Are you an active couch potato?

Active couch potato
By Tom Bosna – Managing Director

It is no secret, sitting for prolonged periods is NOT good for us.

With phrases like ‘sitting is the new smoking’ being used in the media, it’s important to really understand the key issues and be able to make informed decisions about how to look after ourselves in the workplace.

In 2015, I wrote a small article: 3 easy ways to create movement opportunities at work. At that point in time, there were new research findings coming from the University of Queensland that had caught my attention. According to their study into the effects of sitting for prolonged periods, even when adults met the recommended physical activity guidelines, the positive effects of that exercise were often negated by the amount of time they spent sitting.

In other words. If you enjoy a High Intensity Training (HIT) session three times a week at the gym but go back to work and sit like a desk jockey for the remaining 40 hours of the week. You are potentially sitting in the active couch potato seat and are not capitalising on incidental movement opportunities in the workplace.

In 2018, the research continues to show sedentary behaviours are strongly linked to negative health outcomes such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular, metabolic risks and premature death. The fact that all of the above are preventable is what is really concerning to me!

Based on my research and key learnings from the WELL Building standards study & Movement concept advisory I recommend three easy solutions to avoiding becoming an active couch potato.

Workplace Design

The future of work is technology enabled, hyper connected and agile in design. Gone are the days where you sit in the same desk every day and sit in meetings all day.

Modern workplaces are designed for movement. To help you figure out how your workplace stacks up, consider these questions:

  1. Are your locker, printer and meeting rooms all a walk from where you spend the majority of the day?
  2. Does the workplace have a wellness or fitness centre with exclusive deals for staff?
  3. Are standing desks or active workstations available in break out areas?

If you said yes to all of the above – you are in a well workplace. The key question is are you making the most of the design?

Plan your work, work your plan

As an astute observer of human behaviour and neuroscience enthusiast, it really bothers me when I see people walking with their phones glued to their hand in the early morning. I can see the phone lighting up like a Christmas tree with rapid push notifications jumping out of the screen. When you observe this happening it really looks like a wave of anxiety and I worry for the person’s brain and performance.

To address getting past this roadblock I believe that planning your work, and working your plan is essential. That means be diligent with your time management and working hard to avoid having your time and attention sapped by unnecessary distractions.

Encourage your people to get moving

Movement is great for your performance, mental health and resilience. If it was a pill everyone would be doing it! At Pinnacle Health Group, our teams utilise the walking meeting, pilates hour or exercise club to keep performance and morale high. This type of team activity is planned and organised to get the teams together once a week.

For anyone interested in learning about the neuroscience at work I’d highly recommend the book titled “Your brain at work” by David Rock. It is for those of you who are interested in surviving and thriving in the modern workplace.

You have to take the stairs

A wise person once said, there is no elevator to success – you have to take the stairs. You will see it every morning, there are people who take the escalator and those that take the stairs.

Choose the latter every time and this will improve your incidental movement output significantly.

In the modern workplace and cities of the future, active exterior design is critical to influencing physical engagement levels of the community. A nice practical resource on this topic is the walk score.

Summary

Movement is medicine for the mind and body with tangible returns on investment!

We spend 90% of our time indoors and one third of our lives at work. The great opportunity here is incidental movement. – make the most of your time.

Learn more with Pinnacle Health Group

Sometimes all it takes is a reminder, but other times I’ve found that making a change takes effort. If you think that the organisation you work for could use some help inspiring your people to get moving more throughout the day, you can get started by filling out a wellness enquiry form today.

Beat the Weight Loss Plateau

by Edwina McDonald

 

So you’ve managed to drop a few kilograms – well done!

You may be finding now however the weight loss has stabilised. Below are 10 tips to help you beat the weight loss plateau and reach your ideal healthy body weight!

 

10 Tips to Help You Beat the Weight Loss Plateau

  1. Eat regularly; skipping meals can results in a loss of recognising hunger/ satiety cues and usually results in overeating in another meal.
  2. Drink water; we often mistaken thirst for hunger. Drinking water can take the edge off your hunger and can reduce overall food volume consumed.
  3. Consume protein with each meal; protein is what fills us up. Think milk, yoghurt, nuts, eggs, fish, meat.
  4. Eat for hunger; listen to your body, if you eat for hunger you will be much more in tune with your metabolic requirements.
  5. Portion control; overeating anything will put on weight.
  6. Record your intake; keep yourself accountable, focus on your nutrient intake and eating regularity.
  7. Don’t overestimate the calories your burn with exercise; your body adapts to a stimulus, you get fitter and your body gets more efficient at burning fuel.
  8. Mix up your exercise routine; doing the same thing yields the same result. Challenge your body in different ways to avoid adaptation.
  9. Practice mindful eating; be aware of what’s going in your mouth, don’t eat while you are doing something. Savour and enjoy your food while eating.
  10. Liquid calories count; alcohol, iced tea, juices, still contain calories.

 

Dietitian Edwina McDonald is currently available for appointments at the Melbourne and Docklands locations.

Are you Addicted to your Smartphone? by Tom Bosna

Recent research into this space suggest that an attachment to your smart phone is similar to other addictions and it involves the dysregulation of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain’s reward centre. In other words, it motivates people to do things they think they will be rewarded for doing. Every time you get an email through your phone, there is a little elevation in dopamine that says you might have something that’s compelling. You don’t know what the email is, who it’s from, when you’re going to get it and that’s why you have to keep checking your phone. Can you see the problem here?

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Six Steps to a Healthier You in 2015 by Edwina McDonald

Living healthier is often just a matter of changing a few simple lifestyle habits: getting more exercise, eating healthier, not stressing the little stuff. This is often easier to say then do when combined with a busy work week and a full social calendar! However we have an article and offer that will ensure your 2015 is a healthy one! Edwina McDonald, Pinnacle Health Group’s Dietitian and Nutrionist, gives you practical and achievable ways of changing your daily habits to keep you healthy and fit.

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