Employees who vary their postures at work are more alert, productive, and feel less tired at the end of the working day. Bloomberg News
Employees who vary their postures at work are more alert, productive, and feel less tired at the end of the working day. Bloomberg News

Walk-and-work a winning formula for office productivity



Being the hyper person that I am, I am not a big fan of sitting for long hours at my desk. I have to get up for a five-minute walk or freshen up every now and then.

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On occasion, however, when I am overloaded with projects, I lose track of time and find myself fixed in the same position for hours on end in front of my computer screen.

That, coupled with stress and juggling numerous tasks, is always bad news for my health.

Some people's work-related stress is reflected in the form of headaches or shoulder muscle pain.

A soothing massage and a couple of pain killers could do the trick in their case.

However, when it comes to mine, my stomach takes the hit.

Not only will I lose my appetite, but I will feel nauseous, drowsy, and not in as productive a mood as I normally would be.

Only after I visit a doctor, take my prescribed pills and follow their advice of making sure to take a break from my office and walk for a few minutes will I feel normal again.

Unfortunately, by that time I will be lagging behind many tasks that were postponed.

Going through this uncomfortable experience a number of times, and witnessing similar stress-related incidents with my friends, has provided me with a new perspective on business operations.

Look at it this way: business owners and managers focus on hiring the right employees and getting the most out of them to increase their revenue. They send them off on training courses and seminars only to keep that productivity arrow pointing north.

That all sounds perfect, and surely does not come cheap.

Unfortunately, many tend to overlook the fact that office staples as simple as desks and workstations play a huge role in affecting their profit figures, especially in the long run.

Not until recently did I realise how much attention is paid to office furniture and productivity in big corporations in the West.

There are even furniture companies dedicated solely to designing office equipment with employees' productivity in mind.

The cumulative damage caused by sitting in a certain position for eight to 10 hours a day presents a threat not only to an individual's health, but also to the company's revenue and performance.

Stress injuries cost both the employee and employer, in the form of health bills, employee absence during critical times, attention spans and compensation claims.

On the other hand, employees who vary their postures at work are more alert, productive and feel less tired at the end of the working day.

Scientific studies reveal that changing positions throughout the work day can help to eliminate physical stress, in addition to increasing blood circulation to the brain, which ultimately improves attention span and productivity.

Standing from time to time is also great for health and productivity.

And many research findings have shown that standing for a few hours at work can significantly reduce body weight.

But we cannot stand and type on the computer using our current workstations, unless we want to harm ourselves by bending our muscles.

The solution to this problem comes in the form of sit-to-stand workstations, an alternative adopted by many global organisations.

These allow employees to alternate positions from sitting to standing by adjusting the height of computer monitors and keyboard trays.

The more customisation these sit-and-stand workstations allow, the better they can accommodate employees of different sizes.

Treadmill workstations are also favoured by corporations. The name explains it all. The model is your typical treadmill device, attached to a computer screen and keyboard, and it is priced anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand US dollars.

According to reports by Mayo Clinic, the average walk-and-work pace for two to three hours a day can help an employee lose as much as 66 pounds, depending on their weight to start with.

As for me, I will stick to taking a five-minute break every hour.

Manar Al Hinai is a fashion designer and writer. She can be followed on Twitter @manar_alhinai

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Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Saturday, May 16 (kick-offs UAE time)

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (4.30pm) 
RB Leipzig v Freiburg (4.30pm) 
Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin (4.30pm) 
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn  (4.30pm) 
Augsburg v Wolfsburg (4.30pm) 
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach (7.30pm)

Sunday, May 17

Cologne v Mainz (4.30pm),
Union Berlin v Bayern Munich (7pm)

Monday, May 18

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen (9.30pm)

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Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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Torque: 250Nm

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On sale: now

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Harlequins Tries: Kinivilliame, Stevenson; Cons: Stevenson 2; Pen: Stevenson

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What is a virtual bank?

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority defines it as a bank that delivers services through the internet or other electronic channels instead of physical branches. That means not only facilitating payments but accepting deposits and making loans, just like traditional ones. Other terms used interchangeably include digital or digital-only banks or neobanks. By contrast, so-called digital wallets or e-wallets such as Apple Pay, PayPal or Google Pay usually serve as intermediaries between a consumer’s traditional account or credit card and a merchant, usually via a smartphone or computer.

What’s the draw in Asia?

Hundreds of millions of people under-served by traditional institutions, for one thing. In China, India and elsewhere, digital wallets such as Alipay, WeChat Pay and Paytm have already become ubiquitous, offering millions of people an easy way to store and spend their money via mobile phone. Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are also among the world’s biggest under-banked countries; together they have almost half a billion people.

Is Hong Kong short of banks?

No, but the city is among the most cash-reliant major economies, leaving room for newcomers to disrupt the entrenched industry. Ant Financial, an Alibaba Group Holding affiliate that runs Alipay and MYBank, and Tencent Holdings, the company behind WeBank and WeChat Pay, are among the owners of the eight ventures licensed to create virtual banks in Hong Kong, with operations expected to start as early as the end of the year. 

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2) Symptoms can include a lump, discharge, swollen glands or a rash. 

3) People with a history of cancer in the family can be more susceptible. 

4) Treatments include surgery and chemotherapy but early diagnosis is the key. 

5) Anyone concerned is urged to contact their doctor

 

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