Looking to lift your mood? Put on a motivational podcast, and go for a walk. It may make you happier.
According to a new study, people who perform any kind of movement throughout the day ― even if it’s just taking a lap around the office ― are physically healthier and more content.
Here’s what we learned:
Sedentary lifestyles are linked to poor psychological health. Healthy individuals tend to engage in regular exercise, resulting in a positive impact on psychological health.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge in England developed an app for people to understand how physical activity like standing, walking, or fidgeting throughout the day can affect the way a person feels. They collected data from over 10,000 people through self-insights and answers about their current mood and movement levels. We’ve all heard about the link between exercise and happiness, but what was interesting about this study is that even non-exercise physical activity is related to happiness. People who simply stood, stretched and moved reported feeling happier.
Want to incorporate these findings into your wellness program? Here’s how:
1. Encourage walking meetings.
Ditch the conference room, and take it outside. A walking meeting is a great way to maintain productivity while increasing happiness ― and you’ll sneak in extra steps.
2. Hold stand up meetings.
If you have any regularly scheduled meetings on the calendar that are just short team check-ins, do them standing up!
3. Offer standing desks.
It’s easy to stop moving when your job involves sitting all day. Give your employees the option of a standing desk to boost productivity. At Limeade, we even have a treadmill and bike desks for all employees to use.
4. Schedule movement breaks into meetings.
We all dread meetings that drone on hour after hour. Schedule short movement breaks into long meetings. Think group stretching, 10 jumping jacks, a few lunges, etc. Help get the blood flowing.
5. Incorporate a steps challenge.
Team challenges that encourage employees to get up and move is an easy way to promote physical activity. A steps challenge is a fun way to increase physical activity through competition. Employees will walk their way to happiness and support one another along the way.
6. Change your email policy.
Have a quick question? Push employees to walk over to colleagues to ask their question vs. sending an email or IM. Not only will they get a few steps in, they will also decrease email volume and build better connections with colleagues.
7. Put movement reminders on calendars.
Most of us live and die by our calendar. Schedule short (5-10 minutes) calendar blocks with a reminder to get up and move. Use the time to do a quick lap around the office or around the block. Every step counts.