For over a decade, experts at the University of Queensland’s School of Public Health have been researching how to effectively reduce sitting time at work, but more volunteers are needed.
BeUpstanding – a program to reduce sitting and increase movement at work – is a direct result of this research and long-standing links with key partners, including Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
The BeUpstanding program guides a workplace champion to help their team stand up, sit less and move more. There’s no charge – all you need is management on board and a workplace champion to run the three-month program, which includes:
- access to an online toolkit and resources
- data-driven feedback and a customised team performance report
- for the first 100 sign ups, phone support from an expert BeUpstanding coach.
So far, more than 170 workplaces across Australia and from a range of industries have taken part in the program, with clear benefits, including:
a 40-minute average reduction in workplace sitting time
improved physical and mental health
fewer or less severe musculoskeletal pain symptoms.
Eighty-seven per cent of staff enjoyed participating in BeUpstanding, 80 per cent reported a positive impact on their awareness of their sitting behaviour and their knowledge of the benefits of sitting less, and 70 per cent reported a positive impact on their team culture regarding sitting, standing and moving.
BeUpstanding asks for staff to collectively choose three strategies best suited to their team culture and environment which promote increased movement at work. Focusing on the design of work and the work environment, champions reported several initiatives worked for their teams, including:
environmental strategies such as moving bins, printers/scanners and mailboxes to a central location
making stairs accessible and encouraging stair use instead of the lift
having standing meetings/designated areas for standing
Management, champions and staff overwhelmingly reported that BeUpstanding helped not only to decrease staff sitting time but also to improve team morale and culture.
“I actually think there was a bit of a shift in just how happy and productive people were. Certainly, a lot more laughing, and that’s always a good sign for me, if I can hear laughing in the room, that’s great.” Champion, small business.
It has an impact on culture…and showing that we actually think about staff health and we’re interested in them being healthy. In reality it’s good for work as well”. Champion, senior leader government sector.
UQ is now recruiting for a national evaluation of BeUpstanding and needs teams from across Australia to take part. By being one of the first to sign up, you will gain access to free, expert coaching to help deliver the program and be part of world-first research.
As well, a third workshop on implementing the BeUpstanding Champion toolkit is being held in Childers on 30 October.