By now we all know that the COVID-19 global pandemic has caused an unprecedented change in how and where people are working. Helping people to sit less and move more at work has been a key priority in recent years, with much of the focus being on the office workplace. The phrases ‘pre-COVID’ and ‘COVID-normal’ are thrown around a fair bit these days, but perhaps they are a fitting way to describe the shift that many desk-based workers have experienced. Even for those who have now returned to their workplaces, the ‘pre-COVID’ work environment is likely to be quite different to the ‘COVID-normal’ workplaces many are now working in. Other workers have seen a complete (perhaps long term) shift to working remotely, or a mix of both. What remains, however, is the need to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for everyone. We do not yet know the long-term impacts of these current changes to our work environment, but we do know that there is a clear need to continue to help workers to be able to sit less and move more, regardless of where they are working. The term ‘desk-based workers’ rather than ‘office workers’ is a term we often use at BeUpstanding. This is even more relevant now that we have all been thrust into a new way of working, encompassing much more than the ‘traditional’ office workplace.
How can we support teams, wherever they are working?
Whether working remotely or in the office, if workers find themselves sitting for long periods, it is important to look at ways to move more during the day. This might include things such as standing up when the phone rings, at home or in the office; switching from sitting at your desk to standing at the kitchen bench a few times a day at home if you can; or using the stairs instead of the lift at work. At BeUpstanding, we developed additional resources to ensure we can support teams wherever they are based, including working from home, including:
- Tips for a healthy home office
- Tips & tools to sit less throughout the day while at home
- And modified toolkit resources to include ways to adapt the program for staff working from home (such as how to run a workshop online)
It’s not just large organisations with dedicated people and culture managers that need to look after the health and wellbeing of staff. Early findings from the BeUpstanding project (including taking a sneak peek into data from our national implementation trial), have shown that workplaces of all sizes (from small businesses to large organisations) and across many industries have signed up to the program. This was a particularly important finding for our team – as we want to ensure that we are able to reach as many desk-based workplaces as we can, because we strongly believe that a safe and healthy workplace is for everyone.
Are you ready to BeUpstanding?
BeUpstanding is a world-leading online workplace health program for teams working from home or in the workplace, that targets the negative health impacts of too much sitting. As part of a national implementation trial, The University of Queensland is seeking small and large workplaces to trial BeUpstanding. It is 100% free and you will be contributing to helping change policy and practice for better health and wellbeing. Visit: www.beupstanding.com.au to sign up now.
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