At the beginning of 2020, 5 million employees (3.6% of the entire U.S. workforce) reported working from home at least half of the time. As of April 3rd, 62% of employed Americans said that they have worked from home during the crisis. Due to COVID-19, all employees that can work from home are, and with that comes an extra set of challenges.
COVID-19 has been devastating both for the economy and for the health of individuals around the world. But did you know that you and your employee’s health may be on the decline, whether or not you have the virus? With gyms closed and restrictions on leaving home, Americans are having trouble finding the means and the motivation to stay physically active and engaged.
Because of the lack of exercise, not only physical health but mental health and focus are declining. Maintaining regular physical activity helps slow the advancement of chronic illness and even reduce the risk of viral infection and severe COVID-19 complications. It also reduces stress and increases productivity and engagement with work.
Benefits of Physical Activity
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults ages 18-65 do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity throughout the week and reports that insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. Around the world, 25% of adults aren’t active enough.
Our bodies need to move.
Physical activity improves muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, bone function and health, and reduces the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression. The WHO recommends weaving physical activity into daily life, and, in the times we are living in, it’s especially important to be conscious of the amount of exercise we are getting.
Employee Engagement as Related to Physical Activity
Stress management is especially important when in a crisis. Physical activity is one of the number one recommended tools for stress management. High levels of stress can lead to poor focus and low motivation at work. Without co-workers to keep employees upbeat, motivated, and on task, it can be easy to get distracted and lose focus on important work. However, there is a solution. Employees with increased activity levels also show increased work-ethic and focus when completing tasks for work. By taking small steps to meet the recommended level of activity by the WHO, employees can become much more engaged and motivated when working, whether it’s at home or in the office.
The Most Convenient First Step
When employees stand up while working, it increases their levels of engagement. It also ensures that employees, with the help of their employers, can take care of their physical and mental health. In a study done by the University of Leicester, 52 percent of employees said they felt more engaged at work after a year of using a sit-stand desk.
“Some physical activity is better than doing none. By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can quite easily achieve the recommended activity levels.” (WHO) A straightforward way to stay active is to stand up while working. Standing up is the human body’s most natural position. Our muscles are all engaged and working together, and by adding in periodical exercises and/or stretches, we can increase that activity even more. Low-intensity physical activity is proven to reduce stress, and fight chronic illnesses. Working from home doesn’t have to be boring for employees, encouraging them to take part in movement throughout the day will keep them engaged and motivated while they work.
Where StanData Can Help
StanData’s software takes sit-stand desks to the next level. Because your employee’s activity levels are so crucial to their productivity at work, keeping them active throughout the day should be a priority. The software can be used with universal sit-stand desks or connected via Bluetooth. The software will remind your employees to stand up throughout the day; it will track their extra calories burned, set goals, and track insights for employers. The software is personalized and interconnected, to ensure you and your employees get the best usage out of your sit-stand desk. It also includes reminders to stand up and be active throughout the day.
The Key Takeaway
Keeping your employees engaged is especially important when they are working from home. One of the best ways to increase engagement is to help your employees take care of their physical and mental health. More active individuals are less stressed and more productive at work. By using StanData’s software in addition to a sit-stand desk, your employees will be able to focus on their work and achieve physical activity goals all at once. Participating together will assist them in connecting, which is extremely important during this time of social distancing. As the employer, you can also help keep track of how your employees are doing with their stand goals through helpful insights. Physical activity is crucial for keeping employees productive and engaged at work, and adjusting their standing habits is an excellent gateway to a lifetime of benefits.
Use the StanData mobile app on your iOS or Android device or access StanData using your web browser to track your transitions from sitting to standing throughout the day and reach your goals. Download the mobile app or access the StanData online and give it a try! We’d love to hear what you think.
“11 Surprising Working From Home Statistics.” Fundera, www.fundera.com/resources/working-from-home-statistics.
Brenan, Megan. “U.S. Workers Discovering Affinity for Remote Work.” Gallup.com, Gallup, 22 Apr. 2020, news.gallup.com/poll/306695/workers-discovering-affinity-remote-work.aspx.
FitzPatrick, Laura. “Standing Desks Will Improve Productivity, Study by University of Leicester in BMJ Finds .” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 11 Oct. 2018, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10/10/standing-desks-will-improve-productivity-study-university-leicester/.
“Physical Activity.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity.
Stafford, Randall, et al. “Even If You Are Virus-Free, COVID-19 Is Affecting Your Health. Here’s What to Do.” Scope, Logo Left ContentLogo Right Content 10,000 Posts Scope Stanford University School of Medicine Blog, 17 Mar. 2020, scopeblog.stanford.edu/2020/03/13/even-if-you-are-virus-free-covid-19-is-affecting-your-health-heres-what-to-do/.