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December 14, 2021 4 min read
Active Office™ is a philosophy, generated by our Founder, Louis Stack with over 35 years of innovative effort in balance and movement. Active Office can create a stimulating and interactive work environment. It is designed in such a way to encourage employees and students to incorporate movement into their work and school day. This in turn can improve focus, energy levels, workplace communication, and general health. Louis says, "Too many Canadians leave the workday in worse health than when they showed up. However, it is very possible to change your workplace into a healthy asset. The single most important step to achieving this healthy outcome is to engage in regular movement." There are a few easy ways to help encourage more movement in the office.
The Active Office Board is a great option for those that don’t prefer a balance board but wish to incorporate something with give like a standing mat. The Active Office Board is unique in that you can customize the level of difficulty in terms of proprioception and balance. The foam feet can be adjusted from a stable position, where there is a foot at each corner, to a position which would be more challenging, where the feet are in alignment in the center of the board. This unique design allows the user to make adjustments for the type of tasks they are completing, those that require a higher level of focus would do best with more stability compared to that of a video call, for instance, as it allows you to move and stay present in the meeting without visibility pacing.
Many people who incorporate movement throughout the work or school day do not prefer a balance board when working or studying because it can be overstimulating while trying to focus on other tasks. This is why we came up with the Active Office Board. Although we recommend a balance board in most aspects of your daily life, during work or school an Active Office Board is superior. We like to use the expression, “No to Pivot, Yes to Float”. Rather than engaging in a tipping and pivoting motion that you might experience on a balance board, the Active Office Board allows you to simply float while focusing on other tasks, with much smaller, more stable and less distracting movements.
Standing every thirty minutes with good posture and breathing deeply for one minute will allow the body to recalibrate. Implement standing desks as an easy way to counteract the health implications of prolonged sitting. Standing desks are adjustable allowing for individuals to alternate between sitting and standing by the push of a button. The Vari desk comes as an independent unit that can raise or lower with a motor or a tabletop version that can be lifted and lowered with an easy-to-use spring or gas assist. These units are great for any office environment, and are an excellent solution for individuals with back problems or who experience pain when sitting.
Alternating between standing and sitting every thirty minutes is highly recommended. It’s easy to forget moving altogether when you are sitting. However, this is the most important and one of the simplest ways to incorporate small movements into your work or school day. Active chairs can be a complementary component to a standing desk or a standard desk. Often these chairs will come with minimal to no back support. These units can be great for those who have a problem sitting still as they can move with you. This has the side benefit of improving blood flow throughout the body. There is some evidence to suggest that it can also improve muscle strength and endurance. These chairs can come in a variety of heights.
The Core Chair has a couple of options as a product that has an ergonomic seat design and adjustable lumbar support. The design is such that it is meant to increase blood flow, reduce fatigue, and improve muscle strength. The chair offers up to 14 degrees of tilt in multiple directions. There are two options available, the Classic that allows the user to control how much tilt they want while the Tango does not. These chairs can be a great option for people of different heights as they do come in regular and tall sizes.
The Vari Active Seat is another great seating option, it has a pedestal design that will allow you to move in multiple directions. This helps the user to engage the muscles of the lower body as it allows for rocking, leaning and stretching. The seat height is adjustable and pairs well with a standing desk. It can also be a good option for those that need to have an open seating angle due to hip replacement or other issues.
If you don’t wish to make changes to your chair, an Active Sit Disc could be the answer for you. Sitting discs are simply an insert that goes below your trunk and on top of your chair that typically help to adjust posture, relieve discomfort, and allow for more movement while sitting. The Fitterfirst ProActive Sit Disc, BackJoy SitSmart Relief, and the FitBall Seating Disc are all variations of great options for Active Sitting.
An open concept office space encourages movement around the office; it can also be a way to optimize the amount of light available in addition to encouraging positive and interactive work culture. Having balance boards and other equipment available to the staff and students to use throughout the day can be an excellent way to incorporate functional exercise like balance. if you don’t use it you will lose it and it’s all about having a good relationship with the forces of gravity and moving so it’s not just standing nor is it sitting. The most important thing we can do as human beings who want to age gracefully is to move as frequently as you possibly can while maintaining your posture. The ultimate goal is to feel less stress, less discomfort, feel healthier, more energetic and be more productive. That is your Active Office™.
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