It’s now official: your desk is slowly killing you. Medical reports state that you should gt up and walk around or at least do some stretches once every hour to counteract the strain on the circulatory system that is caused by sitting.

Many companies are becoming proactive in this area in order to cut down on health care costs. Standing desks, bouncing chairs, under the desk steppers, and walking breaks are all being integrated into the workplace, as are gym memberships and exercise classes. The results are slowly coming in, and they’re surprisingly good: even though the employees who took a ten minute hourly exercise break worked less minutes per hour they were more productive than those that stayed at their desks!

It will take longer to understand the long term health benefits in a corporate setting but the projections are good. It’s expected that work exercise will have the same effect on overall health as we get when we exercise regularly off the clock: lower heart rate and blood pressure, higher oxygen levels, and a drop in hypertension, cardiac disease, and diabetes.

If you’re in charge of HR at your company it’s a good idea to contact your health care carrier and open a discussion about this topic. See what perks they offer as employee health incentives, and start integrating them into your workplace. Talk to your coworkers and superiors about the benefits they’ll see from regular exercise sessions or hourly walks, and start making it a part of your company policy. It’ll take a while to see the results, but if you’re like the companies used in the test cases you’ll see nothing but positive reactions.

If possible, it might be insightful to set up a system that will allow you to look back in a year’s time and compare data. You should at the least be able to see if production is up and sick days are down, both easy indicators of an effective health program. This should be a key factor in promoting future improvements in your company’s future exercise programs and perks.

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