Wellbeing at work with HubGem: Movement

A three-part series on well-being at work and HubGem values. This third blog is based on how movement can help you and what tips to use at work.

Well-being at work is an ongoing, daily and important task for us all. It isn’t easy to prioritise ourselves, over our workload and everything else life throws at us. Not to mention our responsibilities to our families, partners and friends. It can also sometimes be better for our mental health to prioritise our work so that we don’t become overwhelmed.

With this in mind, HubGem is looking at tips for well-being at work, under the themes of planning, stress reduction and moving. This third article is focussing on movement- we hope you enjoy it! 

Why is movement beneficial for work? 

Movement at work

Everyone knows that exercise is great for you in so many ways. Exercise can help with increasing your mood, managing stress, helps improve concentration and keeping you healthy. Exercise doesn’t have to involve an intensive workout at the gym, even a short walk or a 10-minute online workout at home can bring some benefits.  

Research has suggested that exercise can improve concentration at work, especially if you also have a caffeinated drink afterwards. This is because it can increase your natural levels of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline, effectively boosting mood, concentration, memory and focus.  

These are all, of course, great things at work! An increased mood can lead to better interactions with colleagues, boosting concentration can help with those tougher tasks and increased memory can give better recall when speaking with customers or stakeholders.  

Tips on how to implement movement at work 

The reason this article is titled about movement, rather than about exercise alone, is because movement is a more all-encompassing title. It allows people with a range of abilities to still realise there are ways that they can benefit too and takes into consideration things that most people don't consider exercise, like walking up the stairs to work or the walk to the bus. These small moments matter and it's good to remind yourself of this on the weeks that don't seem as productive. This article is going to run through some ways to implement movement at work. 

Standing desks 

Standing Desk

For example, even just standing sometimes throughout the day can help with concentration and mood.  Standing desks can help with the posture that comes from sitting all day. A slumped over back, neck and shoulders that can lead to pain or a lack of comfort. Moving from one position to another can help to mitigate these obstacles.  

Research has also shown that blood sugar levels can return to normal faster when standing, as opposed to sitting. This suggests an easier digestion and therefore an improved concentration, as when you are digesting, more of your energy is expended. You are also more likely to move around more when at a standing desk than when sat down, due to the ease of movement. 

It may not be practical to stand at a desk all day, when coming directly from sitting all day. However, alternating between the two could be good to ease you in, such as two hours a day standing and the rest of the day sat down. Team meetings for example could be a great time to stand, because you do not have to consider typing as much during these times. Changing positions from sitting to standing uses different muscles and can reduce the likelihood of developing RSI  (repetitive stain injury) or tight muscles in the neck and shoulders. 

Walk and talks 

Walk and talk-1

Many artists, philosophers and other great minds have found that a walk a day helps clear the cobwebs and helps them to think better. And now there is neuroscience to back it up!  A "motor-centric" view of the world  explains that we have a brain in order to allow us to move. This view can show us that moving is integral to the wellbeing of our minds, and studies have shown results consistent with this view. Walking can lead to reduced depression and higher traits in openness and agreeableness. 

At work, do you tend to have lots of meetings? Could any of them be done on the move?  One great way to break up meetings or calls is to do them on the move. Whilst this isn’t always practical (with PowerPoint presentations for example) it is a great way to increase concentration across the day.  

It’s called brain-stomping rather than brainstorming! This method could be used more successfully in 1-1's and catching up with colleagues. At HubGem we are utilising the walk-and-talk method and finding that while it doesn’t replace original meetings, it can be a fantastic way to break things up and bring more movement to the day.  

If this cannot be implemented at your workplace, consider going for a walk at lunch, with a friend or alone it doesn't matter. You may come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon. 

Online exercise videos and apps 

Movement Headspace App

You don’t need an expensive gym membership to integrate movement into your working day, when there are so many free videos online. You can check out YouTube to find quick 10-minute videos or investigate one of the inexpensive Apps available for your smartphone. 

I currently use the App- Fiton- which has free and tiered membership programmes, still much cheaper than a gym membership. This can be used on your mobile phone, on the laptop or even connecting to a Smart TV.  I use the free version, because it still has thousands of fantastic exercises to choose from and keeps it fresh and exciting.  

Using Fiton or YouTube videos are great for a high energy day. If you suffer from chronic fatigue, or are just having a low energy time, consider checking out the exercises on Headspace. Headspace now has a whole section for movement, which are usually gentle and still good for your wellbeing.  

What HubGem do  

At HubGem, we have fun exercise competitions online! These are completely optional, to give the more active employees a chance to have a healthy competition.  We also offer flexi-time, so that you can visit the gym or go for a walk whenever it's convenient for you.

We also give everyone at work a free membership to Headspace. Headspace is a fantastic meditation App with daily suggestions. It also has sections on movement, yoga, focus music and meditations to help you sleep. The section on movement has great quick exercises, yoga and things that are so easy to add into your daily work routine.  

Every quarter, each employee is allowed a Wednesday afternoon off to spend time doing wellbeing related activities. You could use this time to go for a long walk, head to the gym, spend time with family, or generally anything that will improve your wellbeing. 

Interested in working at HubGem? Check out our latest vacancies here.

Lydia McNeill

Lydia McNeill

Lydia is a CRM and Marketing Consultant, who will help you solve your HubSpot Onboarding issues with a friendly and flexible approach. Prior to working with HubGem Marketing Ltd, Lydia worked in the education sector as a Marketing Executive and so understands the specific challenges that her clients face when using HubSpot. With a love of learning, she is always up to date with the latest industry trends in the marketing and education sectors. Her listening skills and empathetic nature allow her to get to the heart of problems and produce solutions that work for everyone. Lydia has a 1st degree honours in Business and Marketing, and many years of experience working in different industries, including non-profit and education settings, allowing her to understand the needs of different clients. Lydia has a good sense of humour and enjoys singing, reading, writing, and anything else creative.

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