Walk the Talk
August 19, 2015 @ 11:56 am by ACT
Walk the Talk
We have all heard about how important it is to incorporate movement and activity in the workplace, but how do we make that happen? Sure there’s lots of research on why to do it, just Google “How to move at work.” The why is easy, whether it’s the workplace satisfaction, positive outcomes, or fear of “Sitting is the new smoking.” The why is clear, yet how do we take what we know and create action and change in the workplace? You have read about it, believe in regular movement, tried a few things and still nothing has landed consistently for you. So now what? Below I will discuss the strategy that I used to start incorporating movement and activity in the workplace.
Step 1: Create a captivating Why – What will moving at work do for you?
What’s the real reason you want to do this? Think about it. Ponder why it’s important to you and envision what it will feel like when this becomes a regular part of your day. Allow a vision for this to unfold (feel better during time at office, more productive, happier, looking forward to work). Capture that in way that you can remember (in writing, visually, or a message that you share with others). Then finish this statement as a part of your vision: “My workday is …”
Step 2: Brainstorm ideas/Strategies for moving in the workplace
What would you like to do? What works with your environment, schedule, layout, workplace culture, etc.? Identify several ideas that are appealing to you. There are many ideas to choose from. Find five or more different ideas that are appealing and are good for you and your environment. Examples are: going for a 4 minute morning walk, sitting on an exercise ball 15 minutes every hour, etc.
Step 3: Identify what stops you from making this a regular part of your day
Here are just a few: traveling too far for work, winter weather, tight deadlines, workplace culture, and environment. Make a list of what might stop you and ask yourself what the best way to overcome what block. If you get stuck, make a list of what is stopping you and organize into two clusters: things I can’t control (ex: weather) and things I can control. For each of the ones in the “can’t control” list focus on your attitude towards them. For the ones you can control, create an action step that will allow you to overcome that block.
Step 4: Create a first step
What is one simple first step? For me, it requires standing up and stepping away from the computer for a minute. Before I know it, I’m moving and the 5-7 minutes I would have spent trying to force myself to complete the next task was spent rejuvenating. What’s your first step? Scheduling it? Grabbing a colleague? Reminding yourself of the result?
Step 5: Ask for a positive accountability partner
Who do you want to share this with, who will keep you accountable? Who may want to join you?
Review: What worked well and what could work even better?
Identify where and when you may have to change your routine. Plan for times when you are out of your environment or during a difficult work schedule. Decide when and which activities worked best. Evaluate: what is successful and what needs to be tweaked?
The key is to make this work for you and be flexible in your ideas.
As my interest has evolved for this topic, so has my approach. For me it’s intriguing to hear about workplace environments with tracks, game tables, wheels, and swings incorporated right into professional workplaces. While I do not foresee that in my workspace in the near future, there is openness to ideas. So, as I keep re-evaluating what movement looks like in my workday I will keep asking myself what I want and what new ideas do I want to try. Did I mention I just put my rollerblades in my car with the intention of figuring out how I might incorporate them into my workday? Not outrageous so far, just ask me about this process again when Chicago’s winter rolls around again.