Shake the cocktail. Open the fridge. Grab the cookie. Fly like a seagull. Do the penguin.
This is not an attempt to write a beat poem, but the names of simple exercises which employees from CBS were asked to do with an elastic band together with physiotherapist Søren Hald from Savemybody (Redminkrop).
According to him, the number of people in the work force who struggles with pain and discomfort on a daily or weekly basis has risen in the past years. In 2016, the number of people who report that they are in pain or discomfort is about 35 percent. But there is a way to improve these figures.
“It’s about interrupting oneself and changing everyday routines. I know it is hard to break the routine, but if you just spend two minutes on exercising with an exercise band, it is more than enough to gain the health benefits from it. These include an increased feeling of well-being and less discomfort and pain,” says Søren Hald and asks the audience to unpack their personal exercise band. He then starts introducing them to the exercises.
“I promise, you can’t do this wrong,” he says while showing how to do an exercise called ‘shopping bags.’
Søren Hald had been invited by the members of CBS’ Occupational Health and Safety Organization (AMO), which aims to create a safe and sound working environment.
“We wish to make the employees aware of how sitting still while working impacts their productivity and wellbeing, as well as highlighting the benefits achieved if they choose to stand up, sit less, and move more,” says Tina Falch, one of CBS’ two ergonomic consultants and a member of AMO.
Another way of introducing more movement into the daily work routine is by using the elevating desk.
According to Søren Hald, 90 percent of the people working at an office have an elevating desk, however, only 10 percent use it.
“Standing up is actually a great way to interrupt the body. It is strengthening and it helps you burn more calories. You could, for example, introduce stand up-meetings. It speeds up the meetings because people don’t want to stand up for two hours,” he says, and the auditorium then fills with laughter.
Breaking the habits
The exercises that Søren Hald shows the audience are very simple. What is not so simple, he points out, is getting them into the daily routine.
Søren Hald presents the work of the behavioral scientist, B.J. Fogg, to the audience. He has come up with a model for changing human behavior, and Søren Hald explains it with an example of going to the dentist.
“Everytime my dentist tells me to floss my teeth, I’m really good at it during the first couple of days, and then I sort of just forget about doing it,” he says and continues:
“B.J. Fogg points out that in order to make a lasting change, the change must happen gradually. Instead of flossing all of his teeth at once, he did one tooth at a time. One month later, he was flossing all of his teeth, and flossing became a habit.”
He gives another example on how to change ones’ routines.
“I worked at the University of Copenhagen once and I was the last one to leave the office. So, I decided to elevate all of my colleagues’ desks. Just to see their reactions the next morning,” he says and continues:
“The next day, some stood up for a little while and talked about why the tables had been elevated. Was it the cleaning personnel? Others got annoyed and put the tables back down, yet others decided to stand up for 30 minutes. The idea was just to change their daily routine. That’s what it is all about.”
Apart from getting an exercise band, everyone attending the seminar got a blank post card.
“Another thing that can help you break the routines is motivation, and the best motivation you can get is from others. In the small packages with the exercise band you will find a post card. With this, you can invite others to exercise with you. No one can say no to an invite like that,” says Søren Hald and makes the audience laugh for the 117th time before noon.