with improved attention and short-term recall.

As technology has evolved and more and more work is completed using computers, many workers have found themselves in sedentary office jobs. Leigh Stringer, author of "The Healthy Workplace," says it's not that we aren't working hard, but that "what our minds and bodies need at a basic level is in conflict with our work style. We are so focused on work, on getting things done, that we've changed the way we eat, move and sleep in a way that is actually counter-productive."

According to Stringer, taking care of worker health and wellbeing is one of the most effective ways to increase employee productivity and engagement. As an example, think back to a night when you got a full night's sleep and compare that to a night when you stayed out a bit too late with friends. How did you feel the morning after your night with friends? Probably not bright-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the challenges of the day. It's important to put your health first, as everything hinges on that baseline.  

So what are some of those unhealthy habits that we need to break? In this slideshow, Ms. Stringer offers up a comprehensive list of the "don'ts," with suggestions on what to do instead.

 

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