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Simple activities to be active at your desk – Part 3

Desk-based workers can spend a lot of time at their desk sitting. If you are a regular follow of this blog, you will know that high levels of sitting time can have several detrimental impacts on health and wellbeing, including on cognitive function, risk of diabetes, physical function and quality of life. Prolonged sitting – that is, sitting for a long time without taking a break – is emerging as particularly harmful, which is why we promote regular breaks from sitting at BeUpstanding. Indeed, a 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis by Loh and colleagues highlighted the beneficial effects of having regular physical activity breaks on blood sugar, insulin, and triacylglycerol measures. Their article concluded that taking short breaks from prolonged sitting results in better glycemic control and improved metabolic control compared to individuals who do not incorporate short physical activity breaks. One impact of too much sitting for too long is on our musculoskeletal health. Here, prolonged sitting can cause tight hip flexors and leg muscles. Vanroelen (2022) states that these imbalances are due to the shortened and lengthened muscles in your legs due to muscle weakness and tightness. These imbalances can lead to a compensatory hyperlordosis or excessive inward…

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Champion Insights – Barriers to engaging management and staff in BeUpstanding

Implementing a well-being program in a workplace can come with some challenges, one of which can be engaging staff and/or management in the program. As part of the national trial of BeUpstanding we are interested in learning what some of the barriers were in relation to engaging staff and management in the BeUpstanding program, a workplace champion led program aimed at supporting staff to sit less and move more in the workplace. As part of the program completion survey that BeUpstanding Champions complete upon finishing the 8-week implementation phase of the BeUpstanding program, they are asked the following question: “Tell us about any barriers to engaging management or staff in the BeUpstanding program that you have noticed”. The changes associated with working from home due to COVID-19, namely the lack of visibility and the lack of equipment, were identified as common barriers. It’s hard to get everyone on board.  Working from home made it more challenging – less visibility. Some staff were working from home during the program where they didn’t have sit to stand desks and fellow workers to encourage more movement. A lack of time/being too busy, and only having support from some levels of management, were also…

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BeUpstanding Champion Perspectives: What Makes a Good Champion

In a previous blog article titled ‘What makes a good champion’ we wrote about some of the qualities that make an effective workplace champion. Previous research suggests that those who have a genuine passion for health and wellbeing and are enthusiastic about the opportunity to inspire others towards a healthier lifestyle (Healy et al., 2018) are the most effective champions. They must also be committed to making long-term positive health changes in their workplace and display a good relationship with their peers. More general personality traits like outgoingness and motivation have been positively linked to champion performance (Howell, 2005). Highly motivated individuals are also more likely to engage with the content and be prepared to persist when faced with challenges. As part of the survey champions complete after finishing the 8-week BeUpstanding Program, they are asked what qualities or characteristics they believe make an effective champion in the BeUpstanding program, as well as what characteristics and qualities they possess that they feel helped them be a champion for their team. Common attributes identified by champions that they believe make a good BeUpstanding champion, based on their experiences, included motivated, approachable, committed, and positive. These qualities and others can be seen…

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