Performance hack – standing is good for the brain

Post by 
Harry Vazanias
Published 
January 21, 2020
T

here are many little tricks you can use in the workplace to up your performance by a few percent. This week's performance hack is a simple one - standing.

When we stand (and, better yet, pace up and down) blood flows faster and our brains become more alert. That is why in 2018 Apple ensured that all its people at the company’s new California headquarters had been given standing desks, with chief executive Tim Cook describing sitting as “the new cancer”.

When we sit, our bodies switch into rest mode. Rest mode means not alert. Prolonged sitting has also been linked to reduced lifespan. This is an issue when on average employees sit for an average of ~60% of their working time.

There's various research out there on how standing does help to improve health, engagement and longer-term cognitive powers, so let's not get further into the science and simply suggest a few ways we can incorporate this little performance hack into our working lives:

  • Standing desks: Apple aren't the only ones investing in standing desks. The NHS have been trilling these with positive results on reducing 'sitting times'. Ask your boss for a standing desk. There are models can switch quickly from standing to sitting mode, so this doesn't mean you have to completely give up on sitting if you don't want to
  • Stand up when you need to: Just because everyone else is sitting, it doesn't mean you have to. I often stand in meetings when others are sitting. Added bonus - through simple body language you also appear more engaged and stand out from the rest
  • Stand ups: Agile enthusiasts will tell you all about the merits of stand ups at the start of the day, but why stop there? Have more standing meetings - everyone gets to stand
  • Walking meetings: Steve Jobs was famous for his walking meetings. When we wanted to get into something complicated, he often took people for a walk to talk through the problem.

Standing sounds so simple, but too many of us don't do it. Give it a try for a week and see how it goes.

Join Our
Newsletter
Mailing List

We never share your info. View our privacy policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Join Our Amazing
Community
THere's More

Post You mIght Also Like

All Posts
Strategy & Transformation
Sep
22
//
2022

Operating models designed right

For many, operating models have a bad name. Consultants come in, design a perfect model and then nothing quite goes right when it comes to implementation.
Process Excellence
Jul
21
//
2022

People & Data – A Match Made in Heaven

Data has never been more valuable. It is used by organisations to showcase statistics and ‘real’ business insights, by taking away the subjective and biased nature of people’s opinions. Ultimately, data is now the true driver of change within organisations. Let’s be honest, there is no better way to spruce up a business case in the eyes of the Senior Leadership Team than stats, graphs and numbers!
People & Change
Apr
19
//
2022

Throwing the old rulebook out the window and writing a People & Culture Book from scratch

Strategy & Transformation
Feb
21
//
2022

How Effective Decision-Making is Key to Unlocking Your Transformation

In this article, Joe Taylor takes us through why effective decision making is key to a successful transformation and shares 5 top tips to help organisations and individuals by facilitating the path to an effective decision-making
Strategy & Transformation
Oct
15
//
2021

People are at the heart of any transformation

When organisations are considering an Op Model change, the people the change will affect need to be front and centre of all thinking related to the change. It is far too common for ‘the people’ to be considered too far along in the process, or not really considered at all. This leads to Op Models that fail because they are incompatible with the people required to actually make them work. So, how can we avoid this to happen?