OH! Magazine - Australian Version April 2016 - Page 7

( OH WOW! ) ANALEE MATTHEWS STAND UP FOR YOUR HEALTH Office-based serial sitter, Analee Matthews roadtests a sit-to-stand desk from InMovement. ne of the first things most people say to me, when they find out I’m an editor/publisher of health and fitness magazines is ‘Oh, you must so be fit’. O Up until recently, this has been embarrassingly far from the truth. Because over the past decade or so, I have spent so much time writing about fitness that I have had very little time to actually experience fitness. So yes, I confess – until recently I have been a very poor example of one who practices what they preach! So, when the opportunity arose to test-drive one of the most innovative sitto-stand desks from InMovement, I jumped (tentatively of course, due to my sedentary musculature), at the opportunity to do so. On day one I’ll admit that I was a wee bit anxious about how I’d go. I mean, for ten years, my lardy glutes have been having an obscene love affair with my desk chair. But with research findings indicating the potentially fatal impact of prolonged seating, the oversized InMovement package from Life Fitness could not arrive fast enough, for my liking! The InMovement Elevate Desktop DT2 arrived via courier in just a few days, and all I had to do to set it up was lift it out of the box and place it onto my existing desk. The quality of craftsmanship was immediately obvious; I can understand how you definitely ‘get what you pay for’ when it comes to this sort of hardware. The simplicity and ease in which you can raise and lower the DT2, coupled with the smooth mechanics and immaculate finish (available in three eye-catching colours), makes it a piece that anyone would be proud to display in any home or office environment. The fact is, the human body is designed to be in motion; but in today’s workplace, many of us sit more than nine hours a day – at our desks, in meetings and during our commute. And it doesn’t get any better at home, because in a 65-year life span the average person will have sat in front of a TV for more than nine years! In a workplace environment, prolonged sitting can damage you physically, mentally and emotionally which, naturally, impacts on productivity. Two thirds of employees feel disengaged, dispirited and fatigued at work, and sedentary behaviour is a leading cause. Considering all of this doom and gloom, it’s no wonder that 67 per cent of desk workers dislike sitting, and 75 per cent of employees welcome the idea of introducing more movement and less sitting while at work! The great news is, the solution is easier than you think: small efforts to regularly move while in the workplace can make a big difference to your health. In fact, when provided with options to work both seated and standing, 60 per cent of employees believe they’ll be more productive. So, exactly what can be done to boost the movement in your workplace? Tip 1. Boost your ‘incidental’ exercise I’m sure you’ve already heard this suggestion before now, but let’s recap. Incidental exercise is easier to integrate into your day than you may realise. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to a coffee shop that’s not right next door, park the car further away or get off a few bus/train stops earlier and walk the rest of the way to the office, organise a group fitness session during lunchtimes, walk or cycle to work instead of driving, or take up a team sport or introduce a group training session, where the whole team participate/compete each week together. Tip 2. Hold walking meetings Walking meetings are a very simple way to get more movement into your workday. Walking meetings are exactly as they sound: they are meetings that you hold outdoors, while you walk. Walking meetings can have a huge impact on your health and productivity, as they often foster more creative thinking, they can help diminish workplace hierarchy, and many people find their thinking is clearer while walking outdoors. Tip 3. Introduce desk pedals Electrical activity in your leg muscles shuts off the moment you sit down. You can counteract the negative effects of sitting all day by using Desk Pedals. InMovement IntegrateTM Desk Pedals, for example, are office-friendly elliptical steppers, which can be used while seated or standing. Essentially desk pedals are a small accessible version of an elliptical machine; however, they are NOT designed for exercise – the smaller stride and ( OH! MAGAZINE ) APRIL 2016 7