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How Do You Get Employees Out Of Their Seats

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Sitting work is a significant work risk. This risk is also present in people who exercise and exercise enough. An expert describes how to get employees out of their seats in three steps.

Sitting for long periods of time could become the labor risk of the twenty-first century. The expectation is that people will sit longer and more often due to further automation. At the same time, there is increasing scientific evidence that this is a major risk for the development of chronic conditions.

Recent research in small and medium-sized businesses shows that employers are hardly aware of this labor risk. They also often don't know what you can do about it as an employer. Fortunately, there are enough options and it's sometimes easier than you think to get your employees out of their seats.

Step-by-step plan for less sitting

Step 1. Approach it primarily as an occupational risk

Long-term sitting behavior is often linked to a person's lifestyle. Then usually the abbreviation BRAVO (Exercise, Smoking, Alcohol, Nutrition and Relaxation) falls. However, sitting behavior is of a different order. This subject is less concerned with lifestyle and more with an occupational risk.

For employers, this has the advantage that they can do something about it more easily. Sitting behavior is closely related to the working environment and culture. This is in contrast to the lifestyle, which is determined by individual choices and the motivation of employees. The lifestyle is therefore much harder to influence.


Interrupt long-term sitting: Official guidelines aren't yet available, but the provisional recommendation is to interrupt long-term sitting as much as possible. For example, by getting up or moving for two minutes every half hour. Bring this recommendation to the attention of your employees.

Use playful communication material: Don't be pedantic, but use playful communication material. With this you pay effective attention to the risks of unhealthy sitting behavior and the benefits of less sitting. Use this video for example .

Set a good example yourself: Alternate your sitting work with standing or moving work. Also look for ambassadors within your company who do the same. This makes it safer for your staff to organize their work differently. Because if the boss stands during a meeting, "I can do that too."

Step 2. Work on a dynamic office

A dynamic office facilitates the combination of working and moving. In doing so, for example, you use special furniture that stimulates movement. For meetings you can think of standing tables or bicycle seats. You can also alternate the layout of the office with open workplaces and concentration rooms.

For most companies, however, it will not be possible to replace furniture on a large scale. But that's not necessary, because the purchase of a few dynamic workplaces already makes a major contribution. In addition, there are other ways to organize work more dynamically, for example by stimulating movement.


Meet standing from now on: Start with a standing table where you can meet standing. Many people indicate that they like that. Research also shows that you're more attentive and creative when you meet while standing. In addition, standing meetings usually last shorter.

Handle phone calls standing up: Standing calls can of course only be done if no data has to be stored in a computer. But at a time when almost everyone is walking around with a mobile phone, it's relatively easy to stand during a phone call.

Stretch your legs regularly: Good reasons are getting a print or a cup of coffee. In the latter case, it might be social if someone goes around with a tray, but it's better to walk to the coffee maker yourself. In addition, don't put a bottle of water on your desk, but remove a glass of water from the tap every now and then.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator: Climbing stairs is a good way to move. That way you train both strength and endurance. As an employer you can draw extra attention to this with striking lift stickers. With this you stimulate your staff to use a healthier alternative.

Step 3. Keep repeating the message

You're not there yet with one-off communication and special furniture. Awareness of the risks among employees is still low. In addition, there are persistent prejudices. Working standing up at the expense of productivity or taking a break would take someone out of his 'flow'.

Recurring communication is therefore essential. It's not only about paying attention to the occupational risk, but also about how you're doing well. The introduction of a different way of working requires a substantial effort. And with that you also prevent the special furniture from dusting in a corner.


Link it to your mission and strategy: A healthy way of working contributes to the success of your company in the longer term. Therefore link this message to your mission and strategy. That way, it gets extra cargo for your employees.

Spread posters and flyers or use the intranet: Through posters and flyers or the intranet you can spread humorous messages about long-term sitting.

Focus on logical moments: There are a number of logical moments to discuss sitting behavior again. Think of a health day for your staff, a sports event or the National Staircase Week. This keeps the subject under the attention of your staff.

Do you have ideas or examples that other companies can take advantage of? Then share them under this article.

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