Cures for Butt-itis

We sit. We sit. And then we sit some more. Not good.

Energy killer. Creativity inhibitor. Attention buster. Bad, all around bad.

Who came up with this crazy notion that we have to sit to work? The answer is so simple, isn’t it. Work and move. Work and move. Yes. Move. Move. Move.

Here are 4 simple ways of curing your case of butt–itis:

1. Treadmill Desk

I visited my friends Jeanie and Mitch Roberts in San Francisco last fall. A prominent feature in Mitch’s home office? Uhuh, his treadmill desk.

First brought to market in 2011, the sales of treadmill desks skyrocketed after Susan Orlean’s ecstatic article in The New Yorker (The Power of Walking while Working, 5/20/2013).

It’s such a no-brainer, isn’t it? A treadmill desk is an elevated desk, standing-level, with a treadmill at its base. When I walk and work at the same time, I create full-body engagement. I am full-body energized. I can quote the research for you, but this just made instant sense to me. So simple. So cool.

2.    Standing Meeting

Dump the u-shaped board-room. The rectangular office table. Elevate your tables, bistro-style. Stand.

More and more companies are shifting to standing meetings. The benefits, I trust, are clear. When I stand I can wiggle. I can shuffle. I can stretch. I can fully ground myself. I can make a myriad of physical adjustments that help me channel my energy.

I can instantly re-energize myself. This re-energizes our meetings, in turn. Woohoo.

3.    Gallery Walk

We’re not talking about the Saturday night Gallery Walk that your downtown business council puts on.

Gallery Walk is a brainstorming technique. Instead of a full-group brainstorm around a table, we brainstorm in mini-groups at wall charts or white boards. Standing. Every few minutes we rotate to another mini-group’s wall chart. Read. React. Add. Rotate again.

Brainstorming suddenly becomes a highly kinesthetic activity in which we visit a series of “gallery exhibits.” Fast-paced. Invigorating. The engagement level becomes electric.

4.    1-1 Stroll

You know the old-school 1-1 meetings? You visit a colleague’s office, plop into the chair that faces the desk.

Instead of the office 1-1, consider a 1-1 stroll. It’s the time of year when even the cold Northern weather will accommodate the 1-1 outdoor stroll. Turn the 1-hour meeting into a 1-hour walk.

At its best, your stroll will feel like a walking meditation. You will suddenly drop into “the walking zone.” You will be focused on your conversation partner. You will also feel the peripheral energy that is all around you. Your conversation will be enriched by vibrant environmental fuel.

This is how breakthroughs happen in international peace talks.

They know!

Tired of butt–itis? The answers are pretty simple. Leave your chairs often. Invite the joys of full-body engagement. You will be amazed.