Whitepapers

Working optimally in a balanced environment

We move too little, and we all know it. We get up, go to the car, drive to the office, go back to the car, and get back in bed. For many people this is a familiar pattern on a regular weekday. We may walk a block during break, but in general our days are spent mostly sitting. We are somehow aware that we’d like to alternate more between sitting, standing and moving, but it is difficult to change our current behavior. Do we even realize what the benefits could be? 
“ What are the advantages of variation in posture and movement at work? ”
The importance of movement and recovery moments
The introduction of recovery moments when working at the computer increases work tempo and decreases the number of mistakes (Van den Heuvel et al., 2002; Hedge et al., 2001). When employees leave their desk during these recovery moments and take a walk their energy level rises, and when they return they look at things differently (Thayer, 2008). This leads to more creativity and better problem-solving abilities (Oppezzo & Schwartz, 2014). In practice, this means that employees with desk jobs can improve their work performance considerably by getting up and taking a short walk for three minutes every hour.
Health
Computer prompts intended to interrupt work duties in order to take a break can influence sitting behavior as well as movement behavior in the long term. Taylor et al. (2016) compared a daily fitness program with a computer prompt intervention and a control condition. They found that computer prompts that alert workers to take a three-minute pause every hour compared to a control condition (natural breaks) are more effective in keeping BMI stable, whereas workers under normal break conditions displayed a significant increase in BMI. Especially behaviors outside work appeared to be influenced by the prompts: TV watching time (min/week) decreased and there was also a significant drop in sitting behavior on weekends. An explanation could be that the prompts make people aware of the added functional value of movement. And thanks to the frequent repetition, standing up to get moving becomes a habit. 
“ Computer prompts intended to interrupt work duties in order to take a break can influence sitting behavior as well as movement behavior in the long term. ”
Wellness and Creativity
In a series of experiments, Oppezzo and Schwartz (2014) of Stanford University investigated the creativity of test subjects. They had the test subjects sit, walk, or alternate
between sitting and walking. The number of new ideas that the test subjects came up with right afterwards varied per activity regime. When the test subjects remained sitting creativity was lowest, when they walked continuously or alternated between walking and sitting creativity was at its highest. Walking every three minutes increases creativity.
Wellness and Creativity
Productivity
In addition to recovery, using tools and techniques also results in higher performance levels. Research has shown, for example, that employees work more quickly with a laptop if they use a standard-size laptop, an external mouse and an external keyboard (IJmker, 2016). In addition, "techniques" such as blind typing and using hotkeys clearly yield better performance levels. For both the introduction of recovery moments and the use of tools and techniques, the following applies: Employees must know very clearly what they have to do to adapt their behavior in order to experience the positive effects. The use of tools is a low-threshold way to achieve improved results in the areas of productivity, well-being, creativity and health.

Our innovative solutions make sure that we are triggered to move more, work more efficiently, and adopt good postures and alternate between them. We do that with our hardware, software, and a combination of both. SitStandCOACH is a scientifically proven software tool that effectively coaches computer users to work while alternating more between standing and sitting. Check out the free trial version.
Written by: Team Office Athletes
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Email address: info@officeathletes.com
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