How Health Essentials Moves at Work

How We’ve Created a Dynamic Workplace

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At Health Essentials, we believe that there are many aspects that comprise the premise of living well as a human.  We believe in the importance of “Cultivating Extraordinary Lives” in a very holistic way. An important part of what it means for us to cultivate an extraordinary life is to consciously move in a way that allows our bodies to express our human animaly-ness*. 😉 Afterall, we’re not couch potatoes and we’re not quite monkeys… what we are, however are HUMANS.  So we need to act as such.  Here are 5 of the things WE DO that help us increase natural movement in our work environment!

* Animalyness – a (made up) word that describes one’s state of being as an animal. 😉 

  1. Walk to (and from) work!!

     

    Walking is a really great way to start off and end a work day.  It’s a built in system to add a potential hour or two of moving to your day!

    Tips to add more walking into your work days:
    – Start with a small accomplishable goal of one day a week or every second day.
    – If you live way too far for your general walking tolerance… park your car somewhere along your route to cut the walk down a little!
    – Wear comfortable attire and pack your business clothes so you don’t have to worry about sweating up a storm in the clothes you’ll be wearing all day.
    – Walk outside on work phone calls! After all, it’s not like our phones are connected by a cord anymore!
    – Walk on your break! If you have an extra 15-20 minutes after you’re done eating, or before you eat, get outside and move a bit before returning to work!

     

  2. Stand up at work!

    stand-up
    If you’ve peeked behind the desk at Health Essentials, you may have noticed that we don’t have any chairs on which to sit throughout our work day.  We instead have 2 “stand-up” style computer set ups! At first this took some getting used to for some of us, but now… we just don’t sit. And since we don’t have the option, we don’t miss it! We don’t even want to sit!!

    Tips to convert your work space into a non-sitting one:
    – Get a stand up desk or a VariDesk (like we did!)
    – Build a stand up desk out of boxes or the perfect height furniture (works slightly better for at home-offices 😉 ).
    – Kneel on a cushion or mat. It’s not quite standing, but it’s also not sitting in a 90 degree hip & 90 degree knee flexion position all day.
    Note: you can also begin by easing your way into the transition with a “stand up desk” or “kneeling mat” you can easily adjust or remove to sit part of the day.

  3. Dress to move properly!

    clothes-for-moving
    A lot of the changes that we have made to create a functional work space that we can move optimally in go hand-in-hand or are subsequent of one another.  Now that we don’t sit at work, we move a lot more and we stand all of the time. Now that we move a lot more and stand all of the time, we feel the necessity to wear functional clothing and shoes that allow for ease of movement, more often!
    P.S. Not to mislead you… we didn’t send all of our more restricting wardrobe items out the door… of course there are the odd days where looking amazing > moving functionally… but, we’re far more conscious now because we have to be! 

    Tips to choose apparel & footwear that lets you move:
    – Pick clothes that let you move in a natural way, and allow your body to breathe! One of our very favourite apparel lines is Icebreaker Merino Wool.  Natural wool fibres are extremely breathable, and their styles allow for functional movements!
    – Wear shoes that have a wide toe box and a zero heel drop to optimize your whole body alignment! These styles also help prevent your feet from getting sore if you’re standing or walking all day!

    – At Health Essentials, we carry 3 amazing styles of barefoot shoes. They are Vibram Fivefingers, Vivo Barefoot & Luna Sandals.  If you work in a strict dress-code workplace, Vivo Barefoot makes dressier styles that look amazing!  

  4. Spend breaks on yoga mats.

    yoga-mat-breaks
    Since we don’t sit during the day, it’s nice to get off of our feet for a little bit during our lunch breaks. But, since we’re all pretty aware of the fact that sitting in chairs is not so fabulous for our bodies… we like to opt for yoga mat breaks. This doesn’t necessarily mean we hang out in downward dog or work on our headstands the entire time, but it does mean that we’re moving a lot more throughout our break… try sitting on a hard surface in the exact same way for a whole 30 minutes!  Sitting on harder surfaces, your body is reminded to adjust positions more frequently!  Remember what the best posture is… the one that is constantly moving, yes fidgeting is good for you!

    (Tip for ladies: sometimes a great idea to pack a pair of shorts or pants you can put on under a dress or skirt 😉 )

  5. Equip your office with a chin-up bar!  

    hanging-bar

    Recently, we brought a chin up bar to work – you know, those doorway fitting ones.  Hanging isn’t just for kids!! We should all have the strength, mobility & endurance to hang from a bar.  Unfortunately, we tend to lose that skill soon after elementary school in most cases.  It’s time to bring it back!! Hanging is a great way to build up arm strength and stretch out the whole body.

    It’s important to relearn the proper alignment for hanging before you get started, though! Check out the video below from Biomechanist Katy Bowman, on the right way to hang.


We hope that this information was helpful for you when it comes to adding movement into your work day! There are of course many other ways that might work better for you in your workspace, but these are just a few to get the ball rolling! 🙂  Do you have any tips and tricks that you use in your work place to add more movement into your days?? Let us know, we would LOVE to learn of more ways we can increase our movement everyday!