Stand up at work and feel the power!

Brilliant news! Standing can make you feel more powerful, improve your health and keep you slim!

Go to the profile of Charlene Hutsebaut
Jun 18, 2015
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Let’s get the scary news out of the way first!

More and more research is coming out showing us how detrimental sitting is for our health.

Here is a quick list of some expert quotes:

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Tim Ferriss: (of “The 4-Hour Work Week” fame)

“8-18-year olds spend ~85% of their waking hours sitting” (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation)


Dr. James Levine: (Mayo Clinic)

“One recent study compared adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of the TV or other screen-based entertainment with those who logged more than four hours a day of recreational screen time. Those with greater screen time had:

  • A nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause
  • About a 125 percent increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack”

What is really thought provoking is:

“…spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in moderate or vigorous activity doesn't seem to significantly offset the risk.”

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The Good News!!!

Positive research comes from the lovely Amy Cuddy who did an excellent Ted Talk in 2012 about body language. "Your body language shapes who you are."

Part of her focus was on how individuals could become more assertive and confident at work. She shows us the power pose which when performed for 2 minutes has amazing effects on raising testosterone and decreasing cortisol. The latter enhances our ability to deal with stress.

Decreased cortisol will also have a beneficial impact on how our bodies feel allowing us to be more “assertive, confident and comfortable”. This has a knock on effect on our ability to maintain a healthy body.

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How to get up from your desk:

  • Walk over to a colleague you need to chat with rather than email or text
  • Have meetings out of the office walking in a local park or pavement
  • Stand up in meetings rather than sit. I do this often because my back can’t hack sitting for long periods of time.
  • Take the mail down to the sorting room rather than waiting for the mail person to come to you
  • Take the stairs at least once a day
  • Use the loo two floors up and take the stairs
  • When taking phone calls have ear buds or a headset available and walk around
  • Stand up from your desk for 5 minutes every 60-90 minutes
  • Try Amy Cuddy’s “Power Pose”
  • Use communal desk areas or higher tables for note writing, meetings or a different place for your laptop
  • Go to the local coffee shop where they have that lovely high table in the window with trendy stools and stand with your laptop rather than sit
  • If you have a home office – spread out on the counter top and use this as your high desk
  • Learn the standing "stacked" position in my recent Life Labs video. It's a great tool for a desk break.
  • Find your own standing desk for your office like I did! The high table below was found in a London second hand shop and only cost £30!


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The exciting news is that you can make a difference in your personal and work life by standing up and moving around more.

Dr. James Levine says:

“The impact of movement — even leisurely movement — can be profound. For starters, you'll burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy.

Even better, the muscle activity needed for standing and other movement seems to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. When you sit, these processes stall — and your health risks increase. When you're standing or actively moving, you kick the processes back into action.”

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I leave you with the words of Amy Cuddy:

“Our bodies change our minds

…and our minds change our behaviour

…and our behaviour changes our outcomes.”

To me this is about more than just being assertive at work and our health. It causes wonderful waves positively impacting our bodies and how we feel about them.

Less sitting – more moving!

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Want to learn how to get up from your desk more with some clever quick exercises you can do in the office?

I would love to come in and talk your team through the possibilities!

Get in touch with me here.

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Join the online healthy discussion with me on twitter & facebook

Let's have some fun!!!

Go to the profile of Charlene Hutsebaut

Charlene Hutsebaut

Corporate Wellness Speaker, Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor, Writer & Brand Ambassador, Charlene Hutsebaut, Personal Training & Wellbeing Consultancy | www.charlenehutsebaut.com | @positivelyslim

Charlene Hutsebaut B.P.E., B.Ed., CSCS is a personal trainer, pilates instructor, brand ambassador, speaker and writer with over 15,000 client hours and 26 years of experience in the fitness industry. Charlene was honoured to be a Top 10 Global Finalist in the Life Fitness -Personal Trainers to Watch Competition 2015. She was the only UK woman chosen and one of only three in the top ten. The same year she was awarded a Mayor of London Volunteer Award for getting her community moving & united. In 2016 she was part of the team at Eversholt UK Rails Group to win a Vitality Insurance - Healthiest Workplace Award. In 2017 she was asked to take part in the Periscope TV Wellness Warriors Channel and was shortlisted for We Are The City Sport Award. Charlene runs her Personal Training Consultancy in London at the exclusive St. Pancras Hotel Spa and is a sought after inspirational corporate wellness speaker, creating bespoke wellness initiatives to get employees thinking about their self-care through workshops & executive senior leader programmes. She has had regular fitness columns in Passport – the inflight magazine for Monarch Airlines and Total Sports Performance. She is the fitness expert for the book The De-Stress Effect and was featured in How To Hygge. She has written for HuffPostUK, Bodyfit, Prima, FitPro, Fitness Life New Zealand and has been featured in London, Fabric, Grove, Woman, Natural Health magazines, as well as The Daily Mail and Express. | Charlene has been a brand ambassador for Huggies Diapers with Lisa Scott-Lee, Simply Great Drinks alongside UK Olympian Victoria Pendleton and TV’s Doctor Christian Jessen and most recently with Long Tall Sally & Nominou. www.charlenehutsebaut.com | Find Charlene most days sharing the healthy realistic message on twitter, periscope, facebook and instagram at @positivelyslim

2 Comments

Go to the profile of Dr. Mandy Lehto
Dr. Mandy Lehto over 2 years ago

Thanks Charlene! A brilliant and important post. Sitting is the new smoking! I'm going to put my laptop on my high chest of drawers for some of the day - thanks for the tips. Does swapping my chair for a fitness ball help at all? Or is that a different thing?

Go to the profile of Charlene Hutsebaut
Charlene Hutsebaut over 2 years ago

Hi Mandy. Thank you! Glad to inspire...
I think a therapy ball can help us sit a little taller as there is no back to slouch to. And because you are balancing to stay upright you will kick in some extra muscle groups.
But be aware, there is still ability to lose good posture on a ball so always be mindful of "stacking up".
The ball is a great trigger to stop and have some movement breaks.

Try: arm circles; hip circles; foot lifts etc.
Enjoy.
Charlene