Let's ditch the desk for On Your Feet Day!

Let's ditch the desk for On Your Feet Day!

Office workers having lunch outside
Attention all desk-based workers! It’s time to stand up and get moving, because On Your Feet Day is here.
We’re all guilty of being chained to our desks, whether it’s a pressing deadline we need to complete or simply scrolling through our phones during lunchtime. But sitting for long periods of time isn’t healthy.
This April, On Your Feet Britain encourages desk-workers to #SitLess and #MoveMore to reboot and energise their workplace habits. 
We’ll explain everything you need to know about the campaign in this guide, so get involved! You’ll be surprised what a little movement can do.

The campaign

On Your Feet Day is all about making small changes to your workplace habits to improve your motivation, concentration, wellbeing and performance. It’s a campaign organised in association with Active Working CIC to unite the nation against prolonged workplace sitting.
Did you know that office workers sit for an average of 10 hours each day? That’s around 50 hours per week if you’re working full time, with most people only leaving their desks for toilet and refreshment breaks.
There’s growing evidence that suggests sitting for long periods of time can lead to an increased risk of you developing:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Mental health issues
  • Cancers
  • Backache 
  • Thrombosis (blood clots)
  • Obesity
  • Muscle degeneration

So, what can you do to increase your physical activity if you work an office job? It may be as simple as converting some of your sitting-time to standing-time or choosing to walk on your lunch break rather than sitting at your desk.
Challenge yourself! Team up with colleagues and compete against other teams in your organisation to see who is the most active. It makes activities more fun when you’re doing them together - it’s the perfect team-building exercise!
Save the date, because Thursday 27th April 2023 is the day we get Britain standing.

What you can do to get involved

Small changes can make a big difference. Don’t worry! We’re not expecting you to do a gruelling exercise regime while you deliver a meeting. Instead, increase your activity levels as much as you, your colleagues and your job role allows.
Keep reading to see some of our suggestions to help you get moving. 

Use the stairs

Rather than opting for the lift, take the stairs. This short burst of exercise is a refreshing way to get your body moving and alert before you start your working day. Taking the stairs on your way home is a great way to burn off all of those office snacks, too!
Office workers walking through a park

Complete your activities, standing

Whether it’s a meeting or phone calls, try taking them standing or even walking. In meetings, make a rule that the speaker has to stand or do a series of stretches each time you move on to a new topic. This will wake you up and improve your concentration so you can perform at your best.

Get moving on your lunch breaks

Switch up your lunchtime routine and go for a walk, whether it’s outside or inside your workplace if the weather’s unpleasant. 
Getting away from the office environment is good to clear your head and really enjoy your break. When you’re at your desk, it can be difficult to fully step back from work. 
It’s a good opportunity to discover new places, too. You never know, you might find your new favourite place to eat while you’re out.

Stand up from your desk often

Need to speak to a coworker across the room? Don’t send them a message, walk over and chat in person. Not only can face-to-face communication be more fulfilling and productive, but it gets you away from your desk for a short time.
When you make your next drink, don’t loiter around the kitchen until the kettle’s boiled - walk around the office and stretch those muscles.
As a general rule, you should try to stand up from your desk every 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Shake up your commute

If you’re able to walk or cycle to work, do so. If not, park a further distance away from your workplace or get off public transport a few stops earlier so you’re forced to make use of those legs. 

The benefits of exercise

Exercise has many benefits for our physical and mental health, so don’t just limit it to your working life - integrate it into your personal life, too.
Join the gym or a class, go for a run, or simply practice yoga and do some stretches. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll feel better after moving your body.
Exercise doesn’t have to be stereotypical activities like running, either. Everyday activities like gardening, walking to your local shop or even just dancing around the house to your favourite music can be enough for your body to reap the benefits.
In addition to reducing your risk of developing serious conditions further down the line, frequent exercise can improve sleep, keep your thinking, learning and judgement skills sharp, and improve your mood.
It can be daunting dipping your toes into the world of exercise, but remember, it’s never too late to start. If you’re unfamiliar with exercise, start small and do what you can.
Perhaps you’ll want to start walking on your lunch break and winding down with some yoga in the evenings before you shell out on that gym membership. 
Office workers stretching
It’s time to ditch the desk this April and get your team on the active side of life. Whether you choose to stand, walk, stretch or even wiggle, frequent movement is the right way to achieve a healthier body, mind, and habits in the workplace and at home.
If you need any more information about On Your Feet Day and how you and your workplace can get involved in the fun, visit the campaign’s website.

Alexandra Moses - Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan , CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist on 24 April 2023
How we ensure accuracy in our content