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Bridge to Health Blog
Bridge to Health Blog

Why you need to become a fidget!

Written by Mathieu Rossano   Posted in:Being Active   February 23, 2017

Why you need to become a fidget!
For tens of thousands of years, people exerted their bodies as indeed they were designed to be exerted – roaming, hunting and working in the fields. But since the beginning of the industrial revolution – ie for the past 250 years only – we have drastically altered the deal. Essentially, we decided to become much more effective and focused in our economic output by staying largely immobile at a factory production station, and at present sat at a desk.

And it has worked! We have become both radically more productive and more wealthy as a result.  But whilst our bank accounts rejoice, all is not as rosy-pink with our bodies, now denied the functional exertion they were made for.  We are increasingly witnessing a pandemic of musculo-skeletal injuries – neck pain and related headaches, shoulder and upper limb repetitive strain injuries etc. – and back pain alone is now acknowledged as one of the top two or three causes of absenteeism, costing the economy billions of pounds every year. We are just beginning to acknowledge that sitting all day long peering at a screen and clicking on a mouse is possibly doing us a power of harm – and are now hailing the next leap forward in dealing with the problem: the stand-up desk, allowing us to alternate sitting and standing … whilst still peering at a screen and clicking on a mouse all day long! Whilst the stand-up desk is admittedly a small step forward, it still falls very far short from addressing the problem.

So what is the answer? Burning our desks and throwing our laptops out of the window?  We know that the luddites failed at that game 200 years ago.  The solution is that we probably need to settle for an “energetic compromise” and become professional fidgeters during our working hours! 

Consider implementing some (or all) of the following:
·         Walk 20-30 minutes to work, and 20-30 minutes back.  If that means hopping off one tube-stop early or not leaving the car in its corporate parking-bay, so be it.
·         Never sit at your desk for longer than an hour without going for a stroll – aim for the water-well most distant from your desk (up three floors is good!) and refuel your glass there!
·         Ensure your screen is programmed to default to a “time for a break” message and do Bridge to Health’s desk stretch routine http://workplace.bridgetohealth.co.uk/exercises/exercises-at-work-sitting/ - the password is “flex” and it will take you no more than 3 minutes.
·         Agree with colleagues that meetings will not be productive unless 5-10 minutes in the hour are spent stretching and fidgeting outside the meeting room.
·         Plan on a 20 minute energetic walk outside before your lunch – you could even turn it into a brain-storming session by having a colleague or two join you!
·         DO NOT engage in the national sport of eating at your desk! Have a break from your screen hypnosis and eat in the cafeteria or outside.
·         When arriving home after a long day’s work, do Bridge to Health’s home exercise routine http://workplace.bridgetohealth.co.uk/exercises/home-sequences/ – it will require 15 minutes, and the password is still “flex”.
To those of you who are shaking your heads in disbelief and wondering how you can afford the time, my answer is simple: How can you NOT afford the time?!  Plan on survival and join the Fidget Revolution!

‚ÄčIf you want any more advice on how to build activity into your day contact Mathieu for an appointment on 0203 757 6544

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