Man and woman walking along the street

Top Tips for Managers

Do You 'Move Smart'?

We all know being more physically active is important for our health and wellbeing.

Did you know that we can all ‘Move Smart’ at work; benefiting not only ourselves as a manager, but our wider team?

Take a look at the top tips to ensure you and your team are more physically active in the workplace.

Be a 'Move Smart' Role Model

As a manager, it is our role to promote and safeguard health and wellbeing of our employees and team. Committing to looking after yourself whilst you are in the workplace by being more physically active, and being seen to be doing so, can inspire and influence others to do the same. Evidence suggests a healthier team creates an open, positive and supportive workplace culture, where employees are more productive, happier and engaged.

Top Tips to ‘Move Smart’

Try and integrate these top tips into your working day, as an individual and also in the way you approach management. It really is the simple, little things that build up over time and make huge differences to our own and the team’s improvement in quality of life and reduction in health risks.

  • Review your current activity level. Are you a ‘Move Smart’ pro or is there room for improvement? Wherever you think you might be now, chances are there is always something to be done to help not just yourself, but your employees and team, to be more physically active at work. Take some time out now to think about how you go about your day-to-day at work and consider the following tips…
  • Stand more often. Is there any opportunity to stand up when you are on a call? Have standing meetings with colleagues or employees? Use a standing desk or find a location where you can stand whilst working? Set an alarm to remind you to get up from your seat and stand? Do you have to sit all the way on your commute to work? Studies have suggested that standing burns more calories than sitting down as our muscles have to work harder to keep ourselves upright and can also help to provide us with great health benefits, such as improving mood and energy levels and reducing blood pressure, heart disease and even cancer. According to research, if we stand up for three hours a day, five days a week over a year, this could be the equivalent of running ten marathons!
  • Walk more. Can you walk to or from work (or at least walk further than you usually do)? Taking the stairs one flight more than usual? Use the toilets located on a different floor or further away than the usual? Take a walk to someone’s desk or to get a top up of water? Can you have walking meetings (whilst also getting a change of scenery or some fresh air)? Can you take a brisk walk during your lunch or other breaks? Could you try a new place to eat at lunch (that is further away than the usual spot)? Can you start a walking club?
  • Take an exercise class. Can you attend this exercise class during your work day? Is it something that can be considered for the wider team or organisation?
  • Desk exercises and stretches. Have you ever tried to be more active whilst sitting? Have a go by clicking here.
  • Take a breather. Have you tried breathing practice? Did you know it counts towards being more physically active? Take a look here for some breathing practices you can use at your desk to beat stress and improve focus (and be move smart at work!).
  • Travelling for work? Be prepared. Think about the journey ahead and problem solve around how you can go about being more physically active in your day. Preparation is key to getting the most out a potentially inactive working day.
  • Try something new. Fancy trying something radical that will be a memorable and beneficial? Ever heard of dancing in the office? No? Well it might be a step (or shimmy) too far, but look to push yourself or your team out of the ‘norm’ of their comfort zone. Suggest some new ideas (may be from this article!) and get support from the organisation, whether it is funding or space for the new activity.
  • Tell the team. They may see you do some of these top tips already; it might be that you plan to introduce these more into your working day; tell your employees what you are doing and why. This conversation might just be the start of someone in your team adopting a new attitude to changing how they go about their typical working day, which could lead to improved health and benefits for them, too!

Top Tips

  • Think about your current activity level at work and assess where you could be more ‘Move Smart’.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new!
  • Show employees and colleagues your commitment by demonstrating what you do and tell them why you are doing it.
  • As a manager you have the opportunity to improve employee health whilst at work. Small adjustments to how we go about our work are all that is needed to see improvements.

References:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing/

www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-27939985/is-working-standing-up-good-for-health

www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k3870

reba.global/files/document/257/1561368113_REBAWellbeingResearch2019ExecutiveSummary.pdf